Pakistani Lamb Biryani

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READY IN: 1hr
Recipe by Queen Dana

Recipe by Ambreen Hasan. Saveur April 2010.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. 1. Heat 1⁄4 cup oil in a 5-qt. skillet over high heat. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until dark brown, 20–25 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
  2. 2. Heat remaining oil in a 5-qt. pot over high heat. Add garam masala, chile flakes, turmeric, 10 peppercorns, 5 green cardamom pods, 2 black cardamom pods, and 1 cinnamon stick; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garlic, tomatoes, chiles, and ginger; cook, stirring, 2–3 minutes. Add lamb, season with salt, and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium; cook until lamb is tender, about 1 hour. Add fried onions, yogurt, 1⁄2 cup mint, and 2 tablespoons cilantro; cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes more. Set aside.
  3. 3. Put saffron into a bowl and cover with 1⁄2 cup hot water; set aside. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a 5-qt. saucepan. Add remaining peppercorns, green and black cardamom, and cinnamon, along with the rice, cumin, cloves, and bay leaves, and season with salt. Cook rice until al dente, 5–10 minutes; drain rice and set aside.
  4. 4. Transfer half the lamb curry to a 5-qt. pot. Top lamb with half the rice. Pour half the saffron mixture onto rice along with a few drops of rose water and food coloring (if using); mix into rice with your fingers. Top with remaining lamb curry and remaining rice; drizzle with remaining saffron; mix. Steam, covered, on low heat until rice is tender, about 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining mint and cilantro.

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