Lamb biryani


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Lamb biryani


To begin, melt 30g of ghee in a large flameproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the lamb, season well and brown on all sides before transferring to a plate. Work in batches if necessary so you don’t overcrowd the pan
  • 40g of ghee, or 3 tbsp vegetable or ground nut oil
  • 1kg leg of lamb, (boneless) trimmed, patted dry and cut into 5 cm pieces
Wipe out the casserole with kitchen paper and melt the remaining ghee over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and fry, stirring frequently, for 5–8 minutes until soft and golden but not brown. Stir in the garam masala, cumin seeds and cinnamon stick and continue frying, stirring for 2–3 minutes until you can smell the aromas of the spices
Return the lamb and all its juices to the casserole dish. Add the ginger, garlic, turmeric and chilli powder and stir around for 3 minutes, until aromatic
Add the chicken stock and coriander and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to its lowest setting, cover the casserole dish and leave to simmer for 1 1/2 hours (the lamb should not be completely tender at this point)
Meanwhile, prepare the rice, milk and garnish. Rinse the rice in several changes of cold water until the water is clear, then set the rice aside to soak for 20 minutes in plenty of water to cover
Make the saffron milk by heating the milk until it simmers in a small saucepan. Crumble in the saffron and set aside to steep
To make the dark onion garnish, put the sliced onion in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt and leave to stand for 5 minutes to extract the moisture. Use your hands to squeeze out any moisture
Heat half the oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Add the onion and fry, stirring constantly, for 4–6 minutes until golden brown. Immediately tip out the pan as it will continue to darken as it cools (if you wait until the onion is dark brown before you remove from the pan, it will develop a burnt flavour. Set the onions to one side
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil, or groundnut oil
Wipe out the frying pan with kitchen paper and heat the remaining oil in it. Add the sultanas and fry, stirring for 3–5 minutes until golden. Immediately remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon
  • 100g of sultanas
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil, or groundnut oil
Add the almonds to the fat remaining in the pan and stir around for 2–3 minutes until golden brown, watching carefully because they can burn in seconds
When the rice has finished soaking, drain it well. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the rice and cook for 5 minutes (it will be completely tender at this point). Drain well and set aside
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5
Take the lamb off the heat and stir in the yoghurt, a little at a time, stirring very quickly to prevent it curdling. Adjust the seasoning
Spoon the partially cooked rice over the lamb, mounding it up. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to make a hole in the centre of the rice, moving the spoon around until the hole is about 2.5cm wide
Drizzle the saffron milk over the rice in ‘spokes’ coming from the centre
Cover the dish, bake for 40 minutes then remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes without lifting the lid
Uncover the dish and sprinkle the raisins and almonds over the top. Add the browned onions and sprinkle with fresh coriander
Serve straight out of the dish, giving the biryani a nice stir to make sure all the elements are muddled together
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