MASALA BIRYANI (Serves 5-6 adults)

MEAT PREPARATION

750g mutton, cut up, rinsed and drained        ½  cup brown lentils                     3 sticks cinnamon   3 cardamom pods, peeled 1 bay leaf  

3 cloves

1 tbs ginger paste  1 tbs garlic paste

2-4 green chillies, slivered                     

2 tsp coriander powder (dhania)

½  tsp coarsely crushed black pepper  

 3 tsp cumin powder (jeera)

½  tsp turmeric        4 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp garam masalal tsp fennel powder (soumph)

2 medium tomatoes, grated       ½  cup sour milk

salt to taste

Cook lentils in water until tender but not mushy, brain and keep aside.

1 Place meat and whole spices in a deep pot and cook until all traces of pink disappear

Add rest of ingredients as listed and stir well to coat the meat and braise until the meat is slightly tender Stir lentils into meat

RICE PREPARATION

1 cup uncooked rice                       1 tsp salt

2 green cardamom pods   1 stick cinnamon

2 cloves        1 bay leaf

| Combine ingredients in a pot and boil for 10 minutes drain off water and keep aside

VEGETABLE PREPARATION

6 small potatoes, peeled and coloured yellow 1 cup oil
1 large onion, sliced                       ½  cup peas
1 carrot, scraped and sliced       ½  cup chopped dhania
 leaves of three stems of mint    2 stems curry leaves

Heat oil, fry potatoes until crisp but not cooked completely

Fry onions in the remaining oil until they are a rich brown

Add the carrots, peas and greens to the onions. Fry for two minutes and keep aside

TO ASSEMBLE BIRYANI

Using a flat-bottomed pot, place a thin layer of rice at the bottom

Add the meat and accumulated juices

Place potatoes, onions and other fried vegetables evenly

Cover with rest of the rice

 Set oven at 200°C

GARNISHIN6

¼ cup ghee    1 tsp whole jeera 1 tsp whole fennel seeds  1 medium onion, sliced pinch of saffron fronds    1 tbs rose water 1 ¼ cup warm water

Heat ghee, fry jeera, fennel and onion

Pour over rice

Heat saffron until crisp, add the rose water and mix until the colour is strong orange. To

crispen saffron, place on lid of hot pot and then crumble with the back of a spoon

Sprinkle on top of ingredients

Finally, pour the water around the inside of the pot

Cover securely and place in oven for 45 minutes

Serve with accompaniments

Cooking: