The exquisite Lamb Rice feast from the cuisine of scenic coastal land of Oman,was chosen for the Walima cooking Club this month(Thanks Arlette).
The Omani cuisine is rich with aroma of spices but not as hot as the South Asian Cuisine.Lamb and rice is a royal combination meal of most Arab cuisines. Traditionally in Oman, the meat is cooked very slowly with spices in clay ovens for the most succulent and tender meat.The Omani Lamb Kabouli has a striking resemble with the Lamb Biryani of the Mughalai cuisine,with use of aromatic spices ,rice and meat.
Recipe Lamb Kabouli
2 lbs(about 1 kg) lamb cut in small pieces,white fat trimmed
3 cups(about 500 grams)White or Brown Basmati rice,Rinsed and drained.
2 cups Cooked Chickpeas
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole cardamom pods
1 teaspoon Peppercorn( whole black pepper)
2 medium onions,thinly sliced
2 tablespoon raisins(optional)
2 tablespoon Omani spice mix(see below)
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
1 tablespoon rose water(optional)
2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For the Omani spice :
3 cloves garlic,minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger,grated
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) cumin seeds,
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) coriander seeds,
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) cardamom seeds,
2 teaspoon (10 ml) cayenne pepper,
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) ground turmeric and
About 2 tablespoon (30 ml) distilled vinegar or fresh lime juice
Prepare the spice mix
Combine all the spice ingredients in a food processor and process until a thick paste is formed, adding more vinegar if necessary. Keep aside.
Heat the oil in large heavy bottom skillet.Add the onions and saute until lightly brown.Reserve half for garnish.To the remaining onions add half of the whole spices,salt,the prepared spice mix and saute for a minute.Add the lamb pieces along with 2 cups of water ,cover and cook until tender about 1 1/2 hour or 30 minutes in a pressure cooker.When done mix in the chickpeas,raisins,saffron,rose water and cook another 10 minutes.
Cook the rice and layer with lamb
Bring about 4 cups of water to a boil in another large skillet and season with salt and remaining whole spices.When rice is almost done,layer the cooked lamb mixture over.Cover and cook until rice is completely done ,about 10 minutes.Turn the heat off.Let cool for 10 minutes.Mix and Serve.Garnish with fresh parsley and the reserved onions.Include some roasted vegetables(I served roasted carrots and butternut squash) on side to make the meal complete.