Lamb Biryani

One of the joys and advantages of living in London is the diverse amount of cultures and cuisine that come with them. I’ll never forget the excitement I had as I went to friend’s houses, after school and watch their mothers prepare dishes from such colourful and pungent spices. Indian cuisine, as well as others, has definitely become a prominent part in my culinary influence...

Serves 5/6
4 onions
6 garlic cloves, sliced
8 cm ginger, peeled and grated
750g lamb shoulder, cut into 4cm cubes
1/2 tsp saffron strands
1 tsp cardamom seeds
2 blade mace
6 green cardamom
2 black cardamom
1 tsp chilli powder
5 cm cinnamon stick
5 cloves
2 dried bay leaves
1 tbsp garam masala
3 green chilli, deseeded and sliced
200 ml Greek yogurt
coriander/ cilantro
groundnut oil
Salted Butter
450g basmati rice

1) In a small bowl add the saffron strands with 2 tbsps of hot water and a small knob of butter. Stir until the butter melts and the colour from the saffron has released and set aside.
2) Finely slice 2 onions and place them on some kitchen towel and sprinkle some salt to release their moisture and leave them for 20mins.
3) Meanwhile, using a pestle and mortar, pound the blade mace and cardamom seeds into a fine powder and set this aside also.
4) Squeeze all the excess moisture from the sliced onions and deep fry them in a small pan until they have become golden and drain them on kitchen towel and set aside. 
5) Put half of the fried onions into a food processor with 4 tbsps of hot water and make a puree.
6) In a mixing bowl add the diced lamb and the grated ginger, sliced garlic, chilli powder and onion puree and mix altogether until all the meat is coated. And leave to marinate for 1 hour.
7) Dice the remaining 2 onions and put them in a pan with 6 tbsps of groundnut oil and place on a medium heat for 5 mins, until the onions have soften but not coloured. Then add the cinnamon stick, green cardamoms, black cardamoms, cloves and bay leaf and fry for 30 seconds, until you have a warm aroma.
8) Add the lamb, with all its marinade, and the garam masala, green chilli's and yogurt. Give it a good stir, cover and leave to simmer for 45 mins, turning occasionally.
9) Meanwhile, rinse the rice alternating from hot and cold water, until the water runs clear. Fill with cold water and leave to soak for 20 mins.
10) Preheat the oven to 160C/ 320F/ gas mark 3.
11) Drain the rice and add hot water and bring to the boil for only 5 mins, then drain, so the rice is only half-cooked.
12) In a oven proof pan, put half of the hot meat and cover with half of the rice. Add half of the finely sliced coriander, the pounded blade mace and cardamom seeds and half of the leftover fried onions. 
13) Repeat the process, by putting the rest of the meat mixture and cover that with the rest of the rice. Sprinkle the rest of the pounded blade mace, coriander and fried onions. Then spoon over the saffron liquid in random swirls and add small knobs of butter all around the top. Place a cut out greaseproof circle on top and cover with the lid. Bake for 45mins.


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Alisa said...

One of the reasons why I love different food blogs is because of the wealth of information about different cultures and recipes.I saw your blog from the foodie blog roll and I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your site. I hope you could add this smallLamb Biryani widget at the end of this post so we coud add you in our list of food bloggers who blogged about lamb biryani recipes, Thanks!

Tes said...

Wow I love biryni... your lamb biryani sounds super flavourful and delicious. I can't wait to try it.

Spicie Foodie said...

What a delicious recipe, it looks like it tastes amazing. Also how lucky that you had the opportunity to see it being made at by your friend's mothers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the add in Foodbuzz. Now I am one of your blog followers and I look forward to enjoying your blog.

Adora's Box said...

Amazing! That really looks like the biryanis I see on tv. What a vibrant dish.

Country Gourmet Traveler said...

Mmmmmmm what a lovely Blog, yes London is great for Food, I am far too seldom there and if, then most of the times just in Heathrow Airport.... Love you Blog and the Biryani looks delicious

2 peas said...

nice post--love biryani and this version looks great!

Ms Pink Piglet said...

Thanks for this wonderful recipe! I love biryanis!

Sandra said...

Wonderful recipe..looks amazing and delicious!

Quay Po Cooks said...

Your biryani looks scrumptuous.

Medifast Coupons said...

I miss London for the same reason you love it, we just can't get things here like I am used to.
Great sound Biryani recipe though, would love to have some.

briarrose said...

Delicious dish. I love the seasonings.

vincent said...


We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM YUM.
We would like to add it to the

We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
enjoy your recipes.

Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
and benefit from their exposure on

To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use or just go to and click on "Add your site"

Best regards,


Anonymous said...

Beautiful dish, great job!

Pegasuslegend said...

this is an awesome presentation love lamb its my favorite, and the flavors in here make this amazing!

HGourmet Foodie said...

wow.. This lamb biryani looks realy delicious...You have a lovely blog here.. I am following you now..

Elisabeth said...

This is one beautiful the spices and the texture!

I have an award for you to pick up at my blog.
Just copy and paste the award, and the rules, and follow through to pass on to blogger of your could any number, that you wish, up to 15.
Congratulations, well deserved!