Hyderabadi Nizami biryani
(serves 6) This classic dish comes from the royal kitchens of Hyderabad in South India. The mutton is not cooked before it is layered with the rice, so meticulous attention to time and temperature is required. Prep time: 30 mins Cooking time: 1 hour
Marinating time: 3 hours Ingredients 1kg lean mutton with bone, cut into medium-size pieces whisked yogurt red chilli powder garam masala powder turmeric powder crispy fried onions raw papaya paste ginger-garlic paste fried cashews, ground to a paste (optional) water oil basmati rice, washed, drained and soaked for 30 minutes mix of whole spices (cinnamon stick, a few cardamoms and cloves) black cumin fresh coriander leaves, stems removed and leaves torn, plus extra for garnishing fresh mint, stems removed and leaves torn saffron, soaked in 5 tbsp warm milk chopped green chillies browned onions, plus extra for garnishing lime juice wholewheat flour dough eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and quartered 200g 2 tsp 1 tsp 1 tsp 100g 25g 50g 50g 1 1/2 litres 4 tbsp 500g Method 1. Marinate meat for at least 3 hours in a mixture of yogurt, spice powders, fried onions, papaya paste, ginger-garlic paste and cashew nut paste, if using. Season with salt. Boil water in a pan. Add oil and salt to water. Add rice, whole spices and black cumin. Cook until rice is half done. Divide rice into three portions. Spread one portion into a heavy-bottomed pan to make an even layer. Spoon half marinated mutton over, spreading evenly. Sprinkle a third of the coriander, mint, saffron-infused milk, green chillies and browned onions on top. Spread another portion of rice over the mutton. Top with remaining mutton. Sprinkle another third of coriander, mint, saffron-infused milk, green chillies and browned onions. Spread remaining portion of rice over and sprinkle remaining portions of coriander, mint, saffron-infused milk, green chillies and browned onions. Drizzle lime juice over. Roll dough into a rope and place around rim of pan. Seal pan with a lid and cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes or until steam begins to come out from the sides. Do not remove lid during cooking process. Reduce heat to low and place an iron griddle underneath pan. Cook for another 20 minutes. Set aside for 10 minutes then remove lid. Garnish with browned onions, coriander and eggs. Serve with raita.