Easy Lamb Biryani With A Woolworths Twist

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Craving a hearty and flavorful meal that explodes with warm spices and juicy lamb? Look no further than lamb biryani! This classic South Asian dish is a symphony of textures and tastes, featuring tender lamb nestled amongst fluffy rice, aromatic vegetables, and a rich yogurt sauce. While traditional biryani recipes can be quite involved, Woolworths offers some handy shortcuts to create this restaurant-worthy dish in your own kitchen.

This recipe takes inspiration from Woolworths’ readily available ingredients, making it perfect for weeknight dinners or weekend feasts.

Easy Lamb Biryani Recipe  Woolworths
Easy Lamb Biryani Recipe Woolworths


For the Lamb Marinade:

3 whole green cardamom pods

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 onions, finely sliced
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ kg lamb pieces (Woolworths free-range stewing lamb is perfect)
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic paste
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 green chilies, ground
  • 3 green chilies, whole
  • 400g roma tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 ½ cups double-cream plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 100g butter, cubed
  • 1 cup water

  • For the Rice:

    3 cups basmati rice

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ½ cups water

  • Directions:

    1. Marinate the Lamb: This step allows the lamb to absorb all the wonderful flavors of the spices. In a mortar and pestle (or spice grinder), crush the cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and peppercorns. This releases their aromatic oils.

    2. Heat Up the Oil: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat some vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until golden brown and crispy. Patience is key here! Crispy onions add a delightful texture to the biryani.

    3. Spice Up the Lamb: Once the onions are golden, remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and set them aside on paper towels to drain excess oil. Add the lamb pieces to the pot and sear them on all sides for a few minutes. This step creates a lovely browned crust on the lamb.

    4. Flavor Explosion: Add the crushed spices, curry leaves, ginger and garlic paste, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, ground green chilies, and whole green chilies to the pot with the lamb. Stir everything together to coat the lamb in the fragrant spice mixture.

    5. Yogurt Power: Pour in the pureed tomatoes, yogurt, and lemon juice. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Add enough water to just barely cover the lamb. Season with salt to taste.

    6. Bring to a Boil: Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot tightly, and simmer the lamb for at least 1 ½ hours, or until tender.

    7. Prepare the Rice: While the lamb simmers, it’s time to cook the rice. Rinse the basmati rice thoroughly in a fine-mesh sieve until the water runs clear. This removes excess starch, resulting in fluffy, separate rice grains.

    8. Building the Biryani: In a separate pot, heat some oil or ghee (clarified butter) over medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks and turmeric powder to the hot oil, letting them sizzle for a few seconds to release their flavors.

    9. Season the Rice: Add the rinsed basmati rice, salt, and water to the pot. Stir gently to combine, then bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot tightly, and simmer the rice for 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and all the water has been absorbed.

    10. Assemble the Biryani: Now comes the fun part! In a large oven-safe dish or baking tray, spread half of the cooked rice evenly. Top the rice with the tender lamb pieces and all the delicious sauce from the pot.

    11. Layer it Up: Gently spread the remaining rice over the lamb and sauce. Dot the top of the biryani with the reserved crispy onions and cubed butter. This adds a delightful textural contrast and richness to the dish.