4 portions.  Maximum cost: £15.35, less if using leftover lamb, 

Skill level: Easy, 

Total cooking time: 25 minutes, 

  • Prep time: 10 minutes,  
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes,  

Equipment used: 1 large cooking pot, pestle and mortar, 

Original recipe: BBC Good Food’s Turkish lamb pilau


Having cooked a 2kg shoulder of lamb on Sunday, I wanted an arsenal of recipes to hand to handle the leftovers.  BBC Good Food has a article on hand for this purpose and I found this and the lamb & goats cheese salad recipes both extremely easy to follow.

The original recipe was tasty enough, but didn’t contain the additional spices listed below, in this case, the more the merrier. 


To prep:

1: Dry-fry the pine nuts or almonds in a large pan until lightly toasted, then tip onto a plate – watch these carefully as these can go from non-toasted to burnt very quickly.  You can re-use the pan in a moment.  

2: Slice 1 onion 

3: Measure out 250g basmati rice and the following spices;  2 sticks of cinnamon, 1 tsp of coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp of cumin and 1/2 tsp of turmeric. Grind the spices in a pestle and mortar. 


To cook:

Add the oil to the pan, then fry 1 chopped onion and 2 sticks cinnamon together until starting to turn golden. The original recipe says to snap the cinnamon sticks in half, but be aware of splinters if you do – you don’t want rogue strands of cinnamon stick in the finished dish. At this point, also add the ground coriander, cumin and turmeric.

Turn up the heat, stir in 500g of lamb neck fillet and fry until the meat changes colour If using leftover meat as I have, keep this until the last stage to stop the meat from drying out.

Tip in 250g basmati rice and cook for 1 min, stirring all the time.

Pour in 500ml boiling water and crumble in the stock cube. If you have lamb stock use 250ml and 250ml of water.

Add 15 apricots, then season to taste. Turn the heat right down, cover and simmer for 12 mins until the rice is tender and the stock has been absorbed. 

To serve, garnish with the toasted almond flakes, mint and coriander and / or pomegranate seeds and a good dollop of yoghurt / soured cream or similar.



All ingredients from Sainsburys, unless otherwise stated

  • leftover lamb (shredded) or 500g lean lamb neck, cubed (approx £5)
  • 15 dried apricots (£3.25 for 500g, 100g used here so 65p)
  • 1 large onion (15p)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half (£1)
  • a handful of mint leaves, chopped finely, (70p for a packet)
  • a handful of coriander, roughly chopped (£1, half used here, 50p)
  • 250ml of lamb stock (£1.50)
  • 250g basmasti rice (£1.50 for 1kg)
  • a small handful of flaked almonds, toasted (£1.25 for a packet)
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin,
  • 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric



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