Madras Lamb Biryani

Cook Time 2 hours

Servings 4


2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, finely sliced

1 x 3 cm piece of ginger, finely chopped

1 tbsp Madras curry paste

1 x (400g) can crushed tomatoes, drained

½ cup chicken stock

200ml coconut milk

250g frozen spinach, thawed

1kg lamb shoulder, cubed

300g (1½ cups) basmati rice, rinsed 3 times

2 cardamom pods, crushed

1 bay leaf

100g jarred mango pickles, to serve

20g (¼ cup) crispy fried shallots, to serve


Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3–4 minutes to soften and caramelise before adding the ginger. Stir regularly for 2 minutes, then add the curry paste and cook for a minute until fragrant. Add the lamb pieces and coat in the paste. Pour in the tomatoes and break up with a wooden spoon then add the stock. Turn the heat to high and bring to the boil. Then put the lid on and turn down and cook for 1 hour or until the meat is tender.

In the last 10 minutes then pour in the coconut milk, then add the spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Cool for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Pour 1 litre of water into a large saucepan, add the rice and a pinch of salt and cook for 3 minutes until just al dente. Drain.

Scatter the rice over the meat and spread evenly with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle on 3 tablespoons of water to ensure the rice steams and stays moist. Add the cardamom and bay leaf and cover with a tight-fitting lid and bake for 30-35 minutes until the rice is cooked.

Scatter over the crispy fried shallots and serve with mango chutney.


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Madras Fish Curry