For the marinade

2 tbsp ginger paste

1 tbsp garlic infused oil

430ml/15fl oz lactose free yogurt

½ tsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp red chili powder

¼ nutmeg, grated

1 tsp caster sugar

1½ tsp salt

1 lemon, juice only

For the biryani

1kg/2lb 4oz mutton from leg or shoulder, bone removed, cut into 2.5cm/1in cubes

500g/1lb 2oz basmati rice

½ lime, juice only

¼ tbsp salt

150g/5½oz ghee, melted, or vegetable oil

4 green cardamom pods

5cm/2in piece of cinnamon stick

3 bay leaves

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 black cardamom pods (optional)

2 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp saffron strands, soaked in 120ml/4fl oz warm water

few drops rosewater or kewra water

30g/1oz dried cranberries

20g/¾oz fresh mint leaves

Serves - 4


Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl, add the meat and stir to coat. Cover and put in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes, or if possible overnight.

Meanwhile, wash the rice in a couple of changes of water, then soak it for 20 minutes. Bring 2.5 litres/4½ pints of water to the boil in a large saucepan.

Add the rice, lime juice and salt and boil for 6 minutes, until the rice is two-thirds cooked. Drain the rice and spread it out on a tray to cool.

Heat two-thirds of the ghee or vegetable oil in a wide, heavy-based casserole dish.  Add the cardamom pods, cinnamon and bay to the casserole and fry for 30–60 seconds.

Add the cumin and black cardamom pods. Add the meat with its marinade and cook for 10–12 minutes over a high heat, stirring occasionally.

Add the coriander and 250ml/9fl oz of water and cook, covered, over a medium heat for 1 hour, or until the meat is tender and some sauce still remains in the pan. Add a little more water, if needed.

To assemble, spread an even layer of the rice over the cooked meat and sauce, sprinkle the saffron water, rose water and cranberries and mint over the rice and the remaining ghee.

Cover with a tightly fitting lid and cook over a medium–low heat for 10–15 minutes, until the dish is hot through. Set aside for another 5 minutes, then open the pot and serve.

Recipe adapted from: Good Food
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