This Lamb Pulao has Central Asian Roots but I gave it a little Latinx flair with the addition of Adobo! Pulao, Pilau, or Pilaf, is a rice dish that is cooked in broth or water with spices. The rice then cooks while absorbing all the flavor and liquid(just like my Arroz Con Pollo Recipe). I started making this dish with chicken breast while I lived in Chile as a quick, low cost weekday meal. Years later, I love making it with ground lamb because the fat from the lamb brings the most delicious flavor to this dish. You can use any ground meat, but you may want to add a bit of oil if you are using leaner cuts of meat. Here is my video of Lamb Pulao
What is the difference between Pulao and Biryani?
The main difference between biryani and pulao is how you prepare the dishes. Biryani is made using the ‘draining method’ of cooking and pulao is made through the ‘absorption method’. Biryani normally includes more spices and takes a longer time to cook.
One day a few months ago I made this Lamb Pulao for me and Allison and then I let our daughter try it. She ended up loving it so much and got her own portion. This has become her favorite meal and I like to also add in asparagus or broccoli for her too. This dish uses a bunch of different spices, but it is super customizable. I tried to narrow it down to the most important flavors, so just note that if you omit any of them, you will have a completely different dish. The combination of the spices below will make your house smell so incredible and if you don’t do a lot of cooking, this is one of those dishes that really makes you feel proud of yourself.
Also, one of the most important parts of this dish are the caramelized onions. Do not skip this step. It brings such an incredible layer of flavor. The onions themselves are not difficult to cook, but it does require a little “babysitting”, meaning that you need to gently stir them every few minutes while they cook. This just makes sure they brown evenly and nothing burns. In return, you will be adding such an incredible burst of flavor to this dish.
How do you Caramelize Onions?
First things first, to do this properly it will take about 40 minutes, however, it is not a lot of work. This is something that can be done while watching TV, sending an email, talking on the phone, etc. You have to slice your onion thin, but not too thin: about 1/4 inch thick. Then, cut each onion slice in half, and then in half again. You will have onion quarters. Next, heat up about 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan with 1 tbsp of butter on medium heat.
Once it gets hot and melted, add your onion and mix so that all of the onions are covered in the oil mixture. Add about 1/4 tsp salt per onion, mix, and then turn the heat down to low. Let the onions cook on low heat and mix every 5 minutes or so. Once the onions are evenly browned, they are finished cooking.
If you like this Lamb Pulao, you may also like:
- 1 Yellow Onion Sliced, and then quartered
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 Cups Jasmine or Basmati Rice
- 3 Cups Broth or water. If you use water instead of broth, you should also add about 1/4 tsp of sea salt.
- 1/2 tsp Adobo by Goya or Badia
- 1/2 tsp Yellow Curry Powder
- 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Saffron If you do not have saffron, you can use 1/4 tsp Goya Sazon
- 1 lb Ground Lamb or any ground meat
- 3 cloves Garlic finely diced
- 1 tbsp Ginger grated
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Salt
Caramelize the Onions
- This step will take about 40 minutes, however, it is not a lot of work. This is something that can be done while watching TV, sending an email, talking on the phone, etc.
- You have to slice your onion thin, but not too thin: about 1/4 inch thick. Then, cut each onion slice in half, and then in half again. You will have onion quarters.
- Next, heat up about 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan with 1 tbsp of butter on medium heat. Once it gets hot and melted, add your onion and mix so that all of the onions are covered in the oil mixture.
- Add about 1/4 tsp salt per onion, mix, and then turn the heat down to low. Let the onions cook on low heat and mix every 5 minutes or so. Once the onions are evenly browned, they are finished cooking.
- Finely dice your garlic and grate your fresh ginger.
- Then, heat a large dutch oven on medium heat and add your lamb. Break it up with a spatula a little and add your garlic, ginger, cumin and salt.
- When it starts to brown, continue to mix it and the majority of the caramelized onions. You will want to keep a few onions to top off your dish later on. Once there is just a little pink left in your lamb, turn off your heat.
- Spread the meat and onion mixture out evenly on the bottom of the pan. Then top with 2 cups of rice, the broth, and then all of the rice spices. Using a spatula or spoon, try to make sure all of the rice is submerged in the broth, and make sure the spices are swirled around in the broth, without messing up your bottom layer of meat and onions.
- Bring your rice mixture to a boil on high heat. Once it starts to boil, turn heat to low and cover it. You will cook it for 25-27 minutes, then turn off the heat completely. Fluff up the rice, by mixing it, but then keep it covered for an additional 5 minutes. Once the rice is finished absorbing the water, give the whole mix a stir and top with the remaining onions and some fresh cilantro.
July 13, 2022 at 3:49 pm
Interesting information. I’m not a big fan of lamb but I would try this one