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Sunday recipe: hearty rice and lamb dish

Lamb is a common component of spring meals. Lamb is a go-to dish for springtime religious celebrations, most notably Easter dinners. Many cultures have their own unique takes on preparing lamb, which can be enjoyed in chops, roasts and even in stews.

When Indian immigrants arrived in the Caribbean, they brought with them their rich culture, including their cuisine. One popular dish was pelau, a traditional spicy rice dish featuring meat and vegetables. While traditional Indian cuisine may use beef, chicken and even pigeon when making pelau, lamb can provide a tasty twist that remains true to the dish’s origins. Individuals interested in a new way to serve lamb can try “Lamb Pelau” from The Complete Mexican, South American and Caribbean Cookbook (Metro Books) by Jane Milton, Jenni Fleetwood and Marina Filippelli.

Lamb Pelau

Serves 4

1 pound stewing lamb
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 fresh or dried chile
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, plus extra for serving
2½ cups beef stock, chicken stock, or coconut milk
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons chopped scallion
2½ cups basmati rice
Scallion strips, to garnish

  1. Cut the lamb into cubes and place in a dish. Add the curry powder, onion, garlic, herbs, and chile, and stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to marinate for 1 hour.
  2. Melt the butter or margarine in a pan and fry the lamb for 5 to 10 minutes. Pour in the stock or coconut milk, bring to a boil, then lower the heat, and simmer for 35 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Add the black pepper, tomatoes, sugar, chopped scallion, and rice. Stir well and reduce the heat. Make sure that the rice is covered by 1 inch of liquid; add a little water if necessary.
  4. Cover the pan; simmer the pelau for 25 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is cooked. Spoon into a serving bowl and stir in a little extra butter or margarine. Garnish with scallion strips and serve.


  1. lovely to see recipes from a collection I contributed to , though not my recipe, being used, many years after the book was written.

    1. Ms. Milton,

      How wonderful that you should take the time to comment here at Orange County Breeze! Thank you!

      I am curious on two points: first, which recipe did you contribute? and, second, do you receive royalties for such contributions?

      Shelley Henderson
      editor, Orange County Breeze

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