Persian Pilaf

An exotic rice dish found in “Ris og Pasta” in the “Menu –
International Madleksikon” series publisert by Lademann i 1978

Persian Pilaf

Pilaf is a dish in which rice is cooked in a seasoned broth. In some cases, the rice may attain its brown or golden colour by first being sauteed lightly in oil before the addition of broth. Cooked onion, other vegetables, as well as a mix of spices, may be added. Depending on the local cuisine, it may also contain meat, fish, vegetables, pasta, and dried fruit.

Pilaf and similar dishes are common to Balkan, Middle Eastern, Caucasian, Central and South Asian, East African, Latin American, and Caribbean cuisines. It is a staple food and a national dish in Afghan, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Balochi, Bangladeshi, Bukharan Jewish, Cretan, Indian, Iranian, Kazakh, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Pakistani, Swahili (Kenyan, Tanzanian-Zanzibari), Tajik, Turkish, Uyghur, and Uzbek cuisines.

4 servings
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour

500 g [1,1 lb] lamb
40 g [1,4 oz] butter / margarine
4 large onions
White pepper
3/4 liter [1,5 pt] water
2 1/2 dl [0,5 pt] (200 g / 7 oz) rice
250 g [8,8 oz] ripe tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon
paprika, or to taste


[1] Cut the meat into large cubes.

[2] Brown the butter in a large saucepan and fry the meat brown on all sides. Peel the onions and chop them roughly. Pour them into the pan and fry them with the meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour in boiling water and allow the dish to simmer at low heat for 30 minutes. Add the rice and allow the dish to simmer for another 20 minutes.

[3] Skin the tomatoes and cut them into cubes and add them to the saucepan. Let them steam for 5 minutes.

[4] Loosen the rice with a fork while adding the paprika.

[5] Serve the pilaf with a salad of cleaned green bell peppers cut in slices then in 1 inch lengths and raw onion rings in an oil/vinegar marinade.