Lamb Pilaff with Coriander Zhoug

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Lamb Pilaff with Coriander Zhoug

Zhoug is a fiery green chili sauce from Yemen that spices up salads, sandwiches and stews across the Middle East. It's easy to make and adds a real kick to this aromatic lamb pilaf.


  • 45g butter
  • 250g diced lamb leg
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 150g bulgar wheat
  • 1 chilli
  • A handful of coriander
  • A handful of mint, leaves only
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 50g rocket
  • 150g yogurt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp water
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 40 mins

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1. Warm a medium pan over a medium-high heat for 2 mins. Add half the butter and the lamb. Cook for 5-6 mins, turning once or twice, till the lamb is lightly browned all over.
2. While the lamb fries, peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and crush two of the garlic cloves (keep the others for later).
3. Lift the lamb out of the pan and pop it on a plate. Turn the heat down to low. Add the onion and remaining butter to the pan with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 5 mins, stirring occasionally, till slightly softened and a little brown.
4. While the onion fries, finely chop the tomatoes. Crumble the stock cube into a heatproof jug. Stir in 300ml boiling water to dissolve it. Press 4 cardamom pods with a spoon or your hand to light crush them and open them up a little.
5. Stir the garlic and tomatoes into the onion. Add the cardamom pods. Tip the lamb back into the pan with any meat juices from the plate. Stir in the bulgar wheat. Pour in the vegetable stock. Cover. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 20 mins till the bulgar has absorbed all the stock and the lamb is tender. Stir a few times to make sure it doesn't stick.
6. While the lamb pilaff cooks, make the zhoug. Finely chop the chilli - zhoug is normally fiery hot, but if you want a milder flavour then scoop out the seeds and white bits. Put the chilli in a small blender. Peel and finely chop the remaining garlic. Add to the blender. Roughly chop the coriander leaves and stalks and the mint leaves. Add to the blender.
7. Tip 1 tsp carraway seeds into a dry frying pan. Toast over a medium-low heat for 2 mins till they smell aromatic. Tip into a pestle and mortar. Crush to a fine powder. Add to the blender with a big pinch of salt and pepper.
8. Add 2 tbsp water and 2 tbsp olive oil to the blender. Blend till smooth - it should have the texture of double cream. Taste and add more salt, pepper or water if you think it needs it.
9. No blender? Finely chop the chilli, coriander and mint leaves. Crush the garlic. Toast the carraway seeds and crush them in pestle and mortar. Add the other dry ingredients and crush together in the pestle and mortar, then stir in the oil and water.
10. Roughly chop the rocket. When the pilaff is ready, fork the rocket through the bulgar wheat to just wilt it. Pile the pilaff up on warm serving Serve with spoonfuls of the yogurt and the zhoug.
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