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Biryani Resham

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Saffron-flavoured lamb cooked with yoghurt in rice


Prep Time45 minutes


  • 500 g basmati rice, washed, soaked in water for 60 minutes
  • 1 kg lamb, assorted pieces
  • 200 g ghee
  • 300 g yoghurt (dahi)
  • 24 g salt
  • 6 g red chilli powder
  • 24 g ginger (adrak) paste
  • 24 g coriander (dlianiva) powder
  • 4 T black gram (urad dal), roasted, husked, powdered
  • 1 T cumin (jeera) powder
  • 2 g black cumin (shah jeera) seeds, powdered
  • 3 black cardamoms (badi elaichi), powdered
  • 15 cloves (laung), powdered
  • 1⁄2 g saffron (zafran), crushed and dissolved in 1 tbsp water
  • 30 ml vetiver (kewda) essence
  • 350 ml milk


1. Heat the ghee in a wok (kadhai); add the lamb, yoghurt, salt, red chilli powder and ginger paste; mix well. Stir-fry until the liquid has evaporated and the lamb pieces are brown. Add just enough water; so that when the lamb is tender very little or no water remains. Add all the spices and saffron water; mix well. Lower heat and simmer until only the ghee remains.
2. Dram the rice and boil in plenty of water with the salt. When just tender drain the rice in a flat sieve and leave to drain removing the water completely.Then spread the rice in a large tray to cool, When the rice has cooled, divide it into 4 equal parts.
3. Grease the bottom and sides of a heavy-bottomed pan with ghee. Spread one part of the rice evenly. Sprinkle the milk and vetiver mixture over the rice.Then spread half of the cooked lamb over the rice. Cover the lamb with two parts of the cooked rice and spread the remaining lamb mixture ending with a layer of rice. Cover the pan and heat until steam rises. Remove from heat and keep in a preheated oven (I70°C / 325°F) for half an hour