Pre-cooked wholewheat grain has been popular in France for some time and is now fast catching on in the UK. Here it is cooked with spices, dried fruits and tender lamb cutlets to make a delicious Middle Eastern-style dish.
Flavoured varieties of pre-cooked wholewheat are available, for example, with sun-dried tomato. This would be delicious used here. * For a lamb pilaf with dates, cut 225 g (8 oz) lean boneless lamb (leg, shoulder or neck fillet) into small cubes. Heat 1 tbsp sunflower oil in a large frying pan, add the lamb and brown all over. Add 1 chopped onion and 2 tsp finely chopped fresh root ginger and cook for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add 1 can chopped tomatoes, about 400 g, with the juice, 450 ml (15 fl oz) lamb or chicken stock, 1 tsp each ground cumin and ground coriander, and seasoning to taste. Bring to the boil, then cover and cook gently for 15 minutes. Stir in 225 g (8 oz) basmati rice, a further 300 ml (10 fl oz) hot stock and 225 g (8 oz) stoned whole dates. Cover and cook for 10–15 minutes or until the rice is tender. Scatter over a generous handful of chopped fresh coriander and serve.
Lamb tends to be a fatty meat, but changes in breeding, feeding and butchery techniques have reduced the fat content considerably. Today, lean cuts contain about one-third of the fat that was found in lamb 20 years ago. * Prunes contain useful amounts of potassium, iron and vitamin B6. They are also a good source of dietary fibre.
copper * B1, C, niacin, iron, potassium * B2, B6, calcium