Pakistani Lamb Biryani

Pakistani Lamb Biryani

Get the recipe for Pakistani Lamb Biryani ». Todd Coleman

This recipe comes from SAVEUR kitchen assistant Ambreen Hasan, a local of Karachi, Pakistan. We featured it as a part of our “Queen of Spices” article (April 2010), an ode to the various methods during which cardamom is used.

Pakistani Lamb Biryani

This recipe comes from SAVEUR kitchen assistant Ambreen Hasan, a local of Karachi, Pakistan.

Yield: serves 6


  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 giant yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. crushed purple chile flakes
  • 12 tsp. turmeric
  • 18 black peppercorns
  • 9 pods inexperienced cardamom
  • 3 pods black cardamom
  • 2 sticks (2″) cinnamon
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tomatoes, cored and minced
  • 5 serrano chiles, stemmed and minced
  • 1 (1 1/2″) piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 lb. trimmed lamb shoulder, reduce into 2–3″ items
  • Kosher salt, to style
  • 12 cup plain yogurt
  • 34 cup roughly chopped mint leaves
  • 14 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 40 threads saffron, crushed (heaping 1/2 tsp.)
  • 2 12 cups white basmati rice, soaked in chilly water for half-hour, drained
  • 12 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 4 entire cloves
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Rose water or kewra essence (optionally available)
  • Crimson/orange meals shade (optionally available)


  1. Warmth ¼ cup oil in a 5-qt. skillet over excessive warmth. Add onions; prepare dinner, stirring sometimes, till darkish brown, 20–25 minutes. Switch to a bowl; put aside.
  2. Warmth remaining oil in a 5-qt. pot over excessive warmth. Add garam masala, chile flakes, turmeric, 10 peppercorns, 5 inexperienced cardamom pods, 2 black cardamom pods, and 1 cinnamon stick; prepare dinner, stirring, till aromatic, about 1 minute. Add garlic, tomatoes, chiles, and ginger; prepare dinner, stirring, 2–3 minutes. Add lamb, season with salt, and prepare dinner till evenly browned, about 5 minutes. Cowl, cut back warmth to medium; prepare dinner till lamb is tender, about 1 hour. Add fried onions, yogurt, ½ cup mint, and a couple of tbsp. cilantro; prepare dinner, uncovered, for quarter-hour extra. Put aside.
  3. Put saffron right into a bowl and canopy with ½ cup scorching water; put aside. Carry 4 cups of water to a boil in a 5-qt. saucepan. Add remaining peppercorns, inexperienced and black cardamom, and cinnamon, together with the rice, cumin, cloves, and bay leaves, and season with salt. Cook dinner rice till al dente, 5–10 minutes; drain rice and put aside.
  4. Switch half the lamb curry to a 5-qt. pot. High lamb with half the rice. Pour half the saffron combination onto rice together with a couple of drops of rose water and meals coloring (if utilizing); combine into rice together with your fingers. High with remaining lamb curry and remaining rice; drizzle with remaining saffron; combine. Steam, coated, on low warmth till rice is tender, about 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining mint and cilantro.

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