RECIPE: Lamb biryani with apricots & cashews
Lamb and apricots are a winning combination, so you know this fragrant Indian rice dish is bound to be scrumptious
250ml (1 cup) canola oil
3 large onions, thinly sliced
30ml (2 tbsp) garam masala
5ml (1 tsp) crushed red chilli flakes
2.5ml (½ tsp) turmeric
18 black peppercorns
9 pods green cardamom
2 cinnamon sticks
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 tomatoes, cored and minced
5 Thai chillies, remove stems and mince
4cm piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1kg trimmed lamb shoulder, cut into 5-8cm pieces
Salt to taste
125ml (½ cup) plain yoghurt
60ml (4 tbsp) chopped fresh coriander
Salt, to taste
1 cup roughly chopped coriander
20 saffron threads, crushed
500g (2 cups) white basmati rice, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes, drained
2.5ml (½ tsp) cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
100g (1 cup) roasted salted cashews
100g (1 cup) slivered dried apricots
- Heat ¼ of the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Set aside.
- Heat remaining oil in clean pot over high heat. Add the garam masala, chilli flakes, turmeric, 10 peppercorns, 5 cardamom pods and 1 cinnamon stick; cook, stirring for about 1 minute.
- Add the garlic, tomatoes, chillies and ginger. Cook, stirring, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the lamb, season with salt, and cook until lightly browned. Cover and cook over medium heat until lamb is tender, about 1 hour.
- Add the fried onions, yoghurt, and 30ml (2 tbsp) coriander. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes more and set aside.
- Put the saffron in a bowl with ½ cup hot water.
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a pot. Add the remaining peppercorns, cardamom, and cinnamon, along with the rice, cumin, bay leaves, cashews and apricots, and season with salt. Cook rice until slightly al dente.
- Drain excess water from the rice and mix in the saffron water.
- Transfer half the curry to a new, larger pot. Top the lamb with half the rice. Top with the remaining lamb curry and remaining rice. Steam, covered, until the rice is tender.
- Garnish with the remaining coriander and serve.