Friday, February 13, 2015

Recipe: Lamb Biryani with Butternut Squash Curry

A biryani is an Indian rice dish, similar to a paella, cooked traditionally with either lamb, chicken, rice, onions, ghee and spices. It is a dry dish, and so usually served along-side a vegetable curry of some sort. The word "biryani" supposedly comes from the Persian word "birinj" for rice. It is one of my favourite Indian dishes- a dish I often order in my local curry house. A "Cartouche" is just a posh French word for a circle of greaseproof paper- oh, it brings me back to my catering college days!!

Lamb Biryani with Butternut Squash Curry (serves 2)

60g butter or ghee
2 white onions, finely sliced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
12 cardamom pods (keep the seeds, throw away the “pods”)
½ tsp mixed spice
1 tsp turmeric
6 cloves
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoon fennel seeds
180g basmati rice
100g natural yogurt
500ml lamb stock (or chicken stock)
300g dice cooked lamb
Salt and pepper
25g ginger paste

20g butter
1 white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp turmeric
10g fresh coriander (plus extra chopped coriander for garnish)
150g tikka curry paste
700g diced butternut squash (about 1 medium sized squash)
1 tin coconut milk
100ml pineapple juice
Salt and pepper

1) In a casserole pot (with a lid), fry the onions, garlic, cardamom, mixed spice, turmeric, cloves, bay leaves and fennel seeds in the butter (or ghee), for 8 minutes, stirring often. Add the rice, and fry for a further minutes.
2) Add the yoghurt, stock, lamb, ginger, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, and then put on a very low heat. Cover with a cartouche, and put a lid on the pot. Leave to cook for 50 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, in another saucepan, fry the onion, garlic, mixed spice, turmeric and coriander in the butter for 5 minutes. Add the tikka curry paste, and fry for a further 3 minutes. Add all the other ingredients, and cook on a medium heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4)  Remove the lid from the biryani pot, remove the cartouche and fluff up the rice. Serve the biryani with the curry, with some extra fresh coriander on top!

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