Lamb and vegetable biryani, from East by West, by Jasmine Hemsley
3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
750g lamb (neck or shoulder) cut into 5cm cubes
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground turmeric
5cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ large leek, finely chopped
¾ tsp sea salt
seeds of 5 cardamom pods, ground
1 bay leaf
1 large cinnamon stick
½ large head of cauliflower (300g), cut into florets
1 aubergine, cubed
150g fresh or frozen peas
320g white basmati rice, rinsed
butter, for greasing
handful of coriander or mint leaves, plus extra for serving
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the ghee in a large ceramic-lined or seasoned cast-iron frying pan. Add half the lamb and brown it all over. Remove and repeat with the second batch. Set aside.
- In the same pan, melt the remaining ghee over a medium heat. Sauté the coriander seeds, peppercorns and cumin seeds for a few minutes until they start to pop. Add the garam masala and turmeric and sauté for a few minutes. Add the ginger and leek and fry for a minute before adding the lamb, salt, cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and water.
- Bring to the boil, cover and cook for 1 hour-1 hour 10 minutes. Check that the lamb is tender. Add the cauliflower and aubergine, and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the peas and raisins.
- Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the packet instructions.
- Preheat the oven to 200C (fan 180C/ gas 6). Grease a large lidded baking dish (around 25cm x 40cm in size) with butter. Spoon in one third of the rice, cover with half of the lamb curry and sprinkle with half of the fresh coriander or mint. Repeat these layers again. Finally, add the remaining rice to the dish and dot with a little more butter. At this stage, the dish can be refrigerated for a few hours, then cooked when you’re ready.
- Place in the oven and heat through for 15 minutes if it is freshly prepared, or up to 40 minutes if you are cooking from cold. Serve hot, garnished with extra coriander and mint.
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East by West by Jasmine Hemsley is published by Bluebird, price £25.
Text © Jasmine Hemsley 2017 Photographs © Nick Hopper 2017