A Recipe from Shah Jahan's Kitchen: Amba Pulao

A Recipe from Shah Jahan's Kitchen: Amba Pulao

Amba pulao is a sweet and tangy rice dish, cooked with lamb and mango, a delicacy from Nuskha-i-Shah Jahani, a compendium of recipes from Shah Jahan's kitchen, translated by food scholar Salma Husain.


(Serves: 6-8)

1 kg lamb, cut into pieces
1 kg rice
250 g ghee
250 g onion, sliced
20 g ginger, chopped
20 g coriander seeds, crushed
5 g cloves
1 kg raw mangoes
750 g sugar
2 g cumin seeds
5 g black peppercorns
2 sticks cinnamon
125 g pistachios, fried
125 g almonds, fried
125 g raisins, fried
20 g salt

Make yakhni or broth with the lamb pieces, ghee, onions, ginger, crushed coriander seeds and salt. Strain the stock and set aside the lamb pieces.
Add half the mangoes to the stock, and cook until tender. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Using your hands, squeeze the mangoes to extract thick pulp. Strain and set the mango stock aside.
Make a sugar syrup of stringy consistency.
Cut the remaining mangoes into pieces, boil in water and then add to the sugar syrup, and cook until tender. Then remove from the syrup and set aside. 
Add the syrup to the mango stock, and parboil the rice in it.
In a separate pan, spread the cumin seeds, followed by the lamb pieces. Add the whole spices and 2 tbsp sweet stock; cook on low heat until syrup is absorbed.
Spread the rice over the lamb, pour some ghee and cook on dum. 
While serving, arrange the mango pieces over the pulao, and garnish with the fried dry fruits.