Pulled lamb biryani

I have children who are pretty certain that they do not like curry… any type of curry from any country on any planet in any universe. They just do not like curry.

“Whoa up there kiddos”, is what I reckon, “I accept your challenge”.

So, over the past few months I have set about making curries of many descriptions and origins, and believe me I was pretty surprised that the kids were actually right on this one – they just did not seem to like curry. Coconut based, stock based, thin gravy, thick gravy, spicy, not spicy – they just didn’t want to come to this gig at all. My final resort was to think outside the box just a little… it was time for the lamb biryani.

A curry topped with rice and then baked to make a delicious, well, curry topped with rice. The biryani did it. It won. Plus, it renewed my faith in my ability to win against teenage boys.

It’s on.

It may seem like it has a bit of a method, but you should be able to navigate the recipe pretty easily with your mad sea captain skills. And it’s really worth it. Don’t be scared.


1 lamb shoulder, smoked and roughly pulled (3 – 4 cups cooked lamb). This could also be roast lamb.
1 cup Greek yoghurt
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 cup frozen peas
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 knob ginger, grated
2 bay leaf
4 cardamon pods
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
1 teaspoon each dried chilli flakes, ground turmeric and ground cumin
500 ml stock or water
2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and soaked in water for 30 minutes
¼ cup milk
12 threads of saffron
Curry leaves, coriander, chopped green chilli and mint yoghurt, to serve

Place the cardamon pods, cinnamon and cloves into a spice grinder and pulse until you have a coarse powder. Alternately you could use a mortar and pestle.

Place a cast iron pot (Dutch oven) or casserole dish over medium heat. Add a splash of oil and sauté onions and carrots. Take your time and stir it regularly until they are starting to soften and brown.
Add garlic and ginger and sauté for another minute or two until it’s smelling good.
Add bay leaves, spice mix, chilli flakes, turmeric and cumin, and cook out for another minute.
Now add lamb, peas, yoghurt and stock and bring up to simmer.
Once simmering, turn heat off and set that lot aside.

And now we work on the rice; Strain soaked rice and get it into a pot. Cover with a fresh batch of water plus an inch or so and place pot onto medium heat. Once water is simmering, cook rice for two minutes.
Strain rice and pour into a medium mixing bowl.
Add saffron and milk to rice and stir to combine.
Set aside for 5 – 10 minutes for saffron to permeate a little.

Get the oven on at 180C (360 F).

Bring the lamb curry back onto the scene. It’s still in a Dutch oven or casserole dish, right?
Spoon rice onto curry in an even layer, patting it down ever so slightly.
Cover the oven dish with a tight-fitting lid or alfoil and place into oven for 20 minutes to finish cooking the rice and make it all sexy like.
Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
Open that bad boy up, top with some curry leaves, coriander and chopped green chilli, and serve with a little mint yoghurt on the side.
Fucking A you like that.

4 responses to “Pulled lamb biryani”

  1. Sounds amazing man! I’ve used a biriyani recipe from an Indian friend a few times which is amazing with some good indian curry leaves they’re growing at their place.

    As a massive lamb fan i’ll give this a crack for sure. Thanks for all you do man and for spending the time to share this with the interwebs ppl!

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