Kabab/Meatball Pilau

Servings : Serves 4-5

Beef kababs/meatballs cooked in pilau rice, with peas and french fries. Goes well with kachumbar and tomato chutney.

Ingredients for Kababs/Meatballs

  • 500 gm beef/steak mince
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 onion
  • 3-4 tbsp coriander, chopped
  • 4 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • half a beaten egg
  • 1 tsp cumin powder

Ingredients for Pilau

  • 2 cups basmati rice, washed 2-3 times then soaked for half an hour
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin/coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground roasted cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup half-boiled peas
  • 1/4 tsp garlic paste
  • chopped coriander
  • water or stock, warm (for every cup of rice, you will need 1 and quarter cups of water)


First prepare the meatballs.

In a processor, first grind the chilli, coriander and onion to a paste without adding any water. Then add the mince and buzz them together until the mince is a smooth paste.

Turn it out into a bowl, then add all the other ingredients and knead together to form a smooth mixture. Make small meatballs out of this mixture (about 20-25) and shallow-fry a few at a time in some oil just for a couple of minutes to help them hold their shape.

Remove and set them aside in a bowl, keep them covered.

Now you can start on the Pilau

Heat the oil and butter, then add the whole spices; cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, cloves.

Once they splutter in the oil, add your chopped onions. Fry them until they are translucent, stirring with a wooden spoon. Then add the turmeric and cumin/coriander powder and the garlic paste plus a bit of chopped coriander. Let these fry for a couple of minutes, then add the meatballs and cook them for a minute in this spice mixture so they absorb extra flavor. Now add the peas.

The aroma should by now be brilliant. Add the stock/soup and some salt. Let the stock simmer and taste for the salt. You should be able to feel the saltiness. If it feels just right, it means you have too little. Remember that the rice will need some salt too, so let the salt be enough that you can taste it to be a bit more than you would want. Not too much of course!

When the water starts boiling, drain your rice (which should have been pre-soaked for about half an hour) and add this rice to the stock. Sprinkle a bit of coriander on this, and stir a little. Let this cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes then reduce the heat to medium and keep cooking it whilst covered until the water diminishes, giving it a stir every now and then to make sure all the rice is cooked evenly and perfectly.

Once you find there is very little water left in the rice, reduce the heat to the lowest point possible. Seal your pan by using a tight lid or wetting a kitchen towel and placing it over the pan then placing a lid on top of it.

Leave the rice to continue steaming on very low heat for a good 10 mins. Switch off, and serve, garnishing with some fries!

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