This lamb biryani recipe from Sheba is now a family favourite
I’m visiting my hometown of Turlock California at the moment. We try to get over here at least once a year to see family and catch up. My parents have a large wood burning pizza oven in their back garden and I love firing it up and experimenting with my recipes. Last night I cooked this lamb biryani recipe that was sent to me by my friends at Sheba Brick Lane. Talk about gorgeous!
This famous lamb biryani is on the menu Mondays & Tuesdays only
at Sheba in Brick Lane
Some of you may know that cooking away from home, especially when you specialise in Indian food isn’t always that straight forward. Sure, when my family travels around the UK I can just bring my collection of spices and start cooking when I start getting withdrawals. Travelling overseas, however is a completely different ball game. I’d rather not get myself into the position where some jumped up airport security guard decides he wants to question each of my spice powders. I’ve been there and done that already.
So my first few days of holiday are usually spent visiting Asian and Mexican markets trying to find the best quality spices and replacing the old spice collection I amassed the previous year. It’s a lot of work and money but when you strive for perfection, it’s well worth the effort.
I first tried this lamb biryani at an event at Sheba in Brick Lane. I’ve tried a lot and for that matter cooked a lot of biryanis but this has to be my favourite recipe to date. there aren’t a lot of spices in it but believe me… the freshly roasted and ground spices make all the difference.
Biryanis are of course rice dishes so it is important to find the best quality, aged basmati rice you can get your hands on. You only want to boil the rice for about seven minutes until it is about half cooked as it will finish cooking with the meat. Notice the dough around the pan in the picture. This is done to keep all the steam in the pan so that when lifted at the table, the steam wafts up and fills the air with the most amazing aroma.
There are at least 26 different types of biryani. This is a Kacchi style biryani where the meat is first marinated and the placed raw in the bottom of the pan with the marinade. Rice is then layered over the meat and then the pan is sealed with dough and slow cooked. The dish is very popular in the Indian Sub-Continent and often served on special occasions.
You are going to love this one!
International & UK Orders
- Preparation for the lamb:
- 1kg lamb or mutton cut into cubes
- 4 tablespoons ghee
- 2 tablespoons ginger and garlic paste
- 11/2 cup plain hung yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoon mace powder
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ½ fried Onion(crushed)
- Preparation for the Rice:
- 500g basmati rice
- ¼ tsp cumin powder
- whole garam masala (cinnamon stick, 10 peppercorns, bay leaf)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Getting the fragrance:
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- A pinch of saffron
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- ½ cup fried Onion
- Marinate the lamb/mutton for at least two hours with all the given ingredients (the longer marinate the better). I marinated my meat over night.
- When ready to cook, start by making the saffron infused milk.
- Heat the milk until hand hot but not boiling.
- Add the saffron, rose water, ghee and fried onion and cover to infuse. Set aside.
- Moving on, bring a pot of 750ml water to a boil with all the whole garam masala, cumin powder, salt and vegetable oil. When boiling, add the rice.
- Cook the rice for about 7-10 minutes but make sure the rice is only half cooked. Once this is done put the rice aside.
- Now, in another pot (main biryani pot) put all the marinated lamb/mutton and cover it with a layer of the half cooked rice.
- Next layer the rice with the fried onions, 2 tablespoons ghee, 3 tablespoons water and sprinkle it with some saffron milk.
- Then put another layer of rice over the fried onions and sprinkle it with ghee, water and the rest of the saffron infused milk.
- Cover the rice with aluminium foil and then cover the pot tightly with a lid. You could also do this the traditional way as I did with a seal of dough.
- Put the pot over high flame for about 15 min then lower the heat and cook for 45 min to an hour.
- Let the biryani cook and do not stir at all.
- Once its ready you should start smelling the lovely fragrance.
- Remove the pot from heat and slowly mix bottom layer with the top layer to give it some colour. Do not mix it completely.
I served the lamb biryani with my coriander and mint raita.