Braised Leg of Lamb with Caraway Basmati Rice

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Inactive: 30 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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2 tablespoons fennel seeds

2 tablespoons coriander seeds, lightly crushed

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

5 cloves garlic

4 cloves cardamom, crushed

1 stick cinnamon

2 bay leaves

1 red onion, cut into wedges

1 large tomato, diced

1 leg of lamb, about 3 pounds, bone removed, lamb cut into 1-inch chunks

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium red onion, finely diced

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

4 cups basmati rice, washed several times and left to soak for 30 minutes, drained

1/2 cup toasted unsalted cashews, chopped

1/2 cup raisins


Special equipment:
Large square of cheesecloth
  1. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a big pot. Wrap the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, and bay leaves into the center of the cheesecloth square and tie up the sides of the cheesecloth into a little package and tie a tight knot at the top, a bouquet garni. Drop the bouquet garni into the boiling water. Add the onion and tomato. When the water comes back up to a boil, add the lamb meat. Bring the mixture back to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the meat is tender. 
  2. In another large pot, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat and saute the onion with the caraway seeds until soft. Stir in the drained rice and toast until the grains separate from each other, and the rice glistens with oil, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Remove the bouquet garni from the stock. Remove the lamb from the stock. Pour the stock over the rice and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer on low, covered, 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.
  4. Place a bed of rice on each plate, top with a few pieces of lamb. Sprinkle the cashews and raisins over the dish and serve.