Lamb biryani

Every once in a while I like to make a good hearty biryani to serve with butter milk.

Actually to tell you the truth the only biryani that I know is vegetable biryani which I make with dhal and buttermilk and maybe sometimes a simple carrot salad on the side.

Then I came across this recipe in My Cape Malay Kitchen cookbook and I thought why not give it a try, it seemed simple enough for a Sunday lunch and it also gave me an opportunity to let my Muslim roots come out in full force.

My late gran was Muslim and I never saw her making this, she was more of a rys en vleis kind of granny which I always ate with grated store bought beetroot. Mmm just thinking about that is making me crave rys en vleis now.

Cape Malay cooking differs a little from Indian cooking and one of the main differences or should I say one of the biggest differences comes into play when making a biryani.

Muslims make each component separately and then layer everything together in a pot to steam. Indians on the other hand, cook all the components together in the pot and steam the pot.

I was going to do it the Malay way, but it just seemed to many steps for me to do especially with load shedding, so I opted for the Indian way of making the biryani.

I even added boiled eggs as per the recipe and I am not a fan of boiled eggs, but there I was eating the eggs like I was an egg lover.

The results, were delicious and even my uncle enjoyed the left overs. My dad ate it without complaining, actually the only complaining he did was lunch the following day, he complained I have him too little when I told him that he is always complaining I give him too much he just laughed. Kill them with their own words is my motto

Ingredients for the marinade:

  • 2 x cups buttermilk.
  • 2 x green chillies, halved.
  • 1 x tomato, grated.
  • 2 x tsp cumin powder.
  • ½ x tsp turmeric powder.
  • 1 x tsp masala.
  • 3 x cinnamon sticks.
  • 3 x cardamom pods, slightly crushed.
  • 5 x cloves.
  • 5 x all spice berries
  • 1 x tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 1 x tsp salt
  • 1.5kg mutton pieces, cubed.


  • Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Pour into a Ziploc bag.
  • Add in mutton pieces and mix it around.
  • Pