Lamb Biryani

Ever since seeing the recipe for Lamb Biryani in this months Delicious I couldn’t wait to give it a go. I’m a fan of Indian food, but struggle to find recipes that make dishes as good as the local Balti house.

The original recipe is for 6 so I had to tweak it slightly. The recipe also calls for ghee (clarified butter), I didn’t really want to buy ghee from the supermarket as I can’t see me using the rest of it so I made my own. I also don’t own a casserole dish with a lid that is hob safe do had to dramatically alter the times to take this into account (the times here are the times I used).

We had it with naan bread and some riata I made. I was nice and certainly smelt of a biryani, but I felt it needed more of a spicy kick. Next time I’ll make a basic vegetable curry to accompany it. It would have looked far more photogenic if I had remembered to buy fresh coriander!

Lamb Biryani
Serves 2 with leftovers

Marinade (prepare the night before)
125ml natural yogurt
400g lamb leg steak, cut into bite sized pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small green chilli, sliced
1 inch ginger, grated
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin

1) Mix all the marinade ingredients together, ensure lamb is thoroughly coated. Cover, chill and marinade overnight.

2) Next day, remove from the fridge and allow to get to room temperature.

50ml milk
1/2 tsp saffron
40g ghee (if you are making your own, 50g unsalted butter will make enough ghee for this recipe)
1 large onion, finely sliced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
180g basmati rice, rinsed and soaked for 30 min in cold water
6 cardamom pods
1/2 cinnamon stick

1) Preheat oven to 180oc. Heat milk and stir in saffron, put to one side. Heat all but 1 tbsp of ghee in pan. Gently fry onions for 15 min. Stir in cumin and coriander for the final minute.

2) Boil rice, cardamom and cinnamon in pan of water for 2 min, then drain. Stir in onions.

3) Melt remaining ghee and pour onto the bottom of your casserole dish. Spread a small amount of rice at the bottom of the dish. Pour over with half of the lamb and marinade, top again with half of the rice. Cover with the remaining lamb and finally the last of the rice (think, layering up a lasagna!). Drizzle the saffron milk over the rice.

4) Tightly cover with foil, then place the lid on top. Bake for 45-55 minutes until rice and lamb are tender.

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