Roast Lamb and Carrot Pilaf

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

I'm hoping to welcome 2021 with a culinary bang and ring in the New Year with a dish fit for a king. If you want to make a statement, then this is for you.

When I finished putting this dish together for the final photo, I was in awe, it was both beautiful to the eye and welcoming to the palate.

A very royal roast leg of lamb, garnished with slivers of pistachios, almonds and crushed rose petals, sitting on a bed of bejewelled carrot and barberry rice, sprinkled with layers of hypnotising spices to lure you in.

The flavours of the barberries and carrot in the spiced rice are a joy and marry well with the lamb, the pistachios give a delightful crunch. The reduced jus has taken all those fantastic flavours from the lamb and spices, adding another sensational dimension to your taste buds.

The constant being the subtle smell and taste of saffron flowing gracefully through.

You can watch my YouTube videos and see how I make the Roast Lamb and Carrot Pilaf and subscribe to my channel L K Bonabi to see more videos as I post them.


2.2kg lamb leg

1 onion (medium size)

1/3 cup oil (for frying the onions)

4 medium carrots

1 cup barberries

1tsp turmeric

1tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cardamom

1/4 tsp saffron

1/4 tsp nutmeg (ground)

For the rice

2 cups rice

2tsp salt

1tbsp oil (for boiling with the rice)

1/4 tsp saffron diluted

1/4 cup oil (for the base of the rice)

Rice spice (Adviyeh berenj)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

1/4 tsp cardamom

pinch of ground black pepper

crushed rose petals

For the garnish

1/4 cup pistachio and almond slivers for decoration

1/4 tsp crushed dry rose petals


Step 1

  • Place the leg of lamb in a roasting dish

  • Finley chop one onion into slivers and add to the lamb

  • Sprinkle the spices on top of the lamb and thoroughly rub them in

  • Add 3 cups of cold water and turn the lamb around so that the water picks up the spices from the lamb

  • Cover the roasting dish with foil and place in the oven at 250 °C Gas Mark 9

  • Allow to roast for 1 hour 30 minutes

  • Remove from the oven and add another 2 cups of water

  • Place back in the oven for another 45 minutes, if the water has reduced too much add one cup of water to the roast and pop back in the over for an additional 5 to 10 mins

Step 2

  • Grate the carrots using a medium grater, not too fine

  • Add 1/4 cup oil to a pan

  • Add the grated carrots and fry gently over medium heat

  • Add the washed barberries (see note), sugar and saffron and fry for another 1 minute

  • Remove from the heat and set aside

Note: You will need to wash the barberries thoroughly several times to remove the grit.

Step 3

  • In a medium to large pot add 5 cups of cold water or enough to be able to boil the rice in

  • Add the rice and oil

  • Par boil the rice for 15 minutes or until the rice is only slightly firm but can easily break in two

  • Drain and set aside

  • Dilute the saffron in 1/2 cup of boiling water and set aside

Step 4

Making the adviyeh (rice spice)

  • Mix the cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, black pepper and crushed rose petals together

  • Set aside

Step 5

  • Add 1/4 cup oil to a medium to large pot

  • Place on low heat

  • Add a layer of rice to the bottom of the pot and spread neatly over the oil

  • Sprinkle some of the adviyeh (Step 4) over this first layer

  • Add a layer of the carrot and barberry mixture

  • Continue doing this until your final layer is rice on top

  • Sprinkle the rest of the diluted saffron on top of the rice

  • Cover the top and allow to gently steam for 30 to 45 minutes

Step 6

  • Remove the rice from the heat and set aside

  • Get a large dish ready to place the rice in

  • Once the rice is on the dish add the roast leg of lamb

  • Pour some of the gravy / reduced stew over the lamb and put the rest aside to serve with the lamb and rice

  • Sprinkle the pistachios, almonds and crushed rose petals over the rice to garnish

Happy eating. Noosh-e-Jaan :)

Roast Lamb and Carrot Pilaf - Havij Polo Ba Raan-e-Goosfand
Roast Lamb and Carrot Pilaf - Havij Polo Ba Raan-e-Goosfand

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