Lamb Biryani is my comfort food. It's something that I can prepare in a short amount of time and always rely on to be delicious and filling.
Biryani is a rice-based dish commonly eaten in India and the Middle East. It usually consists of meat, vegetables and spices which are cooked in a light tomato sauce.
For the sauce, I use whole canned tomatoes which I roughly chop. I also like to add green beans and lots of fresh mint, parsley and cilantro. Just before serving I usually squeeze some lemon juice over the biryani -- this balances the richness of the lamb and tomato sauce.
- 500 gms of lean ground lamb
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 can of whole tomatoes, roughly chopped
- A bunch of green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 tsp of paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp of cumin
- 1/2 tsp of chili powder
- 1 cinnamon stick
- A handful of fresh mint, cilantro & parsley, finely chopped
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 1/2 tsp of sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups of basmati rice
- Scant 3 cups of water
- 2 Tbsp of olive oil
- Cook the basmati rice with just under 3 cups of water in a rice cooker. If you are cooking rice on the stove, place it in a pot with the water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and cover the pot. Cook the rice for 10-12 minutes or until done.
- Once the rice is ready, put it straight in the fridge so that it cools down and dries out.
- Saute the onion in a medium saucepan over a moderate heat until translucent. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute.
- Add the spices including the cinnamon stick and fry for 2-3 minutes to release the oils. Stir well.
- Add the ground lamb and break it up with a wooden spoon. Stir well to coat lamb in the spices. Add the salt. Lower the heat slightly and cook lamb for about 7 minutes or until browned.
- Add the chopped canned tomatoes and about 300ml of the sauce from the can. Stir well and then add the green beans.
- Cover and simmer on a low heat for 25 minutes.
- Carefully combine the lamb mixture with the rice and mix thoroughly to coat it.
- Squeeze some lemon juice over the biryani and stir well.
- Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve immediately.