Lamb Biryani

Lamb biryani is one of my favourites food but I’ve never learnt how to make it.

Making rice intimidates me to be honest, I’m not very good at making anything with rice…BUT I LEARNT WOOHOO.

This biryani was soooo good, the meat was soft, the flavour was amazing and it was nice and spicy. I loved it very much.

The lamb biryani on a plate.

Video Tutorial

Breakdown of the process

So turns out biryani is actually pretty easy to make, I was intimidated for absolutely no reason.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what we are going to be doing:

  • Start by making the lamb.
  • Cook the rice.
  • Prepare the ‘extras’ – I don’t know what to call them, but it was just some cooked onions, saffron milk, chopped jalapeños, lemon slices and coriander.
  • Start layering everything together.
  • Cook all of this over low heat for 30 minutes.
  • Gently mix the layers together, then the biryani is ready to be eaten.
A close up of the biryani on a plate.

The lamb

We’re going to start by making the lamb.

It’s super easy to make, but it does take some time because we’re going to be cooking it slowly, in order to get soft juicy lamb.

Out of the whole recipe, this is what’s going to take the longest but it’s worth it trust me.

When it comes to the meat, I used lamb leg that was on the bone and cut into cubes.

However, you can use whatever part of the lamb that’s your favourite. I see a lot of people use lamb shoulder for biryani. This would be great too. 

I just prefer lamb leg, but it’s up to you.

The seasonings

I personally believe biryani is not good unless it’s spicy. I only enjoy it when it brings my mouth pain.

So I seasoned my lamb quite a bit and I used a lot of chillies. But I wanted to mention that you can season it however you like.

In the recipe card below I have included all the seasonings I used, as well as the measurements.

But you don’t need to follow them exactly, season the lamb the way you want to. 

The ingredients needed to make the lamb.

The layering

Once the lamb has been made, we just need to boil our rice then start layering.

Everyone layers their biryani differently, and they also add different ingredients to it.

But this is how I did it:

  • Add a little bit of oil to a pot, then add half of the lamb.
  • Add half of your cooked rice.
  • Add some saffron milk over this, some biryani masala, some cooked onions, some chopped jalapeños and some coriander.
  • Add the rest of the lamb and then the rest of the rice.
  • Add more saffron milk, biryani masala, onions, jalapeños and coriander.
  • At this point I also added a few slices of lemon just for some lemony flavours, but this is optional.

And that’s your layers done, we just need to cook this for a bit now.

The lamb in a pot after being cooked.

Cooking the biryani

The last thing we need to do it cook the layers together.

To do this, you want to cover the top of your pot tightly with some tin foil, then add a lid.

The reason why we are covering the pot with tin foil and a lid is because we want our biryani to cook in the stream. So we don’t want any steam escaping from the pot.

Anyway, place this onto low heat and leave this to cook for 30 minutes.

DO NOT INCREASE THE HEAT

This is very important, don’t try increasing the heat to speed up the process.

We want to cook this on low heat and slowly.

If the heat is too high, the lamb at the bottom of the pot could end up burning, we don’t want this. If it burns a little that’s fine, but we don’t want it to burn too much.

So make sure to keep the heat low. I recommend putting it on the lowest heat your stove can go.

But then you just need to gently mix the layers together, then you can dig in.

The biryani before the layers were mixed together.
The biryani after the layers were mixed together.

Here are some other recipes I think you also need to try:

Lamb Biryani

5.0 from 3 votes

Ingredients

  • For the lamb:
  • 3 medium onions, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste

  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste

  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1/4 teaspoon black onion seeds

  • 1 kg lamb leg, on the bone cut into cubes

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 3 tablespoons plain natural yoghurt

  • 12 green bird's eye chillies, finely chopped (you can use as many or as little of these as you want)

  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon biryani masala

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 2 teaspoons curry powder

  • 2 teaspoons chilli flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

  • For the rice:
  • 2 cups rice, washed

  • Extras:
  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons milk, warm

  • A few strands of saffron

  • 1-2 jalapeños, chopped

  • Some more biryani masala

  • Some coriander

  • A few lemon slices

Directions

  • Making the lamb:
  • Place a pot onto medium heat and add some oil into this.
  • Add the chopped onions and cook these until they turn brown.
  • Add the garlic paste, ginger paste, cumin seeds and onion seeds, give this a mix. Then add your lamb and lemon juice, mix all this together.
  • The lamb is going to release water, you just want to cook it on medium heat until the meat has changed colour and most of the water has gone.
  • Now add the yoghurt, chopped green chillies, chopped tomatoes and all the seasonings EXCEPT the garam masala (we're going to add this at the end). Mix all this together.
  • Add some water into the pot, you want just enough water so that the lamb is covered.
  • Lower your heat to low, then add a lid and cook until all the water has gone. We are cooking this on low heat so it will take a while, but you will be left with soft lamb so the wait is worth it.
  • Once the water has gone, mix in the garam masala, and then your lamb is done.
  • The rice:
  • Just before the lamb is almost ready, cook your rice. Cook this however you like to cook rice.
  • Layering:
  • I started by cooking my chopped onion in a pan, with some oil, just until they were soft and brown.
  • Then for the saffron milk, I just crushed the saffron and mixed this with the warm milk. Let this infuse for a few minutes.
  • In a large pot, add a little bit of oil, then add half of the lamb. Add half of the cooked rice on top of this.
  • Drizzle half of the saffron milk over this rice, sprinkle some biryani masala over it, then add half of the cooked onions, some chopped jalapeños and then some coriander.
  • Add the rest of the lamb on top of this, then add the rest of the rice.
  • Now add some more saffron milk, biryani masala, onions, jalapeños and coriander. At this point I also added a few slices of lemon on top.
  • Cover this pot tightly with some tin foil, then add a lid.
  • Place this over LOW heat and let this cook for 30 minutes. Make sure to keep the heat low, otherwise the lamb at the bottom of the pot could burn.
  • After 30 minutes, take it off the heat and open the pot. Gently mix the layers together and then the biryani is done.
  • Enjoy!
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