Kucha Ghost ki Biryani | Hari Ghotra
5.0/5 rating (5 votes)

Kucha Ghost ki Biryani

Raw Lamb Biryani

  • Heat Medium
  • Serves 6
  • Prep 1 hr
  • Cook 40 mins
Kucha Ghost ki Biryani

A complex lamb dish which is full of delicious aromatics and flavour that really packs a punch.

Hari says

This is a spicy Hyderabad biryani (or biriyani or briyani) that’s cooked in a slightly different way from the north Indian biryani. It’s made with raw marinated lamb and rice that has been par-cooked with spice fragranced water. One of my first university experiences was going to an Indian restaurant where a friend ordered a biryani. I nearly fell off my chair when I saw what she was given. Blanched bits of meat with multi-coloured rice that tasted of, well, nothing.

Doubly annoying as the biryani is the most fragrant dish on the Indian menu. Each mouthful should burst with flavour, each morsel of meat delicately soft from the marinade and each grain of rice should feel rich through soaking up aromatics of the spices.

I know this one looks complicated but if you’re organised it all comes together quite easily. They say in India you never need to call your guests to eat a biryani - as soon as you remove the lid the fragrance draws people to it. I like that.

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 500g leg of lamb, diced 

Indian bouquet garnet (spices in a tied muslin bag)

  • 5 black cardamom
  • 5 green cardamom
  • 1 star anise
  • 7cm stick of cassia bark
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 6 cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 blade of mace
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds.

Marinade

  • 1 tsp ginger, crushed
  • 1 tsp garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced 
  • 3 green chillies, slit lengthways
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Handful fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 5 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Caramelised onions

  • 2 onions, sliced into rings 
  • 1 tbsp ghee

Saffron Milk

  • 1 pinch of Saffron
  • 3 tbsp milk

Rice

  • 2 cups Tilda Basmati rice, washed until it runs clear 
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds
  • ½ tsp salt

Making the Biryani

  • Handful mint leaves, chopped
  • Handful coriander leaves, chopped
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp screwpine water/Kewra water (optional)
  • 1 tbsp ghee

To seal the pan (optional)

  • 2 tbsp flour
  • Splash of water

Indian bouquet garnet 

  1. Place the whole spices in some muslin and tie up into a knot. Place the muslin into a pan with 1L of water and bring to the boil to fragrance the water. Leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Marinade

  1. Meanwhile, mix the marinade ingredients together in the pan you will be cooking the dish in. Add the meat to the marinade massaging all the favours into the meat and leave.

Caramelised onions

  1. In a separate pan add onion slices to 1 tbsp ghee and fry gently until a lovely caramelised dark brown colour is achieved. Remove and set to the side.

Saffron Milk

  1. Put the saffron into 3 tbsp on milk and leave to steep to draw out the colour. Set to one side.

Rice

  1. To the fragranced water add the caraway seeds and salt.
  2. Remove the bouquet garnet from the water and add the rice then cook for about 6 minutes, ensure the rice still has a bite to it.

Making the Biryani

  1. Using a slotted spoon start to bring across half the rice to the dish with the marinating lamb and sprinkle the rice over the top. Try and bring across some of the aromatic cooking water as well with each scoop to add liquid to the dish.
  2. Sprinkle over half the mint and coriander leaves and half the crispy onions, ¼ tsp cardamom powder and ¼ tsp garam masala.
  3. Pour in the rosewater and the screw pine water.
  4. Bring across the final layer of rice with a little more water.
  5. Top with the remaining mint, coriander and onions.
  6. Sprinkle the saffron milk all over and dot with ghee around the edges of the rice.
  7. Place a heavy lid on the pan and put it on the stove on a high flame for 5 minutes.

To seal the pan (optional)

  1. To make it really authentic you can seal the pan shut with some dough all around the edges.
  2. Reduce the heat to a very low heat and leave to cook for 30 minutes until the seal has cracked and steam is escaping from the pan. This indicates the dish is nearly cooked. Leave for a further 5-10 minutes then remove from the heat and leave to sit for a couple on minutes before serving.
  3. The rice on the edge of the pan should have a crunchy toasted texture - delicious.

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Calories164
Fat (g)5.8
of which saturates (g)3.1
Carbohydrates (g)20
of which sugars (g)1.8
Fibre (g)0.4
Protein (g)8.2
Salt (mg)0.62
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

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Hari Ghotra