Heaps of chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) lend a gorgeous, herbal fragrance and flavor to this meaty pilaf. Called bakhsh, it is one of the centerpieces of the Bukharian Shabbat table, and pairs beautifully with ground lamb Lyulya Kebabs. Make sure to start with well-soaked basmati rice, which can hold up to the extended cooking time without getting too soft.
Adapted from The Jewish Cookbook (Phaidon)
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 2½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 2½ cups (500 g) basmati rice, soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained
- ½ cup (120 ml/4 fl oz) plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 lb (455 g) boneless lamb or beef shoulder, cut into ¼-inch (6 mm) pieces
- 2 bunches cilantro (coriander), very finely chopped (stems included)
- 2 bunches scallions (spring onions), thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Fill a large Dutch oven (casserole) or other ovenproof pot with water and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until just past halfway tender, 5–7 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.
2. Preheat the oven to 375°F (°190C/Gas Mark 5). Grease the Dutch oven with 1 tablespoon oil. Return the drained rice to the Dutch oven along with the lamb, cilantro (coriander), and scallions (spring onions). In a medium bowl, whisk together ⅓ cup (75 ml/2½ fl oz) water, the ½ cup (120 ml/4 fl oz) oil, salt, and pepper, then pour over the rice mixure and mix thoroughly. Cover the Dutch oven and bake until the rice is fully tender and the meat is cooked, about 1 hour.
3. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before uncovering. Serve hot.