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Shamiana lamb pullao

Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Yields Serves 6
Shamiana lamb pullao
1

Place the meat in a 6-quart saucepan. Add 3 cups water. In a medium bowl, mix the ginger, fennel and cumin with the yogurt and add to saucepan. Stir well. Add the cloves and 3 cardamom pods. Bring to a rolling boil, add salt, stir, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook at a good simmer until the meat is tender, about an hour.

2

When done, remove the meat from the gravy with a slotted spoon, and set aside in a bowl. Measure the gravy (you should have about 4 cups) and set aside.

3

Heat the ghee on high heat in a 6-quart saucepan. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, the remaining 2 cardamom pods and the peppercorns. Stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the meat and saute until a little crisp and golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Be careful, the pan contents may splatter while cooking.

4

Add the rice to the meat. Stir-fry briskly until the rice is well fried, about 2 minutes.

5

Take 2 cups of liquid from the meat gravy, and add to the rice along with 1 teaspoon salt. Stir well.

6

Add the saffron with its water to the rice. Stir well. Bring the rice to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked. (After the rice, or pullao, is cooked, do not stir or you will break the grains and make it lumpy.)

7

Meanwhile, prepare the onions and nuts. Pour enough canola oil into a wok or deep-sided skillet to come up the sides a few inches. Heat the oil on medium-high until it shimmers (about 225 to 230 degrees with a thermometer). Deep-fry the sliced onion slowly, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes. The onion should fry slowly until all the moisture has evaporated and it turns reddish and crisp without burning; turn the heat down if the onions are frying too quickly. Remove the crisped onions with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels to drain excess oil. Do not cover, as this will make the onions soggy.

8

Fry the nuts in the same oil at the same heat for a few minutes until they just start to color with a slight golden hue. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels to drain.

9

With a large slotted spoon, heap the pullao onto a large platter. Sprinkle onions on top of the pullao and decorate the edge with sliced eggs and nuts. Serve hot.

Ghee, or clarified butter, is available at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, well-stocked supermarkets and Indian grocery stores. Or you can clarify the butter yourself: Melt it in a small saucepan over low heat, skim the milk solids off the top and ladle the butter carefully out of the pan without disturbing the remaining milk solids and water at the bottom of the pan. You will want to clarify about 1 1/2 sticks to get the 6 tablespoons needed below.

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