Lamb Biryani

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  • 800g lamb shoulder, cut into small cubes
  • 450g Basmati rice
  • 4 onions finely, sliced
  • 1 inch piece ginger, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 green chillies, chopped
  • 300g natural yoghurt
  • 3 tsps garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 10 green cardamom
  • 5 brown cardamom
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 10 cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons of milk soaked with a pinch of saffron
  • A handful of chopped mint and coriander leaves
  • 1 Tblspn ghee
  • 50ml lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of red chilli powder
  • 100g peas
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • toasted flakes almonds and cashews to garnish
  • fried curry leaves to garnish


Heat a pan with 750ml water and add green cardamom, brown cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, fennel seeds, bay leaves and bring to the boil then turn off the heat and allow to steep. Strain. Combine ginger, garlic, garam masala, chilli powder, turmeric, chilli and fresh herbs in a bowl, add a little oil and the lamb. Allow to marinate several hours or overnight. Wash the rice in cold water until it runs clear. Heat a little oil and ghee in a pan and add the onions and fry until golden. Remove from the pan. Add the lamb to the pan and cook until browned. Add yoghurt and half the browned onions, lemon juice and simmer until tender. In another pan heat a little ghee and fry the rice. Add half of the strained spice stock and cover for a few minutes until absorbed. In a heavy based pan layer 1/3 of the rice then half of the lamb and sprinkle over half the peas and more chopped herbs, repeat and top with rice. Pour over the remaining spice stock, sprinkle over the saffron milk and seal the pan tightly with a lid. Put the pot on high heat then place in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Serve in a large bowl and sprinkle over fried onions, fried curry leaves and toasted almond flakes and toasted cashews.          

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