This Indian Recipe Serves 4-6
This Lamb Biryani recipe is inspired by my mum. It is a typical South African style biryani with infused flavours.
Biryani otherwise called biriyani or biriani, is a blended rice dish with its origins among the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. It is mainstream all through the subcontinent & among the diaspora from the area. It is made with flavors, rice, meat &/or vegetables.
This meal can be prepared using long grain basmati rice or parboiled rice.
South Africans usually prepare biryanis’ with parboiled rice.
“Biryani” is a Urdu word got from the Persian dialect, which was utilized as an official dialect as a part of various parts of medieval India, by different Islamic administrations.
Lamb Biryani Ingredients:
- ½ kg lamb or mutton
- 2 onions
- 2 teaspoons ginger & garlic paste
- 2-3 potatoes
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tomatoes
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 star aniseeds
- cooking oil
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 1 teaspoon jeera (cumin) powder
- 2 teaspoons dhania (coriander) powder
- 1 teaspoon jeera (cumin) seeds
- 1 teaspoon soomph (fennel) seeds
- 4 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon elachi (cardamom) powder
- 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- ½ cup sourmilk (maas)
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 cup biryani dhall (masoor)
- yellow food coloring (egg yellow)
- 2 ½ cups rice
- 1 cup chopped mint
- 1 cup chopped dhania (coriander)
- few dollops of butter
- Make sure the meat is defrosted.
- Cut into chunks, rinse & place into a bowl.
- To the lamb or mutton, add salt to taste, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, garam masala, dhania (coriander) powder, jeera (cumin) powder, chili powder, elachi (cardamom) powder (note, I do not use whole elachi (cardamom) pods as I find the powder to be just as good in flavour & this also prevents biting into the pods whilst eating, however you may use the pods if preferred), ginger & garlic paste, 3 sprigs thyme, fresh mint, fresh dhania (coriander) & sour milk (maas).
- Mix well using your hands.
- Cover & allow the meat to marinate for up to an hour or longer. (It tastes even better if it marinates overnight in the refrigerator).
- Place the biryani dhall (masoor) into a small bowl. Remove any blemishes or stones.
- Rinse a few times.
- Add the biryani dhall (masoor) to a small pot, fill the pot with water & add a teaspoon of oil.
- Bring the biryani dhall (masoor) to a boil on medium heat until soft but not mushy.
- Once the biryani dhall (masoor) is soft, drain the excess water out.
- Empty into a bowl & set aside until ready to use.
- Add the rice to a bowl.
- Rinse the rice until water runs clear.
- Add the rice to a medium pot. Fill the pot with water & place on the stove-top on medium heat.
- Bring the rice to a boil.
- When you notice a lot of starch build-up (white foam) on the rice, empty out the water, give the rice a quick rinse & fill with more water. This step can be skipped, if you prefer a more sticky, starchier rice. I tend to rinse mine as I do not like it too starchy.
- Place the pot back onto the heat & add in 2 bay leaves, 1 star aniseed, ½ cinnamon stick & salt to taste.
- Add 1 teaspoon turmeric powder.
- Mix & boil until soft.
- Once the rice is cooked, drain in a colander & set aside.
- Peel both onions. Chop 1 onion & cut the other onion into rings.
- Peel & cut potatoes into quarters.
- Place the potatoes into a microwave safe bowl & steam for 4 minutes.
- Once the potatoes have steamed, add in ¼ teaspoon yellow food colouring (egg yellow).
- Place the potatoes into a pot of hot shallow oil.
- Fry the potatoes until soft & golden.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, remove from heat & set aside.
- In the same oil that the potatoes were frying in, add in the onion rings.
- Fry the onions until golden.
- Remove onions from heat & set aside.
- Blend or grate tomatoes & set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot. Add in the chopped onion, ½ cinnamon stick, 1 star aniseed, jeera (cumin) seeds, soomph (fennel) seeds, 2 bay leaves, curry leaves & 3 sprigs thyme.
- Mix & simmer until onions are translucent.
- Thereafter, add in the marinated lamb or mutton.
- Mix well & allow the meat to cook for 10 minutes so that it seals in the spices.
- After 10 minutes, add in the blended or grated tomatoes & salt to taste.
- Mix well & allow to cook for 30 minutes until the meat is cooked throughout. Add water if necessary.
- Once the meat is cooked, turn off the heat..
- Add the rice from the colander into a bowl.
- Add in a few drops of yellow food colouring (egg yellow) & mix well.
- Next, add the cooked biryani dhall (masoor) to the rice.
- Mix well.
- Add a little of the rice to the meat & mix.
- Continue this process until you have a little of the rice left behind.
- The extra rice will be used in the end, so keep about a cup of the cooked rice aside.
- Tuck the fried potatoes into the meat/rice mixture.
- Spread over the extra rice that was left aside.
- Spread the fried onions over.
- Garnish with dhania (coriander).
- Add a few dollops of butter here & there.
- Cover with the lid & steam in the oven for 20 minutes at 180° Celsius.
- Plate & serve.
- Serve this Lamb Biryani with pea dhall, curried dhall, carrot salad, carrot sour milk salad or pickles.
- This Lamb Biryani stores in the refrigerator for up to a week.