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Wednesday
Apr272016

Lamb Biryani

A big, hearty, fragrant Indian dish, ready to feed a small dinner party, or great to batch up for left overs - as curries seem to taste even better the following day. Plus it reheats well in the oven. 
Buy the best quality lamb you can as it will taste so amazing for it. 
It does have a long list of ingredients, most of them you should already have especially if interested in Indian cooking already, and the steps are simple - you mainly need some time to marinade the lamb and prep the rice.
This is a famous  Indian recipe, very popular in London and the UK. Typically it is high on the rice ratio so if you are feeding less people, or want to be lower on the carbs, you could reduce the amount of rice and ingredients associated by half and it would still work beautifully.
Recipe provided by Callum Brook.

Pictured: Lamb Biryani

1kg boned leg of lamb cut into 2.5cm inch cubes – ask your butcher to do this
50g clarified butter, or half olive oil half butter
Large pinch of saffron strands
Greek yogurt (to serve)
MARINADE -
2 onions, thinly sliced
6 tbsp light olive oil
1 tsp ginger – pounded to a paste
1 tsp garlic – pounded to a paste
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 small bunch fresh mint, chopped
3 green chillies, cut lengthways in half
¼ nutmeg, grated
Juice of half lemon
1 tbsp salt
1/3 cup/100g Greek yogurt
RICE
400g basmati rice
A spice bag to hold the spices below, or wrap in muslin and tie well -
2 green cardamom pods
2 black cardamom pods (or use 2 extra green)
4 cloves
2 blades of mace – substitute with cinnamon quills
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp salt

Prepare the marinade – have the lamb ready in a large bowl so you can toss the marinade through it all.  Fry the onions in 4 tbsp of the oil, stirring constantly until they are an even golden-brown colour. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper a few minutes. Add them to the lamb with the remaining oil and all the other ingredients for the marinade and mix well. Set aside for 4 hours in the fridge. Or overnight.
Wash the basmati rice in one or two changes of water, then cover with fresh water and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Put 2.5 litres of water in a large pan with the salt, and whole spices that you have wrapped in a spice bag of some sort (so you can remove them easily later). Bring to the boil.  Drain the rice from the soaking water and add to the pan. Cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, until the water has reduced to the level of the rice.
Place the marinated meat in a large heavy-based casserole, with a tight fitting lid. Drain the half-boiled rice and spread it over the meat. 
Warm up the ghee or butter/oil with the saffron and spread it over the rice. 
Cover the casserole with the lid.  Seal the sides with aluminium foil, leaving a small gap for steam to escape. Put the casserole on a high heat for 8-10 minutes. When you see the steam through the gap, reduce the heat to as low as possible and cook the biryani for 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand, undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Then take off the lid.
 
Serve the aromatic biryani immediately with the yogurt.
Serves 6 - 8
Pictured: Lamb Biryani Meal