3.5 cups basmati rice 500g lean ground mutton/ beef 3 tsp cumin seeds 3 cloves 6 green cardamom 6 whole black peppercorns 1 inch cinnamon stick 1 onions, sliced 1 heaped tsp garlic paste 1 heaped tsp ginger paste 2 tsp salt 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder 1/3 tsp turmeric 2 tomatoes, finely chopped 3/4 tsp garam masala powder 2 tablespoons yogurt 1-2 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped (optional) juice of half a lemon 1/2 cup cilantro 1/4 cup mint oil for cooking (I have added a couple of small drops of red food colouring to the rice) This is optional
1. wash and soak your rice.
2. parboil your rice in briny (generously salted) water and drain. (Once the Rice has been cooked scatter a couple of small drops in the rice if using).
3. whip your yogurt in a small bowl to make smooth and set aside.
4. heat the oil in a large wide pan, add the cloves, pepper corns, green cardamon, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds, when the dry spices start to sizzle and give off an aroma, then add the onion and saute till translucent.
5. Add the ginger and garlic paste, stir fry for a minute, add the salt, red chilli powder, and turmeric powder. saute for another minute.
6. Now add the ground beef/ mutton and cook on medium high till well browned. this takes 5 minutes or so, if it starts to stick add more oil and continue to cook stirring frequently till the ground meat takes on a darker brown colour.
7. add the yogurt and tomatoes and cook on medium heat until the tomatoes have cooked through.
8. Now add the garam masala powder, green chillies (optional), cilantro, mint, and lemon juice, cook for 1 minute and taste. It should be slightly salty, spicy, and tangy.
9. Layering In a a large pan, add a layer of ground meat mixture, then top it with the rice. If you want you can scatter some finely chopped green chillies and lemon or lime slices for their aroma.
10. Leave the pilau to cook on low temperature for about 20 minutes and then fluff up the rice carefully.
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