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Ben and Mike whip up a Lamb Biryani that some of the group find a little too hot to handle.

Lamb Biryani


  • 3 white onions

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 knob ginger

  • 1 glug olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons curry powder

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 2 cardamom pods

  • 500 grams lamb shoulder diced

  • 4 plum tomatoes, quartered

  • 150 milliliters natural yoghurt

  • 300 grams basmati rice

  • 450 milliliters hot chicken stock

  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach

  • 1/2 mug natural yoghurt

  • 2 sprigs mint

  • 1 squeeze lemon juice

  • 1 handful fresh coriander

  • 2 red chillies


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.

  2. Peel and dice onions then peel and grate garlic and ginger. Fry the onions in a glug of oil for a few minutes before adding the garlic and ginger. Spoon in all the spices with the lamb and fry until the meat is coloured.

  3. Dump in the tomatoes, yoghurt and a splash of the chicken stock then cover with a lid or tin foil and bake in the oven for an hour until the lamb becomes just tender.

  4. Pour in the rest of the hot chicken stock and rice, stir, cover again and bake for another 20 minutes. Take out of the oven, stir in the spinach and leave covered for 10 minutes on the side to continue cooking from the residual heat.

  5. Blitz the mint, yoghurt and lemon juice up in a blender with a pinch of salt. Chop up the coriander and slice the chillies.

  6. Serve the biryani straight to the table in the dish with a pile of chopped coriander, chillies and yoghurt for people to help themselves.

Lamb Biryani




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- Ben and I are just putting finishing touches to a lamb biryani that we just made. It's looking and smelling pretty good. - [Ben] This is Ben, Jamie, Barry and Mike. - Don't mind me. - [Voiceover] We are old schoolmates. And together, the faces of Sorted, an online cooking community with one aim, to get more of our generation into the kitchen. In each episode, one of us attempts to impress the group with a great tasting recipe, and we talk food at the table. - [Barry] This is my kind of dinner. - Thank you! I was waiting for mine. - I'd like to draw your attention to my biryani. Well, our biryani. - Lamb biryani. - Yep. - [Ben] Cooked with my own hands and brain. - I'm thinking - Not bisque, but tastes of water. - Can I start, or? - Dig in! - Yes! - It is quite hot! - That's why you could add them on optionally. Here, try this one. - Had about six of them, no thank you. Why Mike, so how'd you and Ben do this? - We start with an onion, some garlic, and ginger. - I wanna scrape this with a spoon, because I've never done it, I'm gonna use this tip for the ginger and the onions. - Cool. I'll start with the garlic then. - And then we fried it, we fry it. - File off in a pan. - Did we fry it? - What, you did this? - Then we added the spices. Now, you definitely asked me what the spices were several times so you could remember. They were... - Garam masala... - Yep. - Cumin, curry powder, cardamom pod, cinnamon stick. - Awesome. - Bow! - And that combination of flavors, how's that taste? - I think if any one of those was missing, it would have been a sham. - [Mike] The meat of this dish is lamb shoulder. We've got a bone and rolled one we've got to cut into chunks and add it to our sweated onion, garlic, and ginger. - Good job. - It's a good job, you hear that? Good job, ow. - Thumb! - There's no blood in the food or anything, is there? - No. - No. - That'd be revolting. - It's got Mike's black pudding in it. - I still can't feel my mouth. - Have some water. - But lamb is ridiculously tender, have you been cooking that for hours? - No, hour. Let me just stop you there. We chose to use a lamb shoulder because it's a tender, flavorsome part of the animal, and also cheap. Continue. - Quarter four tomatoes and add it to the lamb with some yogurt and a little bit of water, and cover it with tin foil and bung it in the oven for an hour at 160 degrees celsius. - I wouldn't be able to do it off the top of my head, I'd forget something fundamental like buy a lamb. - I mean that's really, I'd invite you back. - Ha, get invited back with famous people. - Once the lamb is braised, add in all the rice, another batch of stock, cover it, put it back in the oven, for the half an hour to cook that rice. The finishing stage is we need to add in some chopped spinach, stir it through, chop up some coriander, some chiles, open up the beers, and take them to the table. - I like that open up the beers bit. I basically learned that you blindly go in at a tap, then you end up gettin' scalded. That's hot! But, I didn't get much wrong other than that. - No, this was spot on. - Really, that's a first. - I can't believe that for a second. - You had a bit of an accident. - White yogurt down there. - The whole of the thing is too white. The mint yogurt is just natural yogurt, mint and lemon juice, salt and pepper, all it needs. - Right, seeing as you seem to have poisoned Barry with a chile, you need to eat that. - It can't be that hot. - You've got to give it a go. - What do ya mean I've gotta give it a go? - Just put it in your mouth! - Oh my god! - It keeps on coming. Ah, it just keeps on getting hotter. I can't. That's the stupidest thing I've ever done.

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