Lamb Biriyani


  • 1/2 cup(s) plain yogurt
  • 2   cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon(s) cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1  pound(s) boneless lamb, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3  tablespoon(s) butter
  • 1   onion, cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground cardamom or ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) turmeric
  • 5   cloves
  • 1   cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) long-grain rice, preferably basmati
  • 2 3/4 cup(s) water
  • 1/3 cup(s) raisins
  • 1/3 cup(s) chopped cashews


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the garlic, cayenne, cumin, black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Stir in the lamb.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cardamom, turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, rice and the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. Add the lamb mixture to the pan. Stir in the water and raisins. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the rice and lamb are almost done, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let stand, covered, until the rice and lamb are just done, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cashews.
  4. Variation: Other nuts, such as almonds or pistachios, can easily stand in for the cashews.

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