This recipe may not quite match up to the photos, since when I was making biryani for New Year’s, I used leftover lamb curry as my base. But it’s basically the same concept. So luxurious — fit for a maharajah’s table.
Lamb Biryani (or Goat, Beef, or Chicken)
Biryani, derived from the Persian word berya, which means fried or roasted, is a rice-based dish made with spices and either lamb, goat, beef, chicken, egg, prawns, or vegetables—your choice! It is generally more strongly spiced than a pilaf (though closely related), and commonly layered as part of its preparation. Sri Lankan biryani is spicier than Indian, and generally served with curries and sambols.
This has a lot of ingredients and may look a bit intimidating, but it’s actually quite straightforward—mostly, you’re just adding everything to one big pot, step-by-step. It isn’t usually everyday food, given that it does take a while to cook, but if you have a special occasion to celebrate, biryani is an impressive crowd-pleaser. It will come out a bit dry, so I would serve it with a curry, or something else that offers a gravy. Even a yogurt raita would work!
Tip: If you don’t have an oven-safe dutch oven, you can start this in a regular large pot and transfer it to a baking dish for the final step.
4 boiled eggs, peeled and sliced in half
7. Serve on a flat dish and decorate with fried sultanas, cashew nuts, and boiled egg halves.
Note: For a fancy preparation, I’ve read that some chefs fry papadum, cut it fine, until it resembles straw, and then use that to concoct a nest; they nestle the biryani with it, and mold chickens out of a combination of mashed potato, butter, and egg yolk. But I’ve never seen or tried that!