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Shahi Moti Pilaf

Fatima Sadal - Chef on Rhine
A delectable Basmati rice pilaf with soft, pan-fried meatballs decorated with edible silver and colorful garnishes.
Servings 6



  • 500 g beef /mutton mince
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 green chili minced
  • 1 medium onion minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1/3 cup oil for frying


  • 1/2 kg soup bones
  • 1 medium onion halved
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp ginger slices
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 3 black cardamoms
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 tsp black pepper corns
  • 2 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1500 ml water


  • 600 g basmati rice washed and soaked in cold water for 30 min
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper


  • caramalized carrots optional
  • edible silver leaves
  • dried bright green herbs e.g. parsley
  • sesame seeds
  • dried red berries optional


Prepare the Stock:

  • Take all ingredients listed under `stock` and allow to boil on medium heat until nearly 1 litre liquid is left. Discard the bones and other stuff and keep the stock.

Prepare the Meatballs:

  • In a small food processor, mince onion, green chili, ginger and garlic.
  • Add in to the minced meat.
  • Add the spices, breadcrumbs and milk.
  • Combine everything thoroughly.
  • Make 30 small balls. Dip your hands in water to avoid stickiness and make sure there are no cracks and the meatballs have a smooth surface.
  • Take oil in a non stick frying pan.
  • Fry the meatballs on medium heat. Don't brown! And don't overcook!
  • Take out half of the meatballs in a plate and keep the rest in the frying pan along with the oil.

Cook Rice:

  • Take oil in a big, wide bottomed cooking pot.
  • Fry onions in it until light golden.
  • Add cumin seeds and garam masala.
  • Add in one litre stock and bring to a boil.
  • Carefully add the soaked rice, crushed black pepper and the meatballs from the pan.
  • Also add the entire fat in which the meatballs were prepared.
  • Bring to a boil, adjust the salt and then reduce the heat to medium.
  • Cook until most water has evaporated and rice is 95 % cooked.
  • Cover the pan tightly and allow the rice to steam for another 15 min.

Decorate the Pearls:

  • Carefully roll some meatballs in edible silver leaves.
  • Coat a few with dried parsley, sesame seeds, dried rose petals etc.
  • Dish out the rice in a serving platter and place the colorful pearls on top.