Ramadan Cooking: Chef Ammar’s Mandy Rice with Lamb Shank
12 Jun 2017

Ramadan Cooking: Chef Ammar’s Mandy Rice with Lamb Shank

12 Jun 2017

Bought a few really nice lamb shanks (and a bunch of other things) from B.I.G. last Friday! They cost a lot more than from the TTDI wet market, but the quality looks top notch.  This weekend was quite busy for me to cook everything I bought, but at least I managed to make this lamb mandy by Chef Ammar.

Chef Ammar has made several iterations of this dish over the years; I even tried out a variation of his recipe a few years back.  This one was from his Ramadan cooking show last year and was a lot easier to follow, with clearer instructions and a more accurate list of ingredients.  I halved the recipe here because there’s only four of us, and modified the recipe a bit to suit my taste.  I also used my Philips HD2139 pressure cooker.

The lamb turned out super tender and flavorful, and the rice was delicious.  I noticed that the 3 lamb shanks fit quite snugly in my electric pressure cooker, so if I want to scale up this recipe for Aidilfitri celebrations, I’ll have to use my larger stovetop one.  In any case, good to know I did them lamb shanks justice!

Chef Ammar’s Mandy Rice with Lamb Shank

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
  • 16 garlic cloves
  • 2 yellow onions, 1 roughly chopped and 1 finely chopped
  • 4 green chillies, roughly chopped
  • 4 bird’s eye chillies (cili padi)
  • 3 tablespoons Mandy spice mix
  • 3 lamb shanks
  • 1 litre (about 4 cups) water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1 1/2 beef stock cubes, diluted in 3 cups water

Directions

Soak half of the saffron threads in 2 tablespoons hot water. Set aside for about 20 minutes.

In a large pot over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of fat.

Add 8 garlic cloves and cook, stirring frequently, until golden in color.

Add the roughly chopped onions and continue cooking, stirring, until onions are soft.

Add half of the green chillies and 2 cili padi and continue cooking, 2 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons Mandy spice mix and cook, stirring, until fragrant.

Add a bit of water to prevent the spices from burning.

Add the lamb shank and cook, stirring, until browned.

Transfer the meat mixture to your pressure cooker pot.

Add 4 cups water, enough to cover the meat mixture.

Add 1 tablepoon salt and the saffron, and stir to combine.

Cover and cook using the Beef/Mutton setting, 45 minutes.

While the lamb is cooking, make the rice.  Soak the remaining saffron threads in 2 tablespoons hot water.  Set aside.

In a large pot or your rice cooker pot, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of fat.

Add the remaining garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden.

Add the finely diced onions and continue cooking, stirring, until onions are soft, about 2 minutes.

Add the remaining green chillies and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.

Add the remaining cili padi and raisins, and stir to combine.

Add 1 tablespoon Mandy spice mix and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add the rice, and gently stir to combine.

And the beef stock and 1 teaspoon salt.  Stir to combine.

Cover and cook undisturbed, until all the liquid has evaporated, 25 to 30 minutes.  If using a rice cooker, transfer the pot to your rice cooker to finish cooking.

Stir the rice gently a few times.  Swirl the saffron water over the rice.

When the lamb is ready, carefully release the pressure using the steam vent.  Remove the lid, and arrange the lamb shanks on top of the rice.  Fashion a small dish using aluminium foil, and place the dish in the pot with the rice and meat.  Add a bit of oil in the dish.

Heat a small piece of charcoal until red-hot, and carefully place into the dish with the oil.  The charcoal will start smoking.  Quickly cover the pot, covering the lid with layers of kitchen towels to ensure that the pot is properly sealed.

Let rest for about 5 minutes.  Serve with Arabic salsa.

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