Thursday, January 26, 2006

Lamb Byriani

originally uploaded by mook elliott.

Inspired by the New York Times article I chose to honour my entirely non-existant connection with Central Asia by making Byriani. What's more I went looking for Hyberdadi recipies and ended up making my own version. The Central Asian versions just seemed a bit bland. The picture shows the Byriani with yogurt, fried onions, and coriander.

3 Tbsp ghee or oil
1 cinnamon stick, about 4-5 inches
4 green cardamom
4 cloves
1 tsp cumin
2 medium onions sliced
2 blades of mace
3 kg’s lamb leg bone in, cut into chunks about the size of dice, get the butcher to do this
1 “ piece of ginger, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 cup whole milk yogurt
2 cups water
3 cups cubed butternut squash or pumpkin

Heat the ghee in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the spiced until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onions and fry until dark brown. Add the lamb and salt and cook until the meat has turned colour. Add the yogurt and water and bring to a boil then cover and simmer until the lamb is tender but not falling apart, adding liquid as necessary, about 45 minutes to 1hr 15 minutes, depending on the meat and the size of it’s cut.
Uncover, add the squash and cook vigorously until the sauce is thick and clings to the meat. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3 Tbsp ghee or oil
1 cinnamon stick, same as above
4 green cardamom
4 cloves
1/2 tsp fennel
2 blades mace
2 medium onions sliced
2 cups basmati
1 cup of raisins (or more)
1 cup almonds roughly chopped (or more)
1 tsp saffron + 1 cup hot water
2-3 cups water

In a large pot with a snug fitting lid (a dutch oven would be perfect) heat the ghee on medium and fry the spices for a few seconds until fragrant. Add the onions and cook until dark golden and soft. In the meantime, grind the saffron and soak in hot water for 10 minutes.
Add the rice to the pot and fry, stirring gently until it is well coated with oil. You could even let it brown a bit. Add the raisins, almonds, saffron, and water, along with the lamb. The liquids should cover the rice but not drown it. Season with some salt and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and either put in a 350 F oven for 45 min or cook on very low heat for about 30 minutes. In either case, let the byriani rest for a good 15 minutes, covered, off the heat before serving. It’s also a good idea to check the rice about 3/4 of the way through cooking to make that the rice is cooked.

Serve with yogurt and fresh coriander and fried onions made by frying one large sliced onion in 1 cup oil on low heat, stirring occasionally for about 30-45 minutes, then drain.

I added 1 dried rose bud to the rice before cooking, don’t ask me why but I did. You could add some rose water or maybe orange flour water if you like that kind of thing


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