Introduction: Lamb Biryani

About: What started as a passion for the technology - computers and electronics has finally coalesced into a career spinning webs on the Net.

History: The word -'biryani' probably derived from the Persian word - 'beryan' meaning roast, is quite popular in India, Pakistan and middle East. It is a rice dish made with your choice of meat and laced with a select list of spices - all cooked over a slow flame. The Moghals who ruled India before the British, used lamb biryani to feed their Armies during their extended campaign in the subcontinent.

You don't have to be a Moghal Emperor to appreciate the fine cuisine of Biryani. There are many variations and it is relished by millions in the last few hundred years. The most authentic 'Moghalay' Biryani is made using 'Dum pukht' as they say in Hindi/Urdu where a large vessel is heated with coal fire on the top and the bottom. I present a more usual pressure cooker method here as well as the traditional 'Dum' method.

Making Biryani is - I must say - a bit time consuming and laborious - but it is worth the time and effort - I assure you.

Easy Way (Recommended)

What you need:


1 kg tender lamb cut into 2 inch pieces
500 gm Fragrant Basmati rice
Cinnamon 1 roll
Cardamom 6
Cloves 6
Garlic 1 bulb
Ginger 2 inch
Fennel Seeds 1 tsp
Coconut Milk 2 cup
Onion Big size 2
Tomatoes 3
Green Chilies 6
Chili Powder 3 tsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Bay leaf 2
Curd 1 cup
Cashew Nuts 50 gm (grind to a paste)
Mint leaves (handful)
Coriander Leaves (handful)
Curry Leaves (small sprig)
Clarified Butter (Ghee) 3 tbsp
Vegetable Oil 3 tsp
Water 2 cups

1. Wash the rice and drain and dry the rice
2. Add Ghee in a saucepan and add the rice and fry in low heat for 5 min
3. Dry roast and grind the spices
4. Cook the mutton with chili and turmeric powder and salt and cook for 10 min
5. Place a pressure cooker on the stove and add the oil
6. Add Fennel Seeds and the ground spices and add the ginger, garlic paste along with sliced onions, cashew nut paste and tomatoes
7. Add the cooked mutton and the curd and add the mint, coriander and curry leaves
8. Allow the above to be cooked for 5 min
9. Add the Coconut milk, water and the rice; Add salt as required
10. Mix thoroughly and cover the cooker
11. Cook for 10 min after the weight is placed in low heat

Serve hot.

This recipe is my personal modification from the collection of Rice Recipes from around the World

Traditional Mughal Biryani (Using Dum)

What you need


1 kg tender lamb cut into 2 inch pieces
500 gm Fragrant Basmati rice
1 small cup Papaya paste
1 small cup ginger garlic paste
Onions 3 large
Turmeric powder 3 tbs
Red chili Powder 3 tbs
Cinnamon roll 1
cardamom 10
1 cup Yoghurt
Fresh lemon Juice of 2 lemons
1 cup of mint, coriander and green chilies chopped
peanut oil 1 cup
Ghee - 5 tbs
Saffron 2 pinch

1. Fry finely chopped onions in peanut oil until golden brown. Remove from fire and cool the onions. keep aside the Oil.
2. In a large flat vessel mix the mutton with papaya paste, ginger garlic paste. Add turmeric and chili powder.
3. Mix with other spices. Add the curd along with chopped mint, coriander and green chilli and set aside for 1 hour.
4. Cook the rice and drain the water. Set aside the water. Add clarified butter to 2 cups of the water in which the rice was cooked.
5. In a large vessel, heat some oil and when it smokes, add the lamb. Reduce the heat and let the lamb cook over a low fire for 15 min.
6. In a large wide vessel, pile the lamb pieces. On top of the lamb, add the rice. Then add the water with ghee. Then in 3 tbs of milk mix the saffron and add to the rice.
7. Cover and seal the lid with dough. Cook with charcoal on the lid for 45min.
8. Mix the rice with lamb.
9. Serve with a bowl of Raita - Finely chopped onions and coriander leaves immersed in fresh yoghurt.

Final Note: You can use any meat instead of lamb - Turkey, Chicken, large Prawns or small game.