- oil, for cooking
- 300 g (10½ oz) lamb fillet, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- pinch of saffron threads
- 70 g (2½ oz) vermicelli noodles, roughly broken
- 250 g (9 oz/1¼ cups) long-grain white rice
- 300 g (10½ oz) pumpkin (squash), peeled and diced into 2 cm (¾ in) chunks
- 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) chicken stock
- 400 g (14 oz/1½ cups) tinned chickpeas (garbanzos), rinsed and drained
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- 1 small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves
- plain yoghurt, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Heat a large ovenproof heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add a splash of oil and the lamb and cook until golden brown. Remove the lamb and set aside.
Add more oil to the pan if needed, then add the onion, garlic and saffron, and cook for 4–5 minutes or until fragrant and soft. Add the noodles and cook until they just start to colour.
Add the rice and pumpkin, cook for 2–3 minutes, then add the stock, lamb and the chickpeas. Bring to the boil, stirring often.
Reduce the heat, cover the pan and cook in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the stock has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes, covered, before serving.
Check the seasoning and add the salt and pepper, to taste, then add the parsley and coriander and serve with the plain yoghurt.
Recipe from What’s For Dinner by Michele Curtis. Published by Hardie Grant Books.