Lamb biryani

Lamb biryani

By
From
Spice Kitchen
Serves
4
Photographer
Jana Liebenstein

There are many recipes for lamb biryani, India’s favourite lamb and rice dish, served from street cafés, at school fairs and at weddings. This is a really easy recipe that comes from ‘hole-inthe- wall’ restaurants in old Delhi. It all depends on the rich flavour of the lamb stock. This is a perfect example of the fantastic flavour and gelatinous texture that the secondary cuts of lamb can give to a dish. Serve it with Cucumber raita.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
60g Ghee
or 60ml vegetable or canola oil
4 green cardamom pods
6cm cinnamon
4 green chillies, slit to just below the stalk area, top and seeds left intact
500g basmati rice or other long-grain rice, washed and drained
60g plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon Saffron infusion
1/2-1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3-4 drops kewra water, (optional) (see note)
unsalted roasted cashew nuts, to garnish
sultanas, to garnish

Lamb and Stock

Quantity Ingredient
30g Ghee
or 2 tablespoons mustard oil
6 green cardamom pods
4 black cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon whole mace
4cm cinnamon
4 green chillies, slit to just below the stalk area, top and seeds left intact
1 tablespoon Ginger paste
1 tablespoon Garlic paste
1kg lamb on the bone, such as rib chops, shoulder chops, spare ribs and marrow bones, (see Note)
250g plain yoghurt
1/2-1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
Cucumber raita

Method

  1. To prepare the lamb and stock, heat the ghee or mustard oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. If you are using mustard oil, heat it until it is smoking. Add the green and black cardamom pods, mace, cinnamon and chillies and heat until the spices begin to crackle. Stir in the ginger and garlic pastes and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the lamb, yoghurt and salt. Add about 1 litre water and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the meat is tender.
  3. In a separate large heavy-based saucepan, heat the ghee or oil over a medium heat. Add the green cardamom pods, cinnamon, chillies and rice and sauté, stirring continuously, until the ghee or oil coats every grain of rice.
  4. Add the cooked lamb and 750 ml of the cooking stock and stir to mix through. (If the stock has been reduced to less than 750 ml, add enough water to make it up to this quantity).
  5. Stir in the yoghurt, saffron infusion and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to as low as possible, cover and cook for about 20 minutes, or until almost all the stock is absorbed.
  6. Mix together the turmeric and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until dissolved, then carefully pour it in one place on top of the almost-cooked rice, but do not stir. Cover and continue cooking for about 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
  7. If you wish, gently stir the biryani just before serving – this is done to produce the trademark yellow and white grains of a biryani, but you must do it very carefully to avoid breaking up the rice grains.
  8. Sprinkle with the kewra water, if using, garnish with cashew nuts and sultanas and serve.

Note:

  • Kewra water is extracted from the keora flower and is used to flavour rich Mughal curries and rice dishes. It is less concentrated and lighter in flavour than kewra essence. You can purchase it in Asian and Indian grocery stores. You can omit the kewra water if you do not have any, but its inclusion does add something special to the combination of flavours in this dish.

Note:

  • Ask your butcher to cut shoulder chops and marrow bones into 3 cm pieces.
Tags:
restaurant
Indian
India
Asia
Asian
Spice Kitchen
Ragini
Dey
restaurant
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