This also works really well with chicken, beef or prawns instead of the lamb. Now, it’s not strictly a traditional recipe, but it is packed full of wonderful flavours and is a pretty good imitation.
FOR THE LAMB
5 cardamom pods
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp medium or hot chilli powder (or more if you want a bit of extra heat)
1 bunch spring onions
500g lamb chump steaks
FOR THE RICE
350g basmati rice
400ml can coconut milk
100g sundried tomatoes
small handful coriander or mint
knob of butter (optional)
25g toasted flaked almonds (they come ready toasted from the supermarket)
Put a drizzle of oil in a medium pan over a low heat. Slam open the cardamom pods with the side of a knife, then add to the pan with the garam masala, turmeric, cumin and chilli powder, and cook for 3-4 mins, stirring occasionally. While this cooks, trim and finely slice the spring onions, then chop up the lamb into bite-sized cubes. Turn the pan heat up to high, add a little more oil and add the spring onions and lamb. Brown the meat all over for 2-3 mins, stirring often so nothing catches on the bottom.
Meanwhile, put the rice in a pan with the coconut milk and 100ml water. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, bring to the boil, then turn it down to a very gentle simmer and leave to cook away for as long as it says on the packet (usually 10-12 mins). Don’t be tempted to stir the rice. Roughly chop the sundried tomatoes and the coriander or mint, and set aside.
Once the rice is cooked, stir in the sundried tomatoes, half the coriander or mint and the raisins. Let them heat through for a moment or two. Taste the rice, adding salt and pepper if it needs it, and a knob of butter to make it extra creamy, if you like. Serve with the lamb topped with a scattering of the remaining chopped herbs and the toasted flaked almonds.