This is the second post for the week and it is only Thursday. Looks like someone has been working or trying to work at least.
It is the eleventh day of Eid but I am still tired physically and mentally, thus the occasional writer’s block. With more guests coming over this weekend and the cousin’s wedding next weekend (baking the wedding cakes!), I guess a slight nudge was all it took to get me back on my feet again.
I am fasting today
and I am thinking as to what I should eat to break my fast later. There are these six days fast that some of us Muslims would observe during the month of Eid. I personally always loved to fast. It somehow gives me that peace from inner and *coughs* some hope of losing weight. These six days fast is optional though, therefore it is really up to an individual. Not everyone needs to lose weight anyways. Some people can eat a whole cow and still be as thin as Paris Hilton!!! (Note: I rarely use extra exclamation marks while blogging.)
A few days ago, a friend of mine was asking if I could share a recipe of biryani on the blog. For those of you who are not familiar with biryani, it is a dish that is believed to have originated from India. There are so many varieties of biryani but basically it is a rice dish known for its delicious aroma and its all about the fragrant basmati rice, the tender meat and the spices. Imagine ALL these yummy things in ONE pot!! The kinda dish that you would love from the bottom of your heart, up to the top of your <3.
My late maternal grandma used to cook biryani for wedding functions and my paternal uncle is a popular caterer who is well known for his biryani. I used to be disappointed that biryani was not something that I can be comfortable cooking till recently. I have cooked biryani only once or twice in my entire life. I personally think that the list of ingredients and the process involved is pretty daunting for most of us!
We rarely cook lamb but when we do, we make sure we bring the best out of it. My aunt gave us some lamb last week and since we were having a family gathering, I decided to cook biryani, much to the enlightenment of my eldest brother who is a huge fan of biryani. If you are not a fan of lamb, feel free to use chicken or beef. Fish or prawn biryani is also delicious. There is a slight difference in the way that it would be cooked though as seafood cooks at a fraction of the time compared to red meat.
I have tried my best to simplify things especially for those who will be making a virgin attempt at cooking the biryani. Certain dishes are not meant to be rushed into. If you want to cook good and authentic biryani, don’t be tempted to cook this when you only have one hour to spare in the kitchen. Cook this over the weekend, where you can easily afford to spend three hours in the kitchen.
This Delicious Lamb Biryani is such a festive dish and this is perfect to cook when you have guests over or make it for dinner parties. Do make this Easy Cucumber Salad too. Your party is gonna be a huge hit. I can already foresee that.
- 20 cloves of garlic
- 3 inches of a ginger
- 1 kg lamb (or any other meat)
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 50g almond meal/powder
- 3 cardamom
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 5 large onions, chopped
- 2 green chili, sliced
- 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 3 tomatoes, cubed
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped mint leaves
- 3 tbsp curry powder (You can also use biryani powder/paste)
- 4 tbsp ghee (I used canola oil)
- ¼ tsp saffron (add 2 tbsp milk/water to this)
- 4 cups rice, washed, soaked for 30 minutes and strain (I used a 250 ml cup)
- 2 cardamom
- 1 star anise
- 3 cloves
- 1 stick Cinnamon
- 1 onion – sliced
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 3 tbsp ghee or butter (I used ghee)
- Salt to taste
- 10 cashew nuts (Roasted or fried)
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped mint leaves
- 2 tbsp raisins
- In a wok, add ghee/oil and caramelize the diced onions and green chili. Add cardamom n cinnamon. Mix in ginger and garlic paste and saute for a minute.
- Add tomato paste to the wok and saute for another minute. Mix in the curry powder and continue sauteing till the spices are fragrant. This takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add the lamb and tomatoes and cook till the lamb is almost tender.
- Finally add in yogurt, almond meal, cilantro, mint and salt.
- Cook till the lamb is tender and the sauce thickens.
- In an electric rice cooker, boil 4 cups of water. Use the same cup that was used to measure the rice.
- In a pan, add the ghee/oil and fry the cardamon, star anise, cinnamon and cloves for 1 minute.
- Add onion and fry till golden
- Mix in ginger and garlic paste and fry for another minute.
- Add this mixture to the boiling water.
- Add in rice and season with 1 tsp of salt.
- Cook as per normal.
- Once the rice is cooked, take out half of the rice from the rice cooker.
- Pour the lamb and some of the sauce onto the rice that is in the rice cooker.
- Top with half of the garnishing.
- Place the other half of the rice above the garnishes and finally top with the remaining garnishing.
- Make little holes in the rice and pour in the saffron water.
- Press the cook button on the rice cooker one more time and let it cook for another 10 minutes or till you can see steam escaping from the rice cooker.
- Serve with the extra lamb gravy.