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Wakandan Jeweled Vegetable Pilau With Berbere Braised Lamb

by Kiano Moju


for 6 servings

Berbere Braised Lamb

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 lb (910 g) boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) cubes
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 medium red onions, finely minced
  • ¼ cup (60 g) ghee, clarified butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups (480 mL) beef broth

Jeweled Vegetable Pilau

  • ¼ cup (60 g) ghee, clarified butter
  • 2 medium red onions, sliced
  • ½ green cabbage, core removed and shredded
  • 2 cups (220 g) shredded carrot
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 cups (460 g) basmati rice
  • 3 cups (720 mL) water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • ½ cup (65 g) cashews
  • ¼ cup (45 g) pomegranate seeds


  1. To make the Berbere Braised Lamb, heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until oil is lightly shimmering. Add the lamb to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and brown on all sides, for about 10 minutes. Remove the lamb from the pot.
  2. To the same pot, add the red onions and cook until brown, for about 15-20 minutes. Stir in the ghee, garlic, ginger, paprika, cayenne, fenugreek, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and tomato paste.
  3. Pour in the beef stock, stirring well to incorporate. Bring the sauce to a boil and return the lamb to the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low, so the sauce is at a gentle simmer, and cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally until the lamb is tender.
  4. To make the Jeweled Vegetable Pilau, use a separate large, shallow pot, melt the ghee over medium heat. Add the sliced red onions and cook until soft and slightly caramelized, for about 20 minutes.
  5. Add the cabbage, carrots, garlic, and ginger, and sauté until vegetables have softened and cooked down.
  6. Season with salt, pepper, ground cumin, curry powder, and cardamom.
  7. Stir in the rice and add the water. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and star anise. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20-25 minutes until water is absorbed and rice is slightly fluffy.
  8. Discard the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and star anise. Stir the rice well before transferring to a large serving platter.
  9. Create a small well in the middle of the rice, and spoon the lamb over the top.
  10. Serve garnished with scallions, cashews, and pomegranate seeds.
  11. Enjoy!
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