Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lamb Yakhni Biriyani-dum in Oven!

Lamb Biriyani is an important Maincourse in Indian Cuisine especially among Muslim population. Be it an Eid festival or a wedding or a get-together or any special occassion, Biriyani is there ! The main ingredients being rice and Lamb/Chicken. There are different ways of preparing it depending upon the region where you come from and every house has a signature Biriyani.
Generally, the lamb pieces are cooked in an aromatic spicy Yogurt broth and this broth is called Yakhni. Then Yakhni is layered with cooked rice and is given to dum (steaming).  I used to give this dum over a normal hot plate until one of my friends gave me this great idea of giving "dum" in an oven! Believe me, it tastes wonderful with a typical smoky aroma which a characteristic of this Biriyani.
So here goes the recipe....

For Rice
Basmati rice - 4 cups
Water- 5.5 cups
Oil - 1/2 cup
Cinnamon stick - 2 inch sized
Cardamom - 3
Mint leaves - 1/2 cup
Salt - according to taste
For Yakhni
Lamb - 1 kg
Oil - 1.5 cups
Onion (medium sized, sliced) - 8
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 3 tbsp
Tomatoes (medium sized, chopped) - 4
Cloves - 3
Cinnamon stick -  2 inch sized
Green Cardamom - 3
Chilli powder - 1 tsp (use it according to your spicy taste)
Corriander powder - 6 tsp
Yogurt - 500 gms
Fresh Mint leaves - 1/ cup(chopped)
Fresh Corriander leaves - 1 cup(chopped)
Salt - according to taste
For Layering and Garnishing
Corriander leaves(chopped) - 1 cup
Nuts(Raisins, cashews, chopped Almonds, lightly roasted in a teaspoon of oil)- 20 gms each
Saffron or Food colorant- orange red color and/or yellow color dissolved separately in 1/2 cup of water
Lemon juice from 1 big lemon.

Preparation of rice
1. Cook the basmati rice in water together with the ingredients cinnamon, cardamom, oil, mint leaves, and salt. It is easier to cook it in an electric rice cooker.  If you wish to cook it in a normal pot, take care that you dont stir the rice often and that it is not burnt. The point is, the rice should be a little more than half-cooked and the grains are not broken !

Preparation of Yakhni
1. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Add cardamom, cinnamom, cloves, cumin seeds and saut the onions until golden brown.
2. Add the ginger garlic paste and keep stirring until it mixes with the onions and leaves the bottom easily.
3. Add the lamb pieces and mix them well until they are covered with onions all over them. Fry for about 5 minutes.
4. Now add the tomatoes, chilli powder, salt, corriander powder, chopped mint leaves, corriander leaves and mix well. Cook for about 5 minutes.
5. Beat in and add the Yogurt. Mix well. No need to add water. Cover the lid and pressure cook until the lamb is fully cooked and is soft.
6. You will see a thick layer of oil on the top of the Yakhni. Do not mix the Yakhni now. Carefully remove the excess unhealthy oil from the surface using a big spoon. Then mix then yakhni well.

Final layering
1. Take a large tray preferably a deep bottom, suitable for use in oven.
2. Spoon the yakhni together with a few lamb pieces covering the bottom of the tray.
3. Then cover the yakhni layer with a layer of rice. Sprinkle the food colorants here and there. Add a tablespoon of corriander leaves, and sprinkle a tablespoon of lemon juice. Please do not mix the rice now.
4. Now comes the third layer of yakhni over it. No need to cover the rice layer completely. Just place it here and there.
5. For the forth layer, add the rice and repeat the process of sprinkling food colorant, corriander leaves, and lemon juice.
6. Repeat the layering until all the yakhni and rice is used. If you find excess yakhni remaining, retain it in a fridge and you could use it as a gravy with breads and rotis for the next day !
7. Finish off this layering with the top layer being yakhni.
8. Cover the tray with an aluminium foil and place it in a preheated oven at 200 °C for 10 minutes.
9. Lower the temperature of the oven to 150°C and dum the Biriyani for another 10-15 minutes.
Just before serving,  mix the layers well and finally garnish with the roasted nuts and corriander leaves and serve warm with raita or Yogurt sauce.

Tips :
1.You could use many layers depending upon your depth of the tray used. But care should be taken to ensure that the first and the last layer should be a yakhni layer otherwise the rice may get burnt during dum !
2. Stays good for 2 or 3 days in a refrigerator.

Since Ramadhan, the most sacred and auspicious month for Muslims is nearing, its my pleasure to send this recipe to  Taste of Pearl City, of Umm Mymoonah who is hosting an exclusive event on Iftar Moments.

This recipe also goes to th global Ramadhan event Joy from Fasting to Feasting (Season - III)

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  1. Looks soo.... yummy. Thank you so much for sending it to the event. This is just what i want, looking forward to more delicious treats from you:-)

  2. biryani is my evertime favorite
    this one is really delicious
    feel to grab some

  3. Hello first time here. Came through umm Mymoonah's space. Love the look of this Biriyani. My family is absolute Biryani addicts. Sure treat for us. Thanks for sharing.


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