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Lamb biryani

I am sure this would be more delicious if using fresh, succulent raw lamb to start with. I usually cook this with meat left over from a Sunday roast.  

For the lamb:
  • vegetable oil
  • half large onion, cut small
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced finely
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • left over lamb, cut off the bone and into chunks
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
For the rice:
  • vegetable oil
  • other half of large onion, cut small
  • couple of cardamon pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • a few whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • rice - enough for every one's appetites
  1. First of all prepare the lamb part of the dish.  Gently fry the onion in a little vegetable oil until golden.  Add the garlic, cumin, coriander and ginger and stir well until it forms a little paste.  Add the chunks of lamb and stir to coat well. Cook well, adding the tiniest splash of water to it if necessary. If your lamb was not over cooked in the first place and was of good quality, there will probably enough juices.  Turn the temperature down and keep warm.  
  2. Now turn your energies to the rice. Fry the other half of the onion in a little more vegetable oil until golden and sweet.  Add the cardamon pods, cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves and bay.  Stir well.
  3. Add the rice, stir well so it is coated.  
  4. Add just enough water to cover, and simmer at a very low temperature, keeping a good eye on it not to burn or dry out. The key thing is for the rice to cook, but not to burn or get soggy.  Keep the temperature low, the amount of water to the minimum and a keen eye open.  The water should be soaked up by the rice, and if necessary add a little more water, but the aim is not to drain the rice at the end.
  5. Just before the rice is cooked, add the yoghurt to the lamb mixture and warm through.  
  6. Arrange very thin layers of rice and lamb and serve with a range of chutneys and a fresh chilli for the brave hearted. Remove the cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves and bay before serving if you don't trust your diners to do so for themselves.