Gosht ki Biryani- Lamb Biryani cooked in layers with saffron, butter and whole spices

Ingredients

600 gms shoulder of lamb on the bone cut into cubes

1 tsp turmeric powder

3 tbsp Greek yogurt

Pinch of salt

To cook the Lamb;

4 tbsp vegetable oil

1 bay leaf

5 green cardamom pods

4 cloves

3 cm cinnamon stick broken

2 medium onions finely sliced

6 cloves of garlic pounded to a paste

2” peeled ginger pounded to a paste

1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder

1 tsp cumin powder

½ tsp fennel powder

2 tbsp tomato puree

80 mls water

2 tbsp melted butter

Generous pinch of saffron infused in 2 tbsp of warm water

1 tbsp finely chopped mint

1 tbsp finely chopped coriander

Red onion, lemon wedges and mint chutney to serve

For the rice;

500 gms basmati rice washed & drained

2 bay leaves

3 green cardamom pods

1lt water or vegetable stock

Salt to taste

Method: In a mixing bowl add the lamb, turmeric powder, Greek yoghurt and salt. Mix well making sure all the pieces are well coated. Set aside and leave to marinate for 2 hours or overnight. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy based pan and add all the whole spices. As they start to crackle add the chopped onions. Sauté the onions on a medium heat for 10-12 minute until they soften and turn light brown. Add the garlic and ginger paste and fry stirring well for a couple of minutes. Add the powdered spices and cook for a further two minutes. At this stage add the marinated meat stir well making sure to mix the spices with the lamb pieces. Tip in the tomato puree and fry sealing the lamb cubes for a 3-4 minutes. At this stage add the water. bring to a simmer and cover the sauce pan cooking the lamb for 45 minutes. Give it a stir half way through making sure the lamb is tender and the masala thickens. The masala should reduce and coat the lamb pieces. Preheat the oven to 180c. Ten minutes before the lamb is ready bring a large sauce pan with a litre of water to boil. Add the rice, bay leaf, cardamom pods and salt. Bring to a boil and cook the rice for 7-10 mins until three quarters done (the rice grain if broken should have a slight bite to it) Drain the rice and set aside. Brush the base of a deep casserole with melted butter. Cover the base with a layer of rice about a third followed by a third of the lamb along with its sauce followed by another layer of rice and a teaspoon of the saffron water. Repeat each layer finishing off with a layer of rice and a drizzle of saffron water, chopped mint and leftover melted butter. Cover the dish with grease proof paper and a tight fitting lid. Place the dish in the oven for a final cooking time of 25 minutes. Once done, fork the rice gently, garnish with coriander and serve warm with onion rings, mint chutney and lemon wedges.

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