Hyderabadi Lamb Biryani

Ingredients

For the lamb

500g boneless leg of lamb, cut into small cubes
250g Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons ginger, crushed
1 tablespoon garlic, crushed
2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili
1 teaspoon garam masala 
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
Handful each of mint and coriander leaves, finely chopped
Salt

For the rice

300g Basmati rice
2 tablespoon ghee or butter oil 
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black cumin seeds
2 black cardamom pods
2-3 cinnamon sticks
2 red onions, cut in half then thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 1-2 tablespoons warm water for about 15-20 minutes
2 tablespoon Ghee or butter oil
Salt
Handful mint leaves chopped

Method

  1. To marinate the lamb, combine lamb cubes with all the spices, herbs and ginger, garlic and yogurt. Toss well to coat the meat pieces. Refrigerate, covered overnight so that the flavors blend with each other.

  2. Wash and rub the rice well until the water runs clear. Place rice in a bowl and fill with water about halfway up the bowl, set aside for about an hour until the rice soften. Drain well.

  3. In a medium sized saucepan heat the ghee or butter oil, then add the cumin seeds cardamom pods, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. Cook the spices until they begin to sizzle and take on a golden color – about 15 seconds. Add the onion slices and stir-fry for 3 to 5 minutes until they are fragrant and turn light brown.

  4. Stir in the saffron and water and allow to gently simmer for 3-4 seconds, then add rice. Toss to coat the rice with the saffron and onions.

  5. Pour about 230 ml water, season with salt. Stir the rice to incorporate the ingredients, then bring to a boil. Cook for approx. 5 minutes until the water had been soaked up. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

  6. Heat the oven to 170 degrees C. Prepare a large casserole dish by lightly brushing the inside with some ghee or butter oil.

  7. Spread the lamb, together with the marinade over the bottom of the casserole dish. Drizzle the remaining ghee over the meat, then add the rice, spreading it evenly over the lamb. Cover casserole and bake for an hour or until the rice is cooked and the lamb is succulent and tender.

  8. Serve in the casserole topped with chopped mint leaves.
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