Lamb Biryani

Course : Curry
Serves: 1
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1/2 teaspoon saffron strands -- pounded
25 milliliters boiling milk
75 grams ghee or unsalted butter
1 piece cassia bark or cinnamon sticks
8 whole green cardamom pods -- (split the top of each pod to release flavour)
8 whole cloves
10 whole black peppercorns -- up to 12
3 pieces bay leaves
1 large onion -- finely sliced
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
125 gram natural yoghurt
1 kilogram boned leg of lamb -- cut into 5cm cubes
450 gram basmati rice -- washed and drained
1/4 Cup toasted flaked almonds

Preparation / Directions:

Soak the pounded saffron in the hot milk and set aside. In a heavy-based saucepan (large enough to hold the meat and rice together), melt the ghee or butter over a low heat and sizzle the cassia or cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, peppercorns and bay leaves for 15-20 seconds. Add the onions and increase the heat to medium. Stir and fry the onions for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, stir and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, then add the spices and chilli. Stir and cook for 12 minutes. Add the salt, yoghurt, meat and half the saffron milk. Stir to distribute well and switch off the stove. Put the rice in a pan with plenty of hot water and 2tsp salt. Bring to the boil for 1 minute. Drain the rice and pile it on top of the meat. Drizzle the remaining saffron milk on the rice. Soak a large piece of grease-proof paper and squeeze out the water. Spread this on top of the rice. Now soak a clean tea towel, squeeze out the water and spread it on top of the grease-proof paper. Put the lid on the pan. Now seal the top of the saucepan with a large piece of kitchen foil so that no steam can escape. Place the pan over a very low heat and cook for 1 hour. Use a heat diffuser if necessary and do not peep during cooking! Remove the biryani from the heat and allow to stand for 15 minutes. Stir it gently with a fork to mix the meat and the rice and serve immediately, garnished with the toasted flaked almonds.

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