- 2 pounds lamb (or chicken cut into 2-inch pieces; if using chicken, use breast or thigh fillet)
- 4 large onions (sliced thin)
- 2 teaspoons garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons ginger paste
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 6 tablespoons ghee (or vegetable, canola or sunflower cooking oil)
- 1-inch stick of cinnamon
- 5 cloves
- 3 pods cardamom
- 8 peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 lime (juiced)
- 1 cup chicken stock (or beef stock)
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves
- 2 tablespoons mint leaves (finely chopped)
- Salt (to taste)
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 1 cup hot water
- Salt (to taste)
- Optional: 3 drops orange food coloring
- Optional: 3 drops of green food coloring
- Put the almonds in a bowl of hot water (enough to cover them) and set aside for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, remove the skins from all the almonds by pressing each one between your thumb and forefinger. The almonds will slip out of their skins.
- Mix the garlic and ginger pastes and the peeled almonds and grind the mixture into a smooth paste in a food processor.
- Wash the rice in a sieve and add enough water to fully cover the rice—at least 4 inches over the surface of the rice. Add salt to taste.
- Boil the rice until it is almost done. To determine when the rice has reached that stage, remove a few grains from the pot and press them between your thumb and forefinger. The rice should mostly mash but will have a firm, white core. Turn off the burner.
- Strain the rice through a colander and set it aside.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a pan and fry two of the onions until they are caramelized and golden brown. Drain and set the onions aside on paper towels.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in another pan and add the whole spices—cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns. Fry the mixture until the spices turn a little darker.
- Add the two remaining onions and fry them until they are translucent.
- Add the ginger-garlic-almond paste and fry for two to three minutes.
- Add all the spice powders—coriander, cumin, and garam masala and mix well.
- Fry the mixture until the oil begins to separate from the masala and then add the lamb or chicken. Continue frying until the meat is fully sealed; it will become opaque and lose its pink color.
- Add the yogurt, lime juice, stock, coriander and mint leaves and salt to taste (if needed). Mix well.
- Cover the pot and allow the dish to cook until the meat is tender.
- If you are using food coloring, divide the rice into three equal portions and put each portion into a separate dish. Add the orange food coloring to one portion of the rice and the green food coloring to another portion. Leave the third portion white.
- With each portion, mix the rice until all the grains are well colored.
- Set the rice aside for 10 minutes, and then mix the three portions in a bowl.
- Grease a deep baking dish and evenly layer the cooked rice and meat (and its gravy) to form at least two sets of layers—rice-meat-rice-meat-rice. Garnish with the previously caramelized onions.
- Cover the dish tightly. If the dish does not have a cover, use two layers of aluminum foil with the shiny side of both layers pointing down toward the rice, and secure the foil to the dish with baking string.
- Put the dish in a preheated oven set at 350 F. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Turn off the oven and let the dish sit in the oven until you are ready to eat. Remove the foil only when you are ready to eat.
- To serve Biryani, gently dig in with a spoon so that you get through the layers.
- While Mughlai biryani tastes great by itself, add a raita-like chatpata channa raita (chickpeas in hot-sour yogurt) to really perk up the flavor.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||29 g|
|Saturated Fat||7 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||13 g|
|Dietary Fiber||6 g|
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)