BIRYANI SPICED RICE WITH LAMB Recipe

Ingredients
  • 8 tablespoons butter or cooking oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (1 inch piece)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 pounds lean boned lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 piece cinnamon stick (4 inch piece)
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cardamon seeds
  • 10 fluid ounces (1 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 basmati rice, washed, soaked inch cold water for 30 minutes and drained (1 lb 2 2/3 cup )
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 almonds (optional) (1 1/2 ounce 1/3 cup )
  • 1 pistachio nuts (optional) (1 1/2 ounces 1/3 cup )
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
Directions
In a large saucepan, heat 4 tablespoons of butter or cooking oil over moderate heat. Add garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper and cumin seeds to the pan. Fry for 3 minutes. Raise the heat to moderate high, add the lamb cubes and fry for 10-15 minutes or until they are evenly browned. Stir in the cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, cardamon, yogurt and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Mix well and add 5 fluid ounces (5/8 cup) of water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 40 minutes or until the lamb is tender. In a second saucepan, bring 3 pints of water to a boil over moderate heat. Add the remaining salt and pour in the rice. Boil briskly for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, drain the rice thoroughly and set aside. Preheat the oven to moderate, 350°. Pour 1 tablespoon of butter or oil into a large ovenproof casserole dish. Put one third of the parboiled rice in the bottom of the casserole. With a slotted spoon, remove one third of the lamb cubes from the saucepan and put them over the rice. Cover with another one third of the rice. Remove all the remaining meat cubes from the pan with the slotted spoon and put them on top, then finish with a last layer of the remaining rice. Pour all the liquid left in the saucepan in which the lamb was cooked carefully over the rice and meat. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil. Place the casserole in the oven and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked and has absorbed all the liquid. In a small frying pan, heat the remaining butter or oil over high heat. Add the onions, reduce the heat to moderate and, stirring frequently, fry for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. With a slotted spoon, remove the onions and set aside on paper towels to drain. Add the almonds and pistachio nuts to the pan adding more butter or oil if necessary. Fry them for 3 minutes or until the nuts are lightly browned. With a slotted spoon, remove the mixture from the pan and set aside on a plate. Pile the rice and lamb attractively on a large heated serving dish and sprinkle the top with the nuts, sultanas (golden raisins) and onions. Serve immediately.
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