- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 pound boneless lamb, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, cut into thin slices
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom or ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 5 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice, preferably basmati
- 2 3/4 cups water
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup chopped cashews
How to Make It
- QFS In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the garlic, cayenne, cumin, black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Stir in the lamb.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cardamom, turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, rice, and the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the lamb mixture to the pan. Stir in the water and raisins. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the rice and lamb are almost done, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let stand, covered, until the rice and lamb are just done, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cashews.
Variation: Other nuts, such as almonds or pistachios, can easily stand in for the cashews.
Wine Recommendation: The spices here immediately indicate a zinfandel from Napa or Sonoma, classic examples of which are redolent of the very same spices. The full body of these wines will match the intensity of the biryani nicely.