4 120 mins
Print Recipe

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Scatter over the crispy fried shallots and serve with mango chutney.
Madras Lamb Biryani

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