Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. Biryani is an Indian dish prepared for special occasions. Usually cooked with meat, chicken or fish but can also be vegetarian.

  2. 1 1/2kg boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2cm cubes

  3. 5cm piece (25g) fresh ginger, grated finely

  4. 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  5. 2 small fresh red chillies, chopped finely

  6. 3 teaspoons garam masala

  7. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

  8. large pinch ground turmeric

  9. teaspoon ground chilli powder

  10. 1 teaspoon salt

  11. 1 cup (280g) thick yogurt

  12. 80g ghee (clarified butter) or butter

  13. 1 cup (140g) flaked almonds

  14. cup (55g) sultanas

  15. 3 large (600g) brown onions, sliced thickly

  16. 1 cup (250ml) water

  17. salt and freshly ground black pepper

  18. 500g basmati rice, washed, drained

  19. large pinch saffron threads

  20. 2 tablespoons hot milk

  21. fresh coriander leaves, for serving

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Combine lamb, ginger, garlic, chillies, garam masala, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and yogurt in a medium bowl; cover and refrigerate overnight.

  2. Heat half the ghee in a large heavy-based saucepan; fry almonds and sultanas until browned lightly, remove from pan with a slotted spoon.

  3. Heat remaining ghee in same pan; add onion, cook, covered, over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until onion is soft. Remove lid, cook for a further 5 minutes or until onions are lightly browned. Remove half the onion mixture from the pan.

  4. Add the lamb mixture to onion in pan, cook, stirring, until lamb is browned lightly. Add water, bring to the boil then simmer, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Remove lid, simmer, uncovered, for a further 30 minutes or until the lamb is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  5. Meanwhile, cook the rice in boiling salted water for about 5 minutes or until half-cooked; drain.

  6. Combine the saffron and milk in a small bowl, stand for 15 minutes.

  7. Preheat the oven to moderate (180'C/160'C fan-forced). Spread half the lamb mixture into a greased ovenproof dish (3.5 litre/14cup capacity), top with half the rice, then remaining lamb and rice. Drizzle saffron and milk mixture over the rice; cover tightly with greased foil and lid. Bake in a moderate oven for about 40 minutes or until rice is tender.

  8. Serve biryani topped with reheated reserved onions, almond mixture and extra coriander leaves.

  9. suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave.

  10. Cook's note: If you are unable to find garam masala, grind together 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon caraway seeds, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ⅜ teaspoon black peppercorns, ⅜ teaspoon cloves and ⅜ teaspoon cardamom seeds.

  11. Wine match: The sweet flavours of the lamb, the spicing and texture of this dish cry out for a shiraz.

  12. Photography: Brett Stevens. Styling: Yael Grinham.


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