Words fall short to express my love for biryani. Chicken and veggie version are fine but lamb biryani is an out of the world experience. Every time I make biryani it turns out to be better than the last and process of perfecting never ends. Here is recipe for one that I made today. It’s little longer than usual but worth it. It’s the best thing to cook when you have guests over and want to show off your cooking skills.
This time I chose to make it with leg of lamb, which I think is gummier than rest of the lamb pieces. Yet turned out to be a great biryani. Guess Indian spices took the gumminess out.
Also I use basic spices instead of ready powders from stores, only to keep it gluten free.
For this Biryani you will need:
- 2 pound leg of lamb, skinned and chopped into large pieces.
- 1 1/2 cup rice, uncooked and preferably basmati
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 spoon flat salt
- 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1/2″ ginger, crushed
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 1/2 spoon turmeric
- 1/2 spoon cayenne pepper powder
- 3 cardamoms
- 4 cloves
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2″ cinnamon stick
- 1/2 spoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup roasted almods
- few saffron strings
- Heat oil in a pan. Add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves. Keep turning for a while.
- Once they start browning, add garlic, ginger and onion. Keep turning and scrapping off the bottom till onion is transparent.
- Add turmeric and cayenne. Turn it briefly.
- Take the mixture off and let it cool or add 1/4 cup of water. Make a paste in grinder or even magic bullet is fine. Just see to it that it has enough water to make a paste.
- Mix this paste with yogurt and salt to form smooth consistency.
- Marinade lamb in the paste for 6 to 12 hours in refrigerator. Preferably in non metal container. Large ziplock bags work really well, as they allow you to coat the meat perfectly with marinade.
- Place the lamb along with marinade in the slow cooker on 4 hour setting.
- When the lamb is done take it out of slow cooker, separate the pieces and sauce.
- Reduce the sauce on simmer to half. You may have to keep scrapping the bottom occasionally.
- Cook rice as usual with some salt, you may add some butter or ghee to it while cooking. Alternatively you may cook rice with 3 times the water as against usual two times. When it is almost cooked, drain the water and add butter/ghee. This alternative method will give you real biryani rice where each grain is separate and rice is absolutely non sticky.
- Once the sauce is reduced to half, add lamb in it and let it reduce further. Keep scrapping at the bottom, till sauce is just a coating around the lamb. At this point you may add a spoon full of ready garam masala, if lamb still smells gummy.
- Cover the lamb with layer of rice. Finish it with almonds and crushed saffron strands. Cover and simmer it for a few minutes, just enough for smells to mix.
- And your best Biryani is ready!
- You can very well cook rice and sauce separately in advance and mix it 1/2 an hour before serving. May use a pan instead of a slow cooker and simmer for 1 1/2 hour. Of course it wont have the taste of slow cooked lamb.