Biryani is a set of rice-based meals made with spices, meat, fish, eggs or vegetables.
One of my favorite methods of cooking is to get creative with what I have in the house (especially when I don’t feel like going to the store).
This Lamb Biryani meal is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. First, I take inventory of what I have that’s fresh. I had some fenugreek leaves, wild garlic, and onion. Then, I raid the pantry. I had some long-grain white rice and some pre-mixed biryani spice that I picked up at an Indian grocery. I highly recommend keeping pre-mixed spices on hand. If you don’t live near an Indian grocery store, try looking for it at your local grocery.
I also had a pound of frozen ground lamb meat. I always keep a selection of meats in the freezer for nights like tonight. Biryani is such an easy meal to prepare. You can use whatever you have on hand to make it. The only necessary things you need are the spice mixture and the rice. The meat can easily be omitted to make this meal vegetarian or vegan. Just substitute some other veggies in place of the meat. Carrots, cauliflower, and peas would be fantastic!
So, what the heck is fenugreek?
Fenugreek is a plant in the family Fabaceae. Fenugreek is used both as a herb (the leaves) and as a spice (the seed, often called methi in Urdu/Hindi/Nepali). The leaves and sprouts are also eaten as vegetables. The plant is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop and is a common ingredient in many curries. (cited from Wikepedia)
It has a slightly bitter yet tangy flavor which is why it goes so well with biryani and other Indian spices.
Simply The Best Lamb BiryaniPrint Recipe
- 1 pound ground lamb meat (ground beef, pork, or chicken can be easily substituted)
- 1 white or yellow onion – diced
- 1 stalk wild garlic – finely chopped (if using regular garlic, use 2 cloves)
- 1 cup fresh fenugreek leaves – chopped (if you don’t have fenugreek – or can’t find it at the store, try using flat-leaf parsley or spinach)
- 3 teaspoons biryani spice mix
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 bay leaf
- A pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon garlic chili paste (Sriracha)
- 1.5 cups chicken stock
- 1 packet lamb base or demi-glace (1-ounce)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups long-grain white rice
1. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
2. Meanwhile, sauté the lamb meat, spices, and bay leaf over medium heat until cooked through and browned. Once it’s cooked through, push the lamb meat to the sides of the pan, forming a well.
3. Add the diced onion, fenugreek, and garlic. Saute over medium-low heat until the onion is translucent and tender, about 10 minutes.
4. Then, add the stock and demi-glace and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often. This will create a rich and spicy sauce that will go perfectly with the rice. That’s it! Serve the lamb mixture over a mound of rice, and enjoy!
UPDATE: It was delicious and VERY spicy! I love it, but feel free to scale back the amount of spice you use in your own recipe.