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Hyderabad Lamb Biryani

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking: 2 hours
Serves: 6-8 persons


  • 800 g Lamb pieces, with some bone and trimmed of most fat
  • 2 tsp Meat Tenderizer Powder (Papain)
  • 4 tbs Vegetable Shortening or Ghee
  • 4 large Onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs fresh Ginger, crushed
  • 4-5 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 2 Green Chili, seeds removed and chopped finely
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon Powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 500 gm Plain Yogurt
  • 2 fresh Limes, Juice and Zest
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 5 pods Black Cardamom
  • 3 pods Clove
  • 2 tbs Fresh Mint, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbs Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbs Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tbs Caraway Seeds
  • 2 ltr Boiling Water
  • 1 tbs Salt
  • 3 cups long-grain Basmati Rice, washed and soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
  • 5-6 fresh Curry Leaves
  • 1 tsp Saffron Powder stirred into 1/2 cup Hot Water


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine Lamb pieces and Meat Tenderizer, cover with kitchen wrap and allow to marinate for 2 hours in the fridge.
  2. Heat Vegetable Shortening in a large rice pot, add and sauté sliced Onions in batches until golden brown. Remove from pot and set aside. Reserve shortening in pot for assembling the final dish.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine Ginger, Garlic, Green Chili, Smoked Paprika, Cinnamon Powder, Coriander Powder, Yogurt, Lime Juice and Zest, Salt, Black Cardamom, Cloves, 1 tbs fresh Mint and 1 tbs fresh Cilantro and mix, add in marinated meat and allow to marinate together for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. In the mean time, heat vegetable oil in a large pot, add Caraway Seeds and toast for 1-2 minutes. Add Water and Salt and bring to boil. Add pre-soaked rice and cook on medium heat until rice is half cooked.
  5. Add meat mixture and marinate to the same pot used to fry the onions, add 1/3 of the fried Onions, layer half of the cooked Rice and Caraway on top and the remaining Mint and Cilantro leaves, layer with another 1/3 of the fried Onions, add Curry Leaves and the remaining Rice and Caraway and top with the remaining fired Onions.
  6. Drizzle the Saffron and Water over the top, cover tightly and allow to cook over medium low heat for 90 minutes, or until the meat is fully cooked and the rice is fork tender.
  7. Serve hot with cut fresh Onion and Cucumbers slices and Plain Yogurt on the side.

Chef’s Tip: fresh Onions, Cucumbers and Yogurt act as a palate cleanser to minimize the heat from the Biryani and insure tasting all the flavors in each bite!

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