Lamb Biryani Recipe

March 26, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Slow cooker size: 4- or 5-quart medium

Cooking time: At least 2 hours to marinate, 3 hours on low

Yield: 8 cups

1, 4-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
4 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
4-6 green Thai, serrano, or cayenne chilies, stems removed
2 Tablespoons garam masala
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
2 lbs. boneless lamb leg or shoulder, cut into 1-inch (3 cm) cubes
1 cup plain yogurt
3 medium yellow or red onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
4 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands, soaked in 2 Tablespoons milk (optional)

1. In a deep bowl, mix together the ginger, garlic, green chilies, garam masala, red chili powder, turmeric, teaspoon of salt, cilantro and mint. Add the lamb and mix to coat. Marinate at least two hours in refrigerator or, ideally, overnight.

2. After marinating, add the yogurt to the lamb and mix well.

3. Turn the slow cooker on low. Add the onions, 2 tablespoons of the oil and the marinated lamb to the slow cooker. Cook for 2 hours.

4. On the stovetop, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the rice and tablespoon of salt and turn the heat to low. Allow the rice to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, at which point most of the water will have evaporated. If it has not, use a slotted spoon to transfer the rice to the slow cooker. Discard any water remaining in the pot. Level the rice in the slow cooker with the back of a spoon. Drizzle the rice with the remaining oil and the saffron/milk mixture, if desired.

5. Cook for 1 hour, fluffing the rice once or twice. Scoop and serve this amazing one-pot meal.

- If you want to add another layer of flavor to the dish, brown the onions in oil on the stovetop before adding them to the slow cooker.
- To make this dish in a 3.5-quart slow cooker, halve all the ingredients and proceed with the recipe. A half recipe makes 4 cups.

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