Lamb biriyani

I’ve never actually made my own paste/sauce for my previous biriyani attempts.  I found a chicken biriyani recipe by Ben O’Donoghue on Best in Australia website and it looked do-able, so away I went to the supermarket to stock up on ingredients to make a lamb version of the disk.  I take pride in being a fast, efficient cook, however this recipe just took ages to prepare.  I served the biriyani with dhal, spicy cabbage stir fry and cucumber raita. 

Here is the recipe, modified very slightly (serves 4)


A) Marinade

  • 600g lean lamb steaks, diced
  • Spice paste: blend the following – 3 red chillies, 2 gloves of garlic, 1 inch ginger
  • salt to taste
  • 150g fat free greek yoghurt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  1. Marinade the lamb in all the ingredients above for 30 minutes while you prepare the next steps

B) Biriyani

  • 300g rice
  • 50ml milk
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 5 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • a handful of chopped mint and coriander
  • Fry lite spray


  1. Cook rice in about 4 cups of water until the rice is 2/3 cooked
  2. Drain rice
  3. Soak saffron in milk and set aside
  4. Heat a non-stick pan and spray some fry lite into it
  5. Fry half the onions until soft and brown (you could shallow fry the onions with about 3 tbsp oil for a crunchier effect)
  6. Transfer the cooked onions to a plate
  7. In the same pan, spray a bit more oil and fry the spices, curry powder and bay leaves for a minute until fragrant
  8. Add the remaining uncooked onions and brown for 5 minutes
  9. Add the lamb (retain the marinade in the boil) and cook for 5 minutes
  10. Mix the marinade with tomato puree, and add the mixture to the lamb.  Cook for 5 minutes


  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees
  2. Line a large oven proof dish with the lamb and sauce
  3. Top with half the rice, some of the cooked onions and chopped herbs. Repeat
  4. Pour the saffron infused milk over the rice
  5. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 20 minutes


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