Wednesday 29 December 2010

lamb biryani ish!

I got some very nice stewing lamb from the butcher in Waitrose, and so I decided I'd quite like to do something comforting and curryish with it, but rich and tempting after the few days of illness and misery.
I marinated it in yoghurt, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, black pepper & salt, for a few hours.
When the marinating time was up, I finely chopped a large onion, and sliced a coupla cloves of garlic, and shredded up a thumb-tip sized bit of ginger. This usual triumverate of curry base was fried in ghee, in a heavy casserole dish. When they were soft and slightly golden, I added the meat pieces without the marinade, browning it on all sides. Then I did scrape the marinade in also and added a little more salt and cumin and pepper, coarser ground.
Once the meat was nicely browned, I sloshed in a little water, put the lid on and let it simmer on a very low flame. I managed this for an hour, but longer would have been nice, but the meat was tender enough as I'd cut the pieces small. Oh, it's important that there be some bones in the meat or the flavour is not rich enough.
About twenty minutes before we wanted to eat, I added my basmati rice. Then I added a teaspoon of marigold low salt bouillion powder and enough water for it to come to the first joint on my finger when the finger is placed in the pan to gently touch the top of the rice. This is usually just a little more in volume than the rice volume. In this instance I measured 3 measures of rice and 3 and a third measures of water.
This method using the finger joint is foolproof, was taught to me by a half-Sri Lankan friend who was addicted to rice. It is also WAY more comfortable to try if using cold water rather than water straight from the QuickCup or a kettle!
I then brought this to the boil, clamped on the lid, turned it right down, and left it to simmer for 12 or 13 mins. When that timer goes off, I switch off the heat and set the timer for another 5 mins. Only after that second timer do I lift the lid. I gently stir the food, season to taste and serve.
I served this with green beens fried in a karahi with mustard seeds & garlic and a sprinkle of home-made garam masala; and a yoghurt dressing made by dolloping more natural yoghurt into a bowl and stirring in cumin powder and salt and a pinch of sugar (or agave nectar)
Littl'Un loved the rice and yog, and crunched a few beans too.
The whole meal was tempting and fragrant and sour and rich and just what I'd hankered after.

-- I made this! --


  1. i luv the Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani. The taste is amazing and heavenly.

  2. thank you for the recipe link, I was aiming for a simple version as I haven't been well...