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.

Why not try this spicy lamb pilaf? It’s a one-pot meal that takes minutes to prepare, not much longer than that to cook and it’s full of fragrant flavours.

Ras el hanout is a north African spice mix which usually includes cumin, coriander, cayenne and ginger, among others. I like to boost those particular flavours so I add more of each, but feel free to tweak to your personal tastes.

A quick explanation of the rough and ready measuring system here: when I say a mug, I mean a builders’ tea sized mug.

Spicy Lamb Pilaf

  • Servings: 2 generously
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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

1/4 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 spicy lamb pilaf


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

Add the peppers, garlic and ginger and fry for another few minutes, until the peppers have softened slightly. Stir in the spices, fry for one minute. Pour in the rice and stir to coat, then add the lamb and mix it through.

Now add the stock and orange juice, mix well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, 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. Stir it occasionally to make sure the rice doesn’t catch.

Remove from the heat, stir in the bulk of the parsley/coriander 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 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the lemon juice and serve topped with the herbs and zest.

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