(Yellow Rice with Carrot & Raisins)
1 lb (2 ½ cups) long grain rice, preferably basmati
6 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 ½ - 2 lbs lamb on the bone or 1 chicken, jointed
salt & pepper
2 large carrots
4 oz black seedless raisins
2 tsp char masala or cumin
¼ tap saffron
Rinse the rice several times in cold water until it remains clear. Add fresh water and leave the rice to soak for at least half an hour.
Heat 4 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large pan and add the chopped onions. Stir and fry them until brown. Remove from the oil and add the lamb. Brown well on all sides in the oil. Add about 1 cup of water, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover and simmer until the meat is tender. When cooked, remove the meat and put it in a warm place. Grind the onions to a pulp, add them to the meat broth and stir well.
While the meat is cooking, wash and peel the carrots and cut into pieces the size of a matchstick. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a small pan and add the carrots. Cook the carrots gently until they are lightly browned and tender. If they are tough it may be necessary to add a little water and simmer until tender. All the water should evaporate. Remove the carrots from the oil, add the raisins, and cook these gently until they begin to swell up. Remove the oil and set aside the carrots. Save any remaining oil for the rice.
Bring 5 cups of water to a boil and add about 1 teaspoon of salt. Drain the rice and add to the boiling water. Parbroil for 2 to 3 minutes before draining the rice in a large sieve. Put the rice in a large casserole and sprinkle with char masala and saffron. Take the meat juices and measure out approximately ¾ cup. Pour the juices over the rice and stir very gently once. Then place the cooked meat on one side of the casserole and the carrots and raisins on the other. Add any oil left over from cooking the carrots. Cover with a tightly fitted lid and place in a preheated oven at 300 degrees F for about 45 minutes or leave it in a tightly covered pan on top of the stove over a very low heat for the same length of time.
To serve, remove the carrots and raisins and set to one side. Remove the meat and set to one side. Take about a quarter of the rice and put it in a large dish. Top with the meat , then cover with the remaining rice,. Garnish the top of the rice with the carrots and raisins.