Lamb rice pilaf with nuts and yoghurt

Lamb pilaf with dill yoghurt.
Lamb pilaf with dill yoghurt. Photo: Marina Oliphant

A little Moroccan, a little Turkish, a little Lebanese, and a lot hearty, delicious and filling.


2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, halved and finely sliced

300g minced lamb

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground allspice

pinch of dried chilli

sea salt and pepper

200g basmati rice, rinsed

100g sultanas or raisins

2 tbsp tomato paste

400ml water

100g mixed walnuts, pistachios and pine nuts

2 tbsp finely chopped dill, plus 1 tbsp sprigs

150g natural yoghurt


Heat oil in a deep saucepan and cook onion until golden. Add minced lamb, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and chilli and cook until lamb changes colour, about four minutes. Drain off any excess oil.

Season lamb generously with sea salt and pepper. Add rice, sultanas, tomato paste and water to the pot and bring to the boil, stirring.

Cover tightly and simmer on the lowest heat for 18 minutes.

Turn off the heat and leave for 10 minutes.

Toast the nuts in a dry frypan. Mix chopped dill into the yoghurt.

Fluff the rice pilaf with a fork and serve on warm plates, topped with dill yoghurt, dill sprigs and nuts.