Taste your mixture. If you feel you need more lime or lemon juice add it.
If you don’t like chili start with half the chili flakes – adding the balance if you feel for more heat. I like the recipe as it is and I would put this Biryani in the medium range when it comes to heat.
The reason we pre-cook our mutton is it takes 4 – 5 hours of slow cooking so put on your mutton first thing in the morning so it can blip away on a very low heat during the day. Never cook your meat on high because it will shrink and more shrinkage means less servings
Tip any of your excess mutton fat out into a storage jar and refrigerate. Lovely for roasting veggies or for replacing unhealthy cooking oils.
1.5 g Mutton flank or thick rib (You may use lamb)
salt to taste
38 g ginger
38 g garlic cloves
2 jalapenos, finely chopped – or crush together with garlic and ginger
A.10 ml cumin powder…. – or – …20 ml whole seeds, ground
B. 15 ml coriander powder…– or –…30 ml whole seeds, ground
C. 6 green cardamom pods (I roast and grind in their pods as they are small and don’t harm my coffee grinder)
D.2 black cardamom pods (Seeds removed from pods & pods discarded or they will jam and burn out your machine)
E. 2.5 ml black peppercorns, whole
F. 5 cloves
G. 1/4 – 1/2 a whole nutmeg, grated to taste
4 cinnamon sticks (cassia bark)
3 star anise
3 bay leaves
5 ml turmeric powder
30 ml dried red chili flakes or (8 g = 1 tbsp cayenne pepper or chili powder) or to taste
10 – 30 ml Lime or lemon juice to taste (Optional) – I omitted as my yogurt was sufficiently tart enough
BALANCE OF THE REST OF THE INGREDIENTS:
40 ml oil
500 ml (384 g) rice – I just use normal rice but you may use basmati rice
400 ml (362 g) lentils, dried – brown or red your choice
15 ml oil
3 onions, large – sliced
5 ml turmeric dissolved in 500 ml hot water
Lemon wedges to serve 20 curry leaves or a small handful
1 bunch Coriander, freshly chopped to serve (optional) I omitted – never had any
1 bunch Mint, freshly chopped to serve (optional) – I added just a touch dried
5 ml dill seed (Optional) – I use sometimes, which I coarsely grind
6 hard-boiled eggs (optional) – To serve – I skip
Dhunia Chutney to serve
I use 2 woks and a microwave oven.
Cook meat whole with a little salt in a cup water topping up as necessary. Slow simmer 4 – 5 hours or until meat is ready for falling off the bones or until you are able to slip out the bones and remove. Do not overcook. Cool and snip meat with kitchen scissors into desired cubes. Set aside in 2nd wok or saucepan.
Peel and cut potatoes into quarters. Set aside in water to cover.
Heat up mutton fat left in 1st wok and fry your potatoes until 2/3 rds of the way done. Set aside.
Tip out excess fat from 1st wok, leaving just enough fat, about 15 – 30 ml to roast your onions.
Slice onions into very thin slices. A mandolin is very good for this purpose if you have one. Heat mutton fat. Toss in onions and saute until golden brown.
Push meat up sides of 2nd wok to make a space in center. Place garlic and ginger in center and crush with a little salt to a paste – Finely chop your jalapenos if you won’t be crushing them with your garlic and ginger.
Roast whole seeds (A-G) listed in above ingredients – in a wetted teacup at 24 second bursts 3 – 4 times or until they just begin to release their aroma. As soon as they do – Remove as they burn easily. Set aside to cool. Place roasted seeds into coffee grinder and you may now add your cinnamon sticks broken up, star anise and the bay leaves torn up – Grind to a fairly coarse powder.
Empty contents of coffee grinder over meat. Add turmeric and chillies together with yogurt. Massage all well into the meat with a fork or spoon.
Cook lentils for 20 minutes in just enough water to cover , drain and set aside.
Cook rice 8 minutes in a 1000 watt microwave oven – covered in a rice cooker or suitable container, with enough water just to cover so that it is able to be reabsorbed into rice once cooking time has expired. Rice must cook firm to the bite.
Layering Your Biryani:
Using a casserole or an electric wok pack in all your ingredients forming layers: Begin with a layer rice, followed by lentils, mutton together with marinade, raw or par cooked potatoes and the onions interspersed with the rest of the ingredients. Repeat, packing in the remainder of ingredients in same order. Pour over your dissolved turmeric.
Close lid with a layer tin foil to seal if you wish – however I don’t do so.
Place in preheated oven and bake 160 – 180 C for 1 hour 20 minutes or until done. When your potatoes are fork tender – Serve and Enjoy!