This is the traditional rice that is used to stuff a plump chicken or a goose or a turkey. My grandmother would stuff the chicken with it and I liked it better than the chicken. It is delicious and very fragrant. Easy to make and prepare in advance to avoid last minute stress I would serve it with a Thanksgiving turkey with no hesitation!
I consulted The Arab Table by May S. Bsisu for this recipe and tweaked her recipe a bit.
INGREDIENTS: This quantity will serve up to 6 generously
- 1/2 pound ground lamb, fatty OK
- 1 1/2 cups Basmati
- 2 cups boiling water mixed with some veal concentrated stock or beef broth
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- SPICES: 1/2 teaspoon allspice, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper. Salt, to taste. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground clove, ground cumin.
- Assorted nuts such as almonds, pistachios and pine nuts
- Boil some water and pour it over the almonds and pistachios (if they still have their skin on). When the water is cool, rub the nuts with the tips of your fingers to remove the skins and lay the nuts on a paper towel to dry out. Soak the pine nuts in water for at least 30 minutes.
- Measure the rice and soak it in warm water to which you will add a teaspoon of salt. You can change the water again, about 3 or 4 times, until the water is clear and keep it soaked until ready to cook.
- Gather all the spices in a small dish. Heat a skillet and add the lamb, frying it over medium heat and breaking the meat with the help of two wooden spoons.
- When the meat is browned, turn off the heat and using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a mini-processor in two batches. Pulse until the meat is chopped up in very small bits; this operation can also be done by hand, if you have the patience!
- Heat a large pan and add about one tablespoon of butter. When the butter starts to sizzle, add the drained and chopped meat. Add the spices and mix well.Now, add the rice previously drained in a sieve. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the rice is coated with butter and the meat is well mixed with the rice. This operation will take about 3 or 4 minutes.
- Boil some water or stock ( I used water to which I added one tablespoon of veal concentrate). Pour the stock on top of the rice mixture. Boil for a few seconds and then turn the heat down to very low.
- Cover the pan and let the rice mixture cook gently for about 15 minutes, or longer.
- While the rice is cooking, heat a small skillet and add one tablespoon of butter. When the butter melts, add the almonds and pine nuts. Shake the skillet from time to time, watching it like a hawk because it can burn so easily! This will take about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat when the nuts are golden-brown and set the nuts on a paper towel to drain the excess butter.
- When the rice is cooked, place it in a serving dish, arrange the nuts on top and serve with yoghurt on the side.
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