Hyderabadi Biryani

A wonderfully aromatic lamb and rice dish accompanied by a refreshing mint chutney from Manju Malhi
By Manju Malhi
Hyderabadi Biryani
  • Rating:
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 30-45 mins chilling
  • Effort: medium


For the mint chutney

  • 50 g mint leaves
  • 1 Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 green finger chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 30 g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp demerara sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp water

For the ginger and garlic paste

  • 115 g ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 115 g cloves garlic

For the lamb

  • 500 g stewing lamb, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 2.5 cm cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods, seeds only
  • 1/2-1 tsp medium-hot chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1/2-1 tsp salt
  • 1 Spanish onion, finely sliced
  • 200 whitelong grain or basmati rice
  • 400 ml boiling water
  • 4 tbsp full-fat or semi-skimmed milk
  • a few strands saffron
  • 15 g butter or ghee


1. To make the adrak lahsun ka masala (ginger and garlic paste); in a food processor blend the ginger and garlic to a smooth paste. If necessary, add 1 teaspoon cold water. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

2. Mix the lamb with the adrak lahsun ka masal, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom seeds, chilli powder, yogurt, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon groundnut oil and the salt. Cover and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.

3. Heat 3 tablespoons groundnut oil in a small frying pan, and fry the onion for 5 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Set aside.

4. Rinse the rice thoroughly in cold running water and place in a medium pan with the boiling water. Cover and boil for 8 minutes or until the rice is half cooked. The grains should be soft on the outside but still hard in the centre.

5. Gently warm the milk and soak the saffron strands for a few minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

7. Heat the remaining oil in a heavy-based pan and fry the marinated meat for 15 minutes until well browned.

8. Stir in the fried onion. Grease the base of a large heavy-based casserole with butter or ghee. Add the meat mixture followed by the partly cooked rice.

9. Pack the rice firmly into the casserole. Pour the saffron-infused milk over the rice. Cover tightly and cook for 45-50 minutes.

10. To make the mint chutney; place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend to a thick paste. Store in an airtight, non-metallic container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

11. Serve the lamb and rice with the mint chutney.

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