A hearty, healthy and perfect twist on a classic rice pilav. This Turkish treat uses lamb to perfection and is a taste and textural triumph! It's earthy, warming and jam packed with fragrant spiced flavours. It will leave you satisfied on every level.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy casserole pan and fry the lamb pieces for 5 minutes until nicely browned. Add 1 heaped teaspoon of the cumin and then 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, covered, for 90 minutes for bone-in lamb or 70 minutes off the bone.
Drain the lamb, retaining the cooking liquid. Set both aside.
Wipe the pan clean then heat the remaining oil over a moderate heat – add the onion, celery, garlic and cumin and fry gently for 5 minutes until soft and golden. Add the kale leaves, the remaining cumin and salt & pepper and stir for 1-2 minutes until wilted. Add the bulgur and stir well to combine and then return the lamb and carefully stir.Cover and cook gently (without stirring or taking off the lid) for 20 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat – open the pan and sprinkle over the remaining pistachios. Place a tea towel over the pan then return the lid to catch any residual steam - leave for 15 minutes before serving. It'll stay warm for over an hour.
Pour in 4 cups of the lamb cooking liquid and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook gently for 15-20 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the bulgur soft. Add a little more stock at a time if the bulgur need to cook longer.
Remove from the heat, remove the lid and place a clean tea towel over the pan. Place the lid on top and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes (or longer). This will give a better, fluffier pilav.
Serve direct from the pot alongside a simple salad. I also like to make a yoghurt and garlic sauce or a blended yoghurt sauce with garlic, mint, extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.
Serving: I prefer to present it straight from the pan as the main dish. Often, I pair it with a basic green salad and a small dish of Garlic & Yoghurt Sauce or a similar variation blended with fresh mint in a bullet blender. I always provide lemon wedges for drizzling over the finished pilav.
Fridge Storage: This pilav can be refrigerated in airtight containers and remains fresh for up to a week, making it a great choice for meal prep.
Freezer Storage: For longer storage, freeze it in airtight containers for over three months.
Reheating: Whether it's chilled, defrosted, or frozen, reheat in the microwave until it's piping hot. When reheating from frozen, remember to stir occasionally to prevent any meat from burning.