Madras Lamb Biryani
Recipe by Justine Schofield
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 1 x 3 cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Madras curry paste
- 1 x (410g) can Ardmona crushed tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 200ml coconut milk
- 250g frozen spinach, thawed
- 1kg lamb shoulder, cubed
- 300g (1 1/2 cups) basmati rice, rinsed 3 times
- 2 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 100g jarred mango pickles, to serve
- 20g (1/4 cup) crispy fried shallots, to serve
- Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3–4 minutes to soften and caramelise before adding the ginger. Stir regularly for 2 minutes, then add the curry paste and cook for a minute until fragrant.
- Add the lamb pieces and coat in the paste. Pour in the Ardmona crushed tomatoes and break up with a wooden spoon. Add the stock. Turn the heat to high and bring to the boil. Then put the lid on, turn the heat down and cook for 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
- In the last 10 minutes, pour in the coconut milk, then add the spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Cool for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Pour 1 litre of water into a large saucepan, add the rice and a pinch of salt and cook for 3 minutes until just al dente. Drain.
- Scatter the rice over the meat and spread evenly with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle on 3 tablespoons of water to ensure the rice steams and stays moist. Add the cardamom and bay leaf and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the rice is cooked.
- Scatter over the crispy fried shallots and serve with mango chutney.
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