As a sendoff, I cooked biryani: a lavish rice and curry layered dish drizzled with butter and saffron (as far as I understand it, anyway). It’s a non-trivial dish with raw spices, including the most expensive spice in the world!
Recipe from here.
- Marinate ~1.3 lb lamb shoulder with bone cubed in 1 tsp turmeric, 3 tbsp greek yogurt, 1/2 tsp salt 2 hours to overnight.
- In 2 tbsp butter, fry 1 bay leaf, 5 green cardamom pods crushed, 4 cloves, 3 cm cinnamon until crackling.
- Add 2 medium onions diced. Saute until soft.
- Add 6 cloves garlic minced, 2” ginger minced. Add 1/2 tsp red chili powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp fennel powder.
- Add lamb, 2 tbsp tomato paste, mixing well. Saute.
- Add 1/2 cup water. Simmer for an hour, until reduced.
- Rice: Soak 500g (2.5 cups) basmati rice for 30 minutes. Drain. Cook rice with 4 cups water with 2 bay leaves, 3 green cardamom pods, pinch salt, until 75% done, 7-10 minutes. Drain.
- Saffron water: Infuse generous pinch saffron in 2 tbsp hot water.
- Assemble: In deep casserole dish or pot, brush with melted butter. Layer rice and lamb plus sauce in thirds, drizzling in saffron water with layers. Drizzle top with saffron water, 1-2 tbsp melted butter, 1 tbsp chopped mint. Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes. OR Layer in pot, cover, cook on low for 15 minutes.
- Garnish with 1 tbsp coriander. Serve with red onion rings, lemon wedges, mint chutney.
- Puree 2 cups cilantro sprigs (1 bunch), 1 cup mint leaves, 1/2 cup chopped white onion, 1 green chili, 1/2″ ginger, 1 tsp sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 cup water as needed.