Vegetarian recipe ideas
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Put all the biryani garam masala ingredients in a spice grinder with 2 tsp salt. Grind into a powder and set aside.
Now, make the lamb marinade. Put all the ingredients in a bowl, add the ground garam masala and mix until well incorporated. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hrs, or ideally overnight. Remove from fridge once you start preparing the biryani.
Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Wash the rice 4-5 times, or until the water runs clear. Set aside. Add around 2 litres of water to a large pot and bring to a boil.
Add the rice, remaining rice ingredients and 1 tsp salt to the water. Mix well and allow the water to come back up to the boil. Reduce to a rolling simmer and mix the rice every couple of minutes. Cook for 6-9 minutes or until the rice is partially cooked – it should have a bite to it. Drain and keep covered with foil or the pan lid.
To make the saffron cream, bring the milk, cream and ghee to the boil in a small saucepan. As soon as it boils, turn off the heat. Add the saffron strands. Allow the saffron to infuse well (the milk will turn yellow). Add ¼ tsp salt and mix. Set aside.
Put the marinated lamb in a large ovenproof dish with a lid. Put the partially cooked rice on top and spread evenly. Sprinkle over the golden fried onions, coriander, mint and saffron cream.
Cover with foil and put the lid on top. Cook in the oven for 20 mins, then reduce the temperature to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 and cook for a further 50 minutes. Check the lamb is cooked and then remove from oven.
Carefully mix the layers with a large spoon before serving. Garnish with the cranberries or pomegranate seeds. Serve with a raita of your choice.