Lamb & Caramelised Onion Pilau

I am very happy to announce that I’m working with Kingfisher Beer, India’s favourite (and most delicious) beer, on a series of cook-the-perfect recipes. There are eight recipes in total which i’ll be posting up here

First up in the series is Perfect Lamb and Caramelised Onion Pilau: one of my favourite recipes. It’s a one-pot dish packed to the brim with soft lamb, sweet caramelized onions and basmati rice fragrant with cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. It will fill your kitchen with the most wonderful smells.


Serves 4

  • 300g basmati rice
  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 600g lamb shoulder, diced 3cm cubes
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 fresh green chilli, sliced
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 550 ml hot chicken stock
  • A small handful of cashew nuts
  • A small bunch fresh coriander

Wash the rice in cold water until the water runs clear and leave to soak to one side.

Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a lidded frying pan over a high heat until really hot then add the lamb. Briefly sear the lamb until golden brown on all sides (around 4-5 minutes) then transfer to a plate and leave to one side.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the rest of the oil to the pan along with the onions and fry for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft, brown and caramelized.

Next, add the garlic, stir-fry for a couple of minutes then add the cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, chilli and salt and stir.

Drain the rice, add to the pan along with the meat and chicken stock. Bring everything to a rolling boil, then tightly cover the pan using foil and the lid. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes then, still keeping the pan covered, take off the heat and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, dry fry the cashew nuts until they’re starting to brown and finely chop the coriander. Then, fluff up the rice with a fork and sprinkle over the cashews and coriander and serve piled high on a plate. Serve with an ice-cold Kingfisher.