Lamb Biryani


  • 3 cups basmati rice
  • 4 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 4 black cardamom pods
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic puree
  • 1 tablespoon ginger puree
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 450g lamb shoulder, small chunks
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 green chillies, halved lengthways
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons natural yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons warm milk


  1. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan over medium hear; fry the cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks in the hot oil until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onions; cook and stir until the onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir the garlic puree and ginger puree into the onion mixture; cook until the garlic and ginger is fragrant, about 1 minute more. Sprinkle the coriander and mint over the mixture and cook 1 minute more.
  2. Add the lamb to the frying pan; season with salt. Cook and stir the lamb until the meat begins to brown, about 20 minutes.
  3. Stir the tomatoes, green chillies and cayenne pepper into the mixture; continue cooking until the oil begins to separate from the gravy, about 10 minutes. Add the yogurt and lemon juice; cover and cook until the lamb is tender, about 15 minutes. Add water as needed to keep the mixture from getting too dry.
  4. Bring the rice, water and 1 teaspoon salt to the boil in a saucepan until the rice is still a little chewy, 10 to 15 minutes; drain any excess water.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small frying pan; fry the sliced onion in the hot oil until lightly browned.
  6. Layer about half the rice in the bottom of a deep pot with a lid. Spoon the lamb masala over the rice. Spread the fried onion over the lamb masala. Top with the remaining rice. Stir the saffron and warm milk together in a small bowl; pour over the top layer of rice. Cover the pot with the lid and place the pot over low heat; cook until the rice is thoroughly cooked, about 15 minutes.

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