This Iraqi version of a popular Middle Eastern food uses minced lamb and rice, plus sultanas and saffron for great flavour and colour.
- 300 g minced lamb
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsely
- 1 tbsp sultanas
- 2 tsp peas
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground Basra (black) lime
- 2 cups basmati or other long-grain rice
- 2 saffron strands
- handful of fine breadcrumbs
- oil, for frying
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.
First, make a mince stuffing by frying lamb and onion. When the meat is cooked, add parsley, sultanas and peas, and spice with cumin, turmeric and a little ground lime powder. Once the cooking liquids have disappeared, season to taste. The mixture must be quite dry and fragrant.
Cook rice with saffron (or use a little turmeric) until well done. Mash with a handful or two of breadcrumbs to achieve a soft paste. With a palmful of rice mixture, form a flat disc, place 1-2 tsp of meat mixture in the centre and fold the rice paste over it (Amera makes small saucer shapes and oval, mini-torpedo shapes). Deep-fry in vegetable or olive oil until golden.