Lamb biryani

Lamb biryani

Posh Rice
120 mins

This may be time-consuming, but it’s well worth the effort. With its layers of fragrant rice, golden onions and succulent spiced lamb, you’ll make it again and again.


Quantity Ingredient
750g lamb shoulder, cut into chunks
200g greek-style yoghurt
100g tikka masala curry paste
75g ghee
2 large onions, finely sliced
50g ginger, peeled and grated
50g garlic cloves, crushed
6 cardamom pods, seeds crushed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cloves
3 bay leaves
350g basmati rice
1/2 teaspoon saffron, soaked in 100ml boiling water
2 tablespoons chopped coriander, plus extra to serve
2 tablespoons chopped mint, plus extra to serve
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons flaked almonds, toasted (optional)


  1. In a bowl, combine the lamb, yoghurt, curry paste and some seasoning, then cover. Chill for 2 hours.
  2. Heat 50g of the ghee over a medium–high heat in a large casserole dish. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and fry for 10 minutes until crisp and brown. Remove using a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Whiz the ginger, garlic and 2 tbsp cold water to a paste. Add the oil to the casserole dish and fry for 1 minute, then add the spices and bay leaves. Add the meat and marinade, reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Pour over 250ml boiling water, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the meat is tender. Remove the lid and cook for a further 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the rice and cook for 8 minutes, then drain.
  5. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Heat the remaining ghee in a large lidded pan, sprinkle over some of the rice and spread out. Top with half the lamb, half the remaining rice, half the saffron, water, half the onions, all the chopped herbs and some salt. Top with the remaining lamb, rice, saffron and onions. Cover with parchment paper and the lid, and bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes until the rice is cooked. Scatter with the herbs and almonds.
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