Lamb Biryani.

Lamb Biryani, or, to give it its proper name of Gosht ki Biryani, is not so much a recipe as a method of cooking, being alternating layers of rice and curry in a pot which is then baked, or tightly sealed and cooked on the stovetop. If the latter, it begins to bear a resemblance to a pilaf that has not been stirred up. There are countless recipes for the curry, and any number of variations on this basic theme, many of them very elaborate and time consuming to prepare. These dishes are superb, of course, and my simple offering is but a shadow of their delectation, but it is much more straightforward to prepare and suits well my humble needs. 

Curry Ingredients.

2 tblsp ground cumin.

1 tblsp ground coriander.

1 tblsp ground fennel.

1 tblsp ground fenugreek.

1 tsp ground nutmeg.

¼ tsp cayenne pepper.

1 tsp salt.

½ cup cooking oil.

5 medium onions, peeled and chopped.

1 kg ripe tomatoes, chopped.

½ cup tomato paste.

2 kg diced lean lamb.


Biryani Ingredients [for 2 servings].

1 cup basmati rice.

1 cup curry, drained.

2 cups curry gravy.

10 mint leaves, chopped.

Squeeze of lemon.

Salt to taste.


Prepare the spice mixture and set aside. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion until well browned. Add the spice mixture, stir through and cook for a further minute until the aromas are released. Add the tomatoes and the tomato paste, stir through and bring the mixture to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then stir in the meat. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook gently for 1-2 hours, depending on the quality of the meat. Stir from time to time.

Spoon the curry into 2 cup size containers for later use, reserving two cups of the gravy separately.

To prepare the Biryani for two, preheat the oven to 180°C. Sprinkle half the rice on the bottom of a small casserole and sprinkle with half the chopped mint. Add a dash of salt. Spoon half the curry onto the rice, sprinkle the rest of the rice onto that, sprinkle with the rest of the mint, add a dash of salt and top with the rest of the curry. Gently pour the reserved gravy on top and add a good squeeze of lemon juice. Cover tightly and bake for 30 minutes. 

Serves: Curry – 10-12. Biryani – 2.

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