Peas Pilau with Spiced Beef Koftas and Mint Yoghurt

Whenever we order rice as part of an Indian takeaway my hubbie and I get ‘peas pilau’, largely as he is rather obsessed with peas! It’s a lovely side dish which is a bit more interesting than just plain rice and so this week, when I fancied an Indian style dish, I thought I would try and recreate this rice at home. I had some lean mince in the freezer so I paired some spiced beef kofta’s with the rice and served with the mint yoghurt from my Tandoori Salmon recipe.

I use metal skewers to make the koftas as once the metal heats up, it helps to cook the kebab from the inside. They are also reusable. I find the wooden skewers burn easily (even if they are well soaked) and I begrudge throwing them away after one use.

This is a great recipe for making leftovers for lunch the next day, just make sure the meat and rice are piping hot before serving. For lunch I served half a portion of the rice with 1 kofta, a little of the dip and one of the mini WW garlic and coriander naans which are 3sp each.

Salmon Alternative!

If you don’t fancy beef or would like something a little quicker than koftas, you can also make this recipe with salmon which I make regularly. I just sprinkle the salmon fillets with a little pilau seasoning, salt and pepper and then fry in 1kal until almost cooked. Just before the end I add 2 tsp of light lurpack to the pan with 1/2 tsp tumeric, let this melt and spoon it across the salmon. Once cooked and coated in the tumeric butter, finish with a squeeze of lemon. This will be 1sp per fillet (rathan than the 3sp for the kebabs).

Peas Pilau with Spiced Beef Koftas and Mint Yoghurt

Serves 4 = 9sp per serving on all plans

For the kebabs

Makes 8 kebabs = 3sp per two kebabs on all plans

500g lean beef mince, raw

1 white onion, peeled and grated

3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped

Thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated (or 1 tsp of easy ginger paste)

½ tsp each ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, paprika

¼ tsp each cayenne pepper, salt and sugar

Handful of fresh coriander, very finely chopped

For the peas pilau

Makes 4 portions = 6sp per portion on all plans

200g basmati rice, dried

1 tsp salt

1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled

100g frozen peas

2 1/2  tsp pilau seasoning (I’ve used Bart’s and Swartz, both are lovely)

1 red onion, peeled and finely diced

1 pepper, deseeded and finely diced

3 large tomatoes, diced into 1cm chunks

1 red chilli (if you like spice), finely chopped

Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped

1 tbsp light butter

1tsp turmeric

1 lemon

For the spiced mint yoghurt

0sp on all plans

½ bunch each fresh coriander and fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped

3 green chillies (deseeded if you don’t like things too hot), roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

½ tsp sugar

Juice of ½ lemon

200ml fat free Greek style yoghurt


Preheat the oven to 180c.

To make the koftas, pop all the ingredients in a bowl, squish together and taking an eighth of the mixture at a time, mould around a metal skewer until you have 8 long sausage shapes. Line a baking tray with tin foil and arrange the koftas. Pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes (until cooked through), turning halfway through cooking.

To make the dip, blitz all the ingredients together and pop into a bowl.

To make the rice, add the onion and pepper to a frying pan, sprinkle with 1 tsp pilau seasoning and spray with 1kal. Fry for 7-8 minutes until the onions are soft (add a splash of water if the pan gets dry) and then add the tomatoes, garlic and chilli and fry for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Meanwhile in a separate pan, pop your rice on to cook in salted boiling water, adding the crumbled stock cube and another tsp of pilau seasoning. When the rice has three minutes left, add the peas to the pan. Once cooked, drain the rice and peas and then add the rice to the frying pan with the vegetables. Pop the frying pan back on a medium-high heat. Make a well in the middle of the rice, add the butter and let it melt, then add the final tsp of turmeric and 1/2 tsp of the pilau seasoning. Once the spices have combined into the butter, stir fry the rice so the butter melts nicely through all the rice. Remove the rice from the heat, toss through the fresh coriander and add the juice of ½ the lemon. Stir and then serve in bowls with the koftas, dip and an extra slice of lemon.




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