February 29, 2004
Leap Snow & Biryani
Woke up this “leap Sunday” morning to be greeted by a pretty view out of the window:
Just started to snow quite heavily.
(Route 79 bus stop in the middle there.)
It was bound to happen I suppose - it’s been really cold here in London for the last few days …
… which is why we treated ourselves to a great Saturday-night-in dinner of Lamb Biryani. Perfect winter-time, sit-in-front-of-TV-and-watch-a-great-film soul food. Inspired in part by StroppyCow’s comment to my “More Slough” posting below - I added it to my list of recipes “to-do” - but immediately brought it to the front of the list after the temptation grew too much to bear.
Lamb Biryani - click here to learn how to make it!
Posted by jag at February 29, 2004 09:37 AM
No snow down here in Brixton. The ground’s a bit damp too, so probably won’t settle if it does snow.
It’s still snowing here quite heavy - has been since around 9am. Not settling on road or pavement - but is settling on grass, cars and trees.
Earlier, I was in Heathrow Airport and I was snowing heavily but lewisham is looking like summertime.
Hi Remi - well it’s now looking like summertime here! The snow has completely gone - not a trace of it anywhere - and the sunshine is positively glorious. What madness there is in the British weather!
Why wont all the snow in the world fall in water starved, getting hotter Chennai - Could really use some snow here.
It looks damn cool.
Isnt the biryani supposed to be a little more dry?
Hi Sat - it rains and snows in all the wrong places I guess! Yes - the biryani in the photo has been taken before it’s finished. My “finish” photo came out so blurred that it was pointless showing it - but yes you’re right - it should be a lot “dryer” than shown in the picture - which admittedly isn’t a very good one!
jag, all your recipies look very tempting but i am so lazy to try. are they easy ? if so, i may start printing them out and giving them a go. i have an indian friend here who can help me with the spices at the indian supermarket in town .…
and we still have snow on the ground, but admittedly, i do live in the sticks ;)
Hi Zoe - you live in “the sticks” ? Nah - Belgium is just another suburb of London! ;-)
Anyway - I won’t pretend that it’s easy cooking the Indian-style recipes - but there is an element of “using the force” as it were; i.e. constant tasting, practising etc. until you get it right. You might screw up a few times - but if the best thing in my view about cooking Indian-style is that it’s a lot of fun doing it - very theraputic I’d say. My advice would be to start with vegetarian dishes - practising getting the “base” right - which is fried onions, garlic, ginger, chillie and spices and tomato in the right quantities - then just add the veg or the meat - and some water if necessary and slow-cook until the right consistency is achieved. If you master the art of cooking Indian-style Basmati rice - then even better as an accompaniment for meat and pulse dishes. If I were you - I would also Google some recipes and compare a few - including mine - and then have a go. I admit that you might not get it right first time - but with practise you’ll be hooked! By the way - do not be afraid to try the packet-mixe style recipes - you can always liven them up with touches of your own - like finely chopped onions and tomatoes thrown in towards the end of cooking.
One thing however, be sure to have the basic core spice ingredients in your cupboard and freezer: specifically:
Garlic, ginger, chillie - zapped to a pulp in food processor and stored in freezer bags. Break off chunks when needed. Also: essential dry spices are: garam masala, turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, cumin seeds, salt, chillie powder. And be sure to garnish end-product dishes with fresh coriander leaf - which you can buy in bunches from practically everywhere.
For me - the fun in cooking Indian is shopping for fresh/cheap ingredients - I admit that this may not be easy in Belgium - but if you have Indian friend that do ask for advice; wherever there are Indians there are shops that cater for them!
cheers for that! i always have fresh ginger and garlic at home and have several different indian spices lying around that my indian friend leaves after he’s cooked for us :)
and where i live is nothing like london .… remember, i don’t live in brussels itself - just work there ;)
brr. feels cold. summer has begun here in mumbai. temperatures are upwards of 34 degrees C
34 degrees - and at the start of summer - that’s heavenly .… (we would struggle to reach that in the height of summer over here - even though we hit 40 on one day in 2003 - which was probably a freak of mother nature)
i loved the snow on sunday morning, but low and behold a few hours later, sun comes out and it’s all gone!
Indeed Jaina! It was definitely like you described on Sunday!
London hit 40 - thats way high for a city in the temperate region - Even we hit 45-46 . (And I am not proud of that either :) )
Great garlic, ginger, chilli tip.…I’ll definitely try that. I bet it smells heavenly when you do it too
The lamb biryani is delicious! It’s definitely going on my list of recipes to cook for friends and family. I served it with a nice raita and chappatis and had to restrain myself not to overeat. Thanks for the recipe!
