Turkish lamb pilau

Turkish lamb pilau

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(22 ratings)

Cook: 30 mins


Serves 4
Serve up a basmati rice one pot flavoured with cinnamon, mint and apricot, studded with tender lamb

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal584
  • fat24g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs65g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre3g
  • protein32g
  • salt1.4g
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  • small handful pine nuts or flaked almonds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 500g lean lamb neck fillet, cubed



    A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…

  • 250g basmati rice
  • 1 lamb or vegetable stock cube



    A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…

  • 12 ready-to-eat dried apricot



    A relative of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry, apricots are fragrant, with a soft, velvety…

  • handful fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…


  1. Dry-fry the pine nuts or almonds in a large pan until lightly toasted, then tip onto a plate. Add the oil to the pan, then fry the onion and cinnamon together until starting to turn golden. Turn up the heat, stir in the lamb, fry until the meat changes colour, then tip in the rice and cook for 1 min, stirring all the time.

  2. Pour in 500ml boiling water, crumble in the stock cube, add the apricots, then season to taste. Turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 12 mins until the rice is tender and the stock has been absorbed. Toss in the pine nuts and mint and serve.

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Comments (21)

Rubberdog's picture

Not sure what that photograph is of, but I followed this recipe to the letter and ended up with a grey, flavourless gruel. Only thing that worked out well was that the lamb stayed tender & juicy due to the pre-frying.
Overall a waste of time and expensive lamb. Can only imagine the author never actually tried to cook this, and it's a theoretical recipe.
Don't bother!

madmrsmonkey's picture

I'm in the process of making this using the 'tip' slow cooker method (I have the slow cooker cook book too). It's been on for 2 hours, the rice around the edges has completely lost its definition and is now just mush. The rice in the middle is hard. No liquid left. I followed the recipe exactly....
I have now stirred it and added a touch more water but worried it's just a completely waste of money.... Any suggestions?
Cook book says there no need for accompaniments and will serve 4. Not my family - nowhere near enough!!

emma.nicholson1980's picture

I also agree with some of the other reviews - it's a very bland recipe. We tried adding lemon juice, honey, salt and more cinnamon and was still really bland

babyblade's picture

Good little recipe. Used leftover roast lamb and a 250g pouch of microwave ready cooked rice to serve 2 people, reduced the quantity of stock accordingly because it wasn't necessary to cook the rice. Added 1 tbsp of Ras-el-hanout spice blend and used mint sauce cos I didn't have any fresh mint, added some fresh chopped parsley too.
... Thought I'd stuck pretty close to the recipe, but now I've written it down, perhaps I didn't ;-) Using to microwave pouch is 100% the way to go for a fluffy texture, the rest is up to you.

Meanie01's picture

I followed recipe but found the dish too bland and too stodgy (rice became really starchy).

NatKJ21's picture

My family aren't too keen on cinnamon and don't much like nuts or fruit as part of the evening meal so we adapted this quite a bit- kale went in at the last minute instead of fruit and coriander replaced the cinnamon. We sprinkled a few mixed herbs and some paprika and seasoned with a little salt and pepper. I usually never add salt to any meal but the dish seemed to be a little bland so I gave it a go but it didn't make much difference. It wasn't until I thought to add parmesan that the dish really turned into something!
I would 100% do this again but with the adjustments I made- we love kale so this went down a storm, the coriander and other herbs and spices added nice flavour but the parmesan really finished it off. Yum!

Maija Aliisa Young's picture

I found this overall a bit too dry for my liking, but overall a pleasant dish with subtle aromas.

suzymmorton's picture

I agree with the other reviews- its ok but could be better. The meat was a bit tough and I'd definitely cook it for longer next time. I rinsed the rice before adding it and even then it was a little starchy. I'd be tempted to add a bit more flavouring next time too. But generally it was quick and easy and not so bad!

danielandcarlmurray's picture

This was lovely. Very easy and quick meal to make but full of flavour. I diced the apricots into smaller bits and I would suggest adding more mint as the mint really sets off the dish.

fainleog's picture

Hmmm . . . mixed feelings about this recipe. It was "ok", but I think it could be great!

Having read the comments, I added some smoked paprika and ground cinnamon as well as 2 cinnamon sticks + some oregano (didn't have any mint) for more depth of flavour.

I also fried the pieces of lamb fillet for approx. 15-20 minutes until well browned, and cooked the lamb + wild rice/basmati mix (from Waitrose) for 30 minutes. The lamb was just about tender . . .

I think the given cooking times are on the low side, and next time, I might try cooking this in the oven in a Le Creuset for maybe 45 minutes, though I guess I'll have to keep an eye on it in case it dries out!

avarion's picture

Followed this to the letter and the rice hadn't cooked by the time the stock had been absorbed. Not sure what went wrong but perhaps the rice needs to be soaked for 10-20 minutes beforehand. Disappointing, but will give it another go.

carlykins's picture

Not a fan, made this tonight and found it to be bland. Not a recipe I will be experimenting with

bambridn's picture

I'm the daughter in law of patsym! Back searching for more recipes. This was great used shoulder so was worried it would be tough and also thought could be bland but was delicious. Easy and looked impressive

patsym2359's picture

We had this at my son and daughter--in-laws & it was fantastic, a really good all ocassion meal 5 stars

andy01's picture

Only one word "YUM"

lisel1969's picture

This was delicious but the lamb was a bit tough, think it was probably the cut of meat that I bought but next time I will brown the lamb in a separate pan and add it about 5 minutes before the end

dancingbunny's picture

It was easy and full of flavour. The only thing I would change is chop the apricots into smaller chunks rather than leaving whole next time.

richkw's picture

An absolute doddle to make, so great when you have little time. Because of the relatively short cooking time, don't skimp on the meat - stick with neck fillet which is readily available from the likes of the 'big T'.

An extremely tasty and satisfying dish.

lynnbradhall's picture

I coated lamb in 1 tbsp of Harissa Paste before cooking. Added a slight kick and the kids still loved it! Will so again.

rich1983's picture

cooked this last night, it was full of flavour. the lamb and spicy/sweet combination works really well. I threw in garlic/ chilli/cinnamon powder when the onion/lamb was cooking, i also fried some yellow and red peppers with it to add some veg then added sultanas and pilau rice seasoning when the stock went in.
Would definately cook it again.


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Tips (2)

beawyt's picture

I used Stella rice as it cooks faster the trick is to soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes before cooking. I also added Bharat dates and dried cranberries

klwilcox's picture

I added 2 teaspoons of Sumac with the stock & used a little mint sauce to give it more body ... Absolutely delicious