Spicy Lamb Pilaf

It’s Monday night and you want a quick supper. You’re looking glumly at the leftover lamb from the Sunday roast. What to do?

Shepherds’ Pie doesn’t appeal. You make a moue at the thought of meatballs.

Can I make a polite suggestion? This spicy lamb pilaf is a one-pot meal that takes minutes to prepare and little longer to cook and it’s full of fragrant flavours.

A quick explanation of the basic measures: when I say a mug, I mean a builders’ tea sized mug.

Image of pilaf served in a bowl

Spicy Lamb Pilaf


1/2 mug of cooked, diced lamb per person

1/2 mug of long grain rice per person

1 mug of chicken stock per person

1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped

2 sticks of celery, chopped

2 red, yellow or green peppers or a combination, roughly diced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

A thumb of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 tspn ras el hanout

1 tspn ground cumin

1 tspn ground coriander

1/2 tspn of cayenne pepper

A double handful of fresh parsley and/or coriander, roughly chopped

Zest and juice of 1 or 2 oranges (mine were small so I used 2)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Oil, salt and pepper


Image of vegetables frying

Fry the vegetables gently

Put a good glug of oil into a large deep frying pan (one with a lid) and gently fry the onions and celery until golden.

Add the peppers, garlic and ginger and fry for another few minutes, until the peppers have softened slightly.

Add the spices, fry for one minute.

Pour in the rice and stir to coat. Throw in the lamb and mix it through.

Now add the stock and orange juice, stir well, put on the lid and simmer gently for 20+ minutes or until the rice is cooked and not gritty but still has a bit of bite. You may need to stir it occasionally to make sure the rice doesn’t catch on the base of the pan.

Image of pilaf ingredients cooking

Remove from the heat, stir in the bulk of the parsley and most of the orange zest, saving a few pinches of each for a garnish.

Put the lid back on and let it rest for five minutes.

Stir in the lemon juice and serve topped with the remaining parsley and orange zest.

Image of pilaf topped with parsley and orange zest

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