The best I have ever tried making biryani lamb! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Hi Jo and KH Lee - many thanks for your feedback - and glad you found the recipe useful!
This is the best recepie site on the internet i have ever been
thank u very much for doining a great job
best regards Wolfgang
Dear Wolfgang - thank you so much for your very nice compliment! I’m glad to have been of pleasure!
This is the first time I’ve ever tried to cook a recipe (trying to impress!!!)
Very easy to follow and tasted FANTASTIC!
I was a bit nervous about not lifting the lid but I followed your instructions to the letter and voila! will be trying more very, very soon.
Cheers Paul! Glad it worked out OK for you! And please do let us know how your other attempts work out too! Any other tips appreciated.
Greetings from America on a pleasant September day. I was looking for Lamb Biryani recipes and came across yours. I love the photogs, and the simplicity of the recipe. Yes, Biryani is tedious if done “correctly” but I also get good results by cutting half the layering steps, etc. I’m going to try yours this p.m. Let you know what I think. Have a grand day. M.
I was looking for a lamb biryani and came across your recipe. The pictures, and the way you explained the process is really good. and i apreciate it. I have gone thru many recipes before, but i never come across the recipe that explained so well. After reading your recipe, before trying the same i feel like posting the comments. Hats of to your recipe. Keep me posted if you try anything else…
Mara: thanks for your comment! Do let me know how it turned out for you!
Sreedevi: And thank you too for your kind comment. There are plenty more recipes - if you go to http://www.route79.com/journal - and then look under the “food” section on the left-hand side - there are links to more of my cooking instructions. Enjoy!
awesome site…thanks for all the hardwork…
Hi there, just made your lamb biryani recipe, (with chicken) it’s fantastic! Yumm.… Will try some of your others now!
Dear enroute 79,
Your recipes are very nice. I prepared most of them and they tasted marvellously very
well. But one recipe that is Lamb Biryani. The ingriedients etc., are proper but the end product
apppears different from what it is usually prepared in our region. The appearance itself did not
prompt me to try it.
The procedure is the same but two things differ. One is meat and rice are prepared
differently. After both are cooked they are put in layers in a separate pot and put on very slow
fire to do the cooking by steam.
For the meat gravy the onions are fried slightly golden in color then all other things
that is the spices and the marinade of the meat is put. When the meat is tender the gravy is
cooked here in the gravy oil should float.
The rice is to be cooked with few whole cardomons, cloves and little ginger garlic paste.
When the rice is 3/4 th done it should be drained in a colander.
Lastly the above mentioned steps should be followed that is rice and the meat gravy should
be layered in a pot and cooked on very slow fire for 10 to 15 minutes. After that remove the lid
and fluff the rice by slightly mixing the layers. The Biryani is ready.
You try this and if you find it tasty then you put this recipe on your site too. As many
people will like this type of Biryani.
Here is another recipe of Biryani where you can cook very easily and it tastes very good
too. chicken is the ideal choice for this recipe but meat can also be used. If you are using
meat apart from all the ingridients papaya paste or meat tenderiser is needed. 1 to 1 1/2
teaspoon of papaya paste will do. For chicken there is no need of anyting to tenderise it. Lime
jusice or vineger will do it.
First the meat should be washed clean.Now take glass bowl and add the meat. The other
ingredients also have to added. That is either whole garam masala or the powdered(
Cloves,cinnamon, cardamon), cariander powder, chillie powder, termeric powder, salt, green
chillies, coriander leaves, mint leaves, bay leaves, tomatoes cut (optional), Vinger or lime
juice -1 table spoon, curd. Now mix all these well. Now take 3 onions and cut them lenght wise
and fry them crisp golden in oil. Drain the onions using a spoon on to a plate and when they get
cold crush them and add to the marinadeAnd add the oil also and mix well. Put this in the fridge
for about tree hours or so. You can keep this is the freezer for many days even for months. When
you need to cook the biryani you have to cook the rice as said in the above Biryani recipe and
drain the water. Here you have to put the meat along with the marinade in the pot first then on
top of it all the drained rice.On the top put few mint and coriander leaves, one spoon of lime
juice and a handfull of fried onions. First on the stove to a high burner and after 2 minites
lower it to very low fire and let it be so for about 20 to 25 minites. Off the flame and serve
from side ways so that you get the equal portion of meat and the rice. Or you can mix also.
Serve with yogurt raita made of cucumberslices, coriander leaves,mint leaves, little lime juice,
salt pepper powder, finely chopped onions, green chillies, tomatoes. Mix well and serve with any
My mail id is email@example.com
Hello Shaik - I would like to thank you so much for your kind feedback and very comprehensive suggestions. I will certainly give them a try sometime - and I will post the results here too.
Once again - many thanks!