Makes 8 servings Biryani is a signature rice dish in Indian cuisine known especially for its scrumptious, colorful presentation. Made with basmati rice, it can be created with lamb, chicken, beef, or vegetables and features generous amounts of sweet spices, as well as nuts and raisins. In this recipe, it’s best to marinate the lamb…
Makes 8 servings Biryani is a signature rice dish in Indian cuisine known especially for its scrumptious, colorful presentation. Made with basmati rice, it can be created with lamb, chicken, beef, or vegetables and features generous amounts of sweet spices, as well as nuts and raisins. In this recipe, it’s best to marinate the lamb in the turmeric-spiced yogurt overnight.
- 2 lb 4 ounces lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 head garlic, cloves peeled
- 4 green chiles, like Thai chiles
- One 2-inch piece ginger
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 cloves
- 4 cardamom pods
- 1/2 teaspoon anise seed
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 10 almonds
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
- 10 cashews
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon sultanas
- 2 cups sliced red onions
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 cup chopped plum tomatoes
- 2 lb 4 oz cooked basmati rice
- 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
- In a covered container or zip-top bag, combine the lamb, yogurt, and turmeric. Turn to coat and refrigerate overnight.
- Meanwhile, grind the garlic, chiles, ginger, cilantro, and mint in a blender or food processor until the mixture forms a paste, about 2 minutes, scraping the sides. Set aside in a bowl.
- To the same blender, grind the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, anise, nutmeg, poppy seeds, and almonds in the blender or spice grinder until the mixture forms a paste, about 30 seconds. Add the milk and blend just to combine. Refrigerate until needed.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook the cashews for 30 seconds and then add the golden raisins and sultanas and cook until the nuts are toasted and the raisins puff up slightly, about 1 minute. Drain the mixture on a paper towel and set aside.
- In a heavy saucepan, heat the remaining vegetable oil over high heat. Add the sliced red onions and season with about 1 teaspoon salt. Cook the onions until golden brown, about 6 minutes.
- Add the garlic-herb paste and cook for 2 minutes or until it looks wilted. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the marinated meat and the remaining salt and mix well. Cover and cook until tender, about 1 hour.
- Add the spice-milk mixture. Mix well, bring to a simmer, and remove from the heat.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In an ovenproof dish, layer half of the meat mixture (about 3 cups), half of the cooked basmati rice (3 cups), the remaining meat mixture, and then the remaining rice. Dot with ghee or butter.
- Cover tightly and bake until the mixture is heated through and the flavors have combined, about 30 minutes. Garnish with the red onion, cashews and raisins, and serve immediately.
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