Sunday, January 15, 2006

Lamb or Goat Biryani

This is like a osso bucco with rice. It is takes quite a bit of time but is great for a festive meal.

Serves 10

1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup warm milk
4 cups basmati rice
1 1/2 cups corn or other vegetable oil
6 medium onions, slice fine into half rings
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
8 cloves garlic, sliced
8 pods cardamom, lightly crushed
2 3-inch sticks cinnamon
3 large black cardamom
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole cloves and 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns tied in a small square of cheesecloth
3 pound lamb cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon plus 5 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper(if it does not have a rich red color mix with a bright red paprika)
2 large tomatoes, plum finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste

Put the saffron in warm milk. Cover and set aside.
Wash the rice several times and then soak in water that covers the rice for 30 minutes. Drain.
Pour the oil into a lidded oven proof pan and set over medium high heat. Add onions and fry until reddish brown and crisp. Drain on paper towel. Set aside.
Remove 1/2 cup oil and set by milk.
Add onions, ginger, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, black cardamom, bay leaves and bundle. Stir and fry until onions are golden brown. Add meat, 5 teaspoons salt, and cayenne pepper and stir and cook for 10 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cup water and cook for another 10 minutes while stirring. Add 1 1/2 cup water and cook for 10 minutes, Cover and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasional.
Remove lid and stir in tomatoes. Add paste and cook and stir for another 5 minutes. Reduce to low, put on lid and cook for 15 minutes or until meat is tender. Add more water if necessary.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
When meat is tender and sauce reduced and thick remove spice bundle, ginger and bay leaves. Put pan into oven to keep warm.
Pour 5 quarts of water into a large lidded pan that can hold all of the baryani. Add 1 tablespoons alt and drained rice. Sir rice gently and partially cover with lid. Boil for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain rice. Put 1 tablespoonfuls the oil set aside into pan. Cover with 1/3 of the rice. Add less than 1/2 of the meat and sprinkle with the 1/3 of browned onion. Add 1/3 of the milk. Add another 1/3 of the rice, 1 tablespoon oil and then most of the remaining meat. Then 1/3 onion and 1/3 milk. Cover with the remaining rice, last of oil, meat and juices, onions, and milk. Cover with foil and then lid. Put into oven for 25 minutes.
stir gently before serving.

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