How to cook… Hyderabadi Pakki Biryani


Serves 4 as a main dish

There are many different types of Biryani. This South Indian version uses chunks of lamb (or mutton if you prefer) that is pre-cooked (Pakki) then added to the rice and steamed. It also includes cooked and fried chunks of potato and is finished off with saffron and fried onions.

What you need…
• 400g lamb, cut into large bite-sized chunks
• 2 potatoes (about 250g) peeled and cut into 4cm chunks
• Pinch turmeric
• Salt to taste
• 4 Tablespoons ghee
• 250g rice
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoons ginger paste
• 2 onions (1.5 roughly chopped, 0.5 sliced fine)
• 4 Tablespoons yoghurt
• 0.5 teaspoon chilli powder
• 150ml water
• Salt to taste
• 1 teaspoon oil
• 2 tablespoons milk
• Few strands of saffron (or you can use a couple of drops of yellow food colouring)• A few coriander leaves (for garnish)

• 2 teaspoons garlic paste
• 1 teaspoons ginger paste
• 0.5 teaspoon salt
• 0.5 black cracked pepper

• 8 peppercorns
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 4 cardamons
• 4 cloves
• 8cm piece of cinnamon
• 2 dried red chillies

How to make it
1. Mix the Marinade ingredients together and add to the lamb ensuring all the pieces are well coated. Set aside for 1 hour.
2. Boil the potatoes with a pinch of turmeric and salt until soft.
3. While the potatoes are cooking dry fry the Masala ingredients in a pan until they release their aromas (about 2 minutes). Grind to a masala and set aside.
4. Wash the rice until the water runs clear (this will take 7–8 washes) and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
4. Heat 2 Tablespoons of ghee to a medium heat and fry the potatoes until they start to brown (about 5 minutes). Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon and set aside.
5. Add the rest of the ghee to the pan and once heated to a medium heat add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.
6. Add the roughly chopped onions and cook for 2 minutes
7. Add the lamb and fry till all the pieces are sealed and browned (about 5 minutes).
8. Add the yoghurt, chilli powder and water, mix well, tun down the heat, cover and cook for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
9. Add the masala and some salt, mix well and cook, still covered, for 5 minutes.
10. Drain the rice to remove the remaining starch and add to the pan with the potatoes, being sure to mix well. The mixture should just be coated with water so add a little more if needed. Seal the pan with foil and cover, ensuring it fits tightly (add a weight to the top if necessary). Cook on a low heat for 40 minutes. Do not remove the lid.
11. While this is cooking coat the sliced onion with 1 teaspoon of salt for 5 minutes to remove the moisture.
12. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion until it browns and caramelises. Set aside
13. Warm the milk in a pan, remove from the heat and add the saffron strands. Using the back of a spoon gently push the saffron strands so they release their colour and flavours. Set aside.
14. Remove the lid of the lamb and rice and allow the moisture to evaporate for a couple of minutes. Gently fluff up the rice to release more of the moisture.
15. Pour over the saffron mix and add the onion and coriander leaves for garnish. Leave to rest for a couple of minutes and serve.

Traditionally the edges of the pan would be sealed with dough for the final stage of cooking. Try this and push down the lid for a perfect seal at stage 10 of the cooking.

If you like this you should try our
Sag PaneerChilli PaneerButter ChickenButter PaneerPrawn KormaMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken Dopiaza

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