Nalli gosht biryani
Lamb shank biryani (Nalli gosht biryani) is a mild and very delicious biryani flavoured with mace and nutmeg powder (jaiphal and javitri powder) and other ingredients. In this lamb biryani, I have used lamb shank pieces (2 big), apart from few meat pieces. In this lamb shank biryani, I have cooked lamb shanks in a pressure cooker with the spices separately in a curry form and layered the rice but this time I didn’t add the yoghurt in the curry as I do often, this time, I have used yoghurt by adding kesar colour or biryani colour for layering on the rice in the end, for giving dum. The meaty cut from the lower end of the leg is full of flavour and will become meltingly tender, and fall from the bone after long, slow cooking. I love lamb shanks, as they have tremendous amount of flavour, gelatine and the marrow bone is my favourite. I have prepared lamb shank (Nalli gosht curry), but never tried with biryani, I just want to try with lamb shanks; you can use any lamb pieces and make biryani.
This biryani is not spicy but mild for me. In this lamb shank biryani (Nalli gosht biryani) I have not used any whole spices for rice nor for the lamb curry, so there is no chance that you will be getting any whole clove or cardamom in your mouth as many people don’t like, to get whole spices in their mouth and also it will not take much time like in roasting or making the lamb curry. I have cooked this biryani in pakki biryani style means meat is precooked and rice is layered on top and cooked.
- Oil/ghee – 3/4 cup or more
- Onion (layering, garnishing) – 300 gms
- Lamb shanks - 600 gms
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Onion (chopped) – 100 gms
- Chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Garam masala – 1 tsp
- Turmeric – 1 tsp
- Ginger and garlic paste – 2 tbsp
- Water – 3/4 cup or more
- Black Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Bay leaves (big) - 2
- Almonds (badam) – 35 gms
- Raisins – 25 gms
- Curd – 1/2 cup
- Milk – 1/2 cup
- Colour – a pinch
- Lemon juice - 1
- Mint (chopped) – 25
- Coriander leaves (chopped) – 20 gms
- Mace and nutmeg powder – 3/4 tsp or 2 pinches
- Green cardamom powder – 2 pinches
- Rose water – 4 tbsp
- Ghee – 3 tbsp
- Basmati Rice – 400 gms
- Black cardamom – 1
- Star anise - 1
- Green cardamom – 2
- Cloves – 4
- Cinnamon stick (2 inch pieces) – 2
- Water - as required
Lamb shank curry
- Slice the onion for frying and keep it aside.
- Chop the onions, mint and coriander leaves, keep it aside.
- Soak almonds in hot water, keep it aside.
- Add milk and curd in a bowl, beat with a fork to make it smooth, so that no lumps are there, add colour a pinch, mix well with little salt. Keep it aside.
- Remove the skin of almond and slice or chop, keep it aside.
- Preheat the vessel with oil or ghee, when hot add sliced onion, bay leaf and cook until it is crisp, golden caramel colour. Remove and keep it aside.
- In the same remaining oil or ghee, add bay leaf, black cumin seeds, raisins and almonds, fry till light golden colour comes on almonds and raisins will start swell up. Remove the bay leaf and throw it. Remove the almonds and raisins; keep it aside for garnishing/layering. If few cumin seeds comes with almonds its okay. The same oil or ghee is used for layering the rice and meat, dum process.
- Preheat the pressure cooker with little oil or ghee, add all the ingredients for the curry and water, close the lid, until 2 to 3 whistles come or it is cooked as per your cooker instructions. Switch off; let it rest for few minutes until pressure is released.
- Open the lid and check the curry consistency, if it is thin, cook it for few more minutes on medium flame or lower flame , by keeping lid half open, to make the curry little thick as per your consistency and is sufficient to coat the rice. When the curry is cooked, it starts leaving oil on top. Switch off, keep it aside.
- Boil sufficient water double or more than rice, add rice, salt and cook till its grains are long and cooked 70% to 80 % & only, as when pressed the rice will break into 2 to 3pieces.
- Strain the water and keep it aside. Remove all the whole spices and keep it aside.
- Mix few mint and coriander leaves, few fried onions , few almonds and raisins, rose water, mix all in the rice, but mix colour partly only in the rice, as white rice should be seen. Keep it aside.
- In the same vessel, in which onions and nuts were cooked, you can use for the giving dum. If the oil or ghee is more, you can remove some and keep it aside.
- You can use the left over oil, in the other curries while cooking.
- Add first some curry and some meat , then 1/2the rice on the lamb curry, spread evenly, and add few fried almonds and raisins, few mint and coriander leaves, some lemon juice and fried onions spread evenly(keeping the few layering ingredients, for the next layer). Sprinkle some mace and nutmeg powder and green cardamom on the rice. Now add some yoghurt mixture on top of the rice, this first layer.
- Add remaining curry on the first layer and rice, spread the remaining almonds, raisins, mint and coriander leaves and fried onions (keep some fried onions and nuts for garnishing in the end on the plate). Add yogurt mixture all the sides evenly. Sprinkle some mace and nutmeg powder, green cardamom powder on the rice. Drizzle some ghee and lemon juice evenly all sides. It is now ready for the dum.
- Close it with aluminium foil, then with the lid.
- When you are layering the lamb curry and rice, keep the flame in simmer, so that the meat and rice gets warm, starts steaming. When you keep your hand on the top of rice you will see the warmness and steam is coming out. It will be easy for you to determine the cooking time for rice. Close it with aluminium foil, then with the lid.
- Close the lid and simmer for 25 to 30 min as per the rice or till the rice is cooked. Switch of and let it rest.
- Serve hot biryani with any Raitha.
Frying the onions and nuts for garnishing
Lamb shank curry
- If the whole biryani is made with ghee (clarified butter), add ghee as per your requirement.
- If the onions are fried in oil and the oil is more still for the curry, you can reduce it or instead of oil, ghee can be used or curry can be made with partly with oil and ghee.
- The lamb curry should be enough to coat the rice and the curry should not be too thin or too thick.
- Instead of biryani kesar colour, you can add real saffron (kesar) thread, put in aluminium foil few or a pinch of kesar threads and close the aluminium foil or make like a small pocket and heat it on a pan for few minutes, to release its colour or to bring out its more colour and then soak in hot water or hot milk, for the layering of the rice.
- When the rice is cooked it should be partly done as the grains will be long but still raw when pressed in your thumb, it will break into 2 or 3 pieces. (Refer my previous biryanis for dum and cooking rice processes).
- While giving dum, after few minutes you can smell the aroma of biryani, it gives indication that it’s ready.
- You can use raisins and nuts as per your taste and the requirement.
- Instead of rose water, you can use kewra water also.
- There is no rule for the ingredients added during layering of the rice; you can layer the rice and other ingredients as per your choice and taste.