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Source: Food and Wine Quick from Scratch

Lamb Biryani
Our quick version of this usually labor-intensive Indian rice dish is intricately spiced and irresistibly delicious. Don’t let the long ingredient list put you off; almost everything is a pantry staple.
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Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 29 minutes
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1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 pound boneless lamb, cut into ½-inch cubes
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, cut into thin slices
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander, or ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
5 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 1/2 cups long grain rice, preferably basmati
2 3/4 cups water
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup cashews




In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the garlic, cayenne, cumin, black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Stir in the lamb.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cardamom, turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, rice, and the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the lamb mixture to the pan. Stir in the water and raisins. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the rice and lamb are almost done, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let stand, covered, until the rice and lamb are just done, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cashews.


Wine Recommendation: The spices here immediately indicate a zinfandel from Napa or Sonoma, classic examples of which are redolent of the very same spices. The full body of these wines will match the intensity of the biryani nicely.


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