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Lamb Biryani & Lamb Pulao


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'Biryani' is a rice dish from the Indian Subcontinent made from a mixture of spices, basmati rice, meat/vegetables and yogurt. There are many kind of biryanis and each kind has a uniqueness about it. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from East India to West India, there are different varieties of the dish. It can be considered a casserole dish, as the ingredients are ideally cooked together in the final phase and is time-consuming to prepare. Pre-mixed biryani spices from different commercial names are easily available in markets these days, which reduces the preparation time though the taste differs considerably.

The spices and condiments used in biryani are what primarily contribute to the taste; these are generally cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander and mint leaves, apart from ghee, ginger, onions, garlic and yoghurt. The premium varieties include saffron. For a non-vegetarian biryani, the main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the meat or chicken, Domestic goat, lamb or sometimes beef, though vegetable biryani varieties are also popular. The dish is usually served with raita.



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Though there are several methods of preparing biryani, the Hyderabad Biryani is by far the most popular version. Historians claim that the earlier Nawabs of Hyderabad, wore a matching turban for each variety of biryani. The Nizam's kitchen boasted of 49 kinds, which included biryani made from fish, quail, shrimp, deer and hare. The Sindhi variant of biryani is very popular in Pakistani cuisine and biryani of all types are eaten in all parts of Pakistan. Another popular form of biryani is the Awadhi biryani.

In Pakistan during the past 5 years, biryani has acquired substantial popularity. This is specially the case in Karachi, where the chicken version is popular with both young and old alike as a dish of choice. This is related to Awadh biryani but combines elements of Bombay biryani and includes potatoes. 

The vegetarian version might have some textured vegetable protein based protein balls to present the impression of a meat-based dish for vegetarians. The difference between biryani and pulav is that while biryani may be made by cooking the items together, pulav, is used to denote a dish where the rice is cooked separately from the other ingredients.


Meat - 1 KG Boneless
Basmati Rice - 1/2kg
Onion - 2 Big
Lime Juice - 1/4 Cup
Curd - 500 GM
Ginger Garlic Paste - 4-6 Tsp.
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 Tsp.
Green Chili - 4-6 grind into fine past
Shazeera - A Pinch of Shazeera
Clove - 1-2
Cinnamon - 1-2
Cardamom - 2-3
Coriander Leaves - A bunch finely chopped
Mint leaves - 8-10 sticks - Plucked only leaves
Saffron - 2 pinch of saffron, immerse in water
Saffron color - A pinch of color liquefied with water
Ghee - 2 Tsp.
Oil - 2 Cup oil
Salt - To taste

Cut the meat into 4" square pieces and wash it. Add ginger garlic paste to the washed meat and Marinate it for 1 hour. 

While marinating you cut the onions thinly lengthwise and Fry the onions in the oil on low flame till it becomes golden brown. Now remove the golden brown onions from the oil and spread it on the plate, when it cool then crush it with your hand. Now add the curd 3/4 part of crushed fried onion, Red chili powder, Green chili paste, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Shazeera, Clove, Coriander leaves, Mint leaves and saffron water, salt to taste and remaining part of the oil into this marinated meat and leave for one hour.

After one hour take basmati rice and washed and now pour water into the rice as you cook it and add salt one tea spoon, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Shazeera, Clove, Coriander leave, mint leave, Green chili 2 cut into length wise. Now put on flame but when rice start cooking when the rice becomes half cooked. Then remove it flame. Drain out the water completely. Now spread this half cooked rice on the marinated meat. Upon the rice layer you spread lime juice, saffron color and ghee and remaining part of the crushed onion.

Now cover the utensil with lid tightly. Keep it on a very low flame After 1/2 hour exactly take it out from the flame. Now the  Hyderabadi Biryani is ready to eat.


2 lbs Lamb 
1 1/4 th cup Basmati rice

3 medium Onions, sliced thin
A few sprigs of mint to garnish

For the Marinade

2 medium onions
6 cloves garlic
4 inch ginger root
1 sprig of mint 
4 small green cardamoms
4 cloves
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 inch stick cinnamon
4 green chilies - according to to taste
2 cups plain yogurt

Grind together all the above ingredients, except the yogurt to form a smooth paste. Add the ground spices to the yogurt and mix well. Marinate the lamb pieces in this mixture for about 2 hours.

Cooking the Lamb

Fry the sliced onions in a few table spoons of little ghee, until they are golden brown. Add the the lamb marinade and mix thoroughly. Add about 1 pint of water over the lamb and heat and bring to boil. Lower the heat, cover  and cook until the lamb is tender.

Cooking the Rice

Wash the rice in cold water. Wash it at least three times. Drain all the water out from the rice. Set aside for 20 minutes. In a pot add 3-4 tablespoons of ghee and sauté the drained rice until the rice grains separate and then start sticking together again. Remove from heat. Add salt to taste. Mix well. Set aside. 

Layering the Lamb Biryani

3 Medium onions, sliced thinly and fried to golden brown
1/2 cup of Sliced almonds, fried to golden brown
4 Tablespoons Golden raisins
1/2 tsp Saffron and 3 tablespoons warm Milk 

Mix the Saffron with the milk. Set aside. 

In a large ovenproof "Corning" container add a layer of rice followed by a layer of the cooked lamb along with a little sauce from the lamb. Now sprinkle the fried onions, almonds, raisins, and saffron mixture. 

Now add a layer of rice and lamb and again sprinkle the fried onions, almonds raisins and saffron mixture. Add the final layer of rice and again for the final time sprinkle the fried onions, almonds, raisins, and saffron mixture. Add about 3-4 tablespoons of melted ghee on top. 

Add enough water until you see the water level about a 1/2 inch higher than rice.  Cover the saucepan well with a tight fitting lid. Or you can cover with aluminum foil. Put the pan inside the oven. Oven temperature should be over 450 F for 45 minutes. Garnish with a few mint sprigs. 

Enjoy it with a Raita or Kachumber



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