Baba's Meat Curry!

Nasi Biryani

Nasi Biryani 

[Indian style Rice - Lamb or Chicken]


  • 2 lb lamb [or chicken], cut into fairly large chunks
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 cups plain yoghurt
  • 2-3 tbsp or to taste, chili powder
  • 2 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup ghee [clarified butter]
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • ˝ cup almonds, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp golden raisins
  • a few saffron threads
  • 2 tbsp warm milk

        Ingredients for Marinade :

  • 2 med onions, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 inch ginger, sliced
  • 1 sprig fresh mint leaves
  • 4 green cardamoms seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick, broken up

     [Items in red to be ground or blended]

Cook's Note : Nasi Biryani with Lamb or Chicken is a main course meal, usually served on special occasions such as weddings and celebrations. However, Nasi Biryani [also spelt Beriani] in most local eateries in Malaysia, refer to the rice only [minus the meat] - that you order to eat with your choice of curries and side dishes.

To make Raita : Grate or finely dice 2 peeled and seeded cucumbers, add 1 cup of plain yoghurt, 1-2 tsp of finely chopped mint leaves and a quarter tsp of cumin powder. Mix well. Cool in refrigerator.


        To Marinade :

  • Using a mortar & pestle or blender, grind cloves, coriander seeds, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, cardamoms, onions, ginger and garlic into a paste
  • Add yoghurt and chili powder to the ground paste, mix well, combine with meat, coat well
  • Marinate meat for at least 2 hr, best overnight in the refrigerator

        To Prepare Lamb :

  • Heat wok or pot, add 3-4 tbsp ghee, fry the thinly sliced onions to a light golden brown, remove, drain on paper towels - do the same for the thinly sliced almonds, set aside
  • To the same wok, add chopped onions, lightly brown, add the marinated lamb, and brown well
  • Add 2 cups water and salt to taste
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to med-low heat, cover, simmer 45 mins to 1 hr, stir occasionally, add a little water if it starts to dry up too much - there should be at least a 1˝ cup of sauce for the rice

        To Prepare Saffron Rice :

  • Wash the basmati rice in cold water, at least 3 times, drain well and set aside for 20 mins
  • In a wok or pot, heat 3-4 tbsp ghee to med-high, sauté the rice until the rice grains look translucent, about 10-12 mins
  • Remove from heat, add salt to taste, mix well and set aside

        Layering the Lamb Biryani Rice :

  • In a large ovenproof casserole, add a layer of rice [about a third of the rice], followed by a layer of the cooked lamb [about half the lamb] and a few tbsp of the sauce from the lamb
  • Sprinkle a third of the fried onions, fried almonds, raisins and a few drops of saffron threads that has been mixed with the milk 
  • Make a second layer of rice, add the rest of the lamb, a third of the fried onions, almonds, raisins, a few tbsp of the lamb sauce and a few drops of the saffron & milk mixture
  • Add the final layer, of rice only and the rest of the saffron & milk mixture
  • Sprinkle about 3 to 4 tbsp of melted ghee on top
  • Add enough water, until you see the water level is about ˝ inch above the top of the rice
  • Cover the casserole well with a tight fitting lid or heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • Put the casserole in a preheated 450F oven, cook for approximately 45 mins, until the rice is cooked
  • With a long wooden chopstick or similar, fluff up the rice
  • Best served family-style on a huge serving platter, garnished with a few sprigs of mint leaves and the rest of fried onions, almonds and raisins
  • Enjoy with fresh Raita [yoghurt mint sauce]






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