Indian Lamb Biryani


  • 1/3 cup grated unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp saffron, crushed
  • 1 cup hot chicken stock
  • 10 tbs butter
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp crushed cardamom seed
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs boneless lamb, all fat removed, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins
  • 1/2 cup blanched cashews

A biryani is the Indian equivalent of our casserole, in which several foods are cooked together to make a one dish meal. This has a lot of ingredients, but the end result is well worth it.

  • Soak the coconut in milk for 1 hour. Strain milk through a fine strainer and set aside. Discard the coconut.
  • Soak the saffron in hot stock for 1 hour, then set aside.
  • In a large pot heat 6 tbs of butter, add 2 of the chopped onions, 2 tsp salt, cumin, ginger, turmeric, coriander, cloves, cardamom, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes and 1 tsp black pepper.
  • Saute for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  • Add rice and saute for 5 minutes more, stirring to combine.
  • Add boiling water, stir, cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered.
  • In a large frying pan heat 4 more tbs of butter, add 1 chopped onion, garlic, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Saute for 5 minutes.
  • Turn up heat to medium, add lamb cubes, and brown quickly on all sides.
  • Add the yogurt and lime juice and stir to blend.
  • To assemble, spread 1/3 of the rice mixture on the bottom of a oven proof casserole.
  • Spread 1/2 of the lamb mixture on top of the rice, then sprinkle with 1/2 of the raisins and 1/2 ov the nuts.
  • Add another 1/3 of the rice, then cover with the remaining meat, then add remaining raisins and nuts and top with remaining rice.
  • Pour coconut milk and saffron stock mixture into the casserole.
  • Cover and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 1 hour.

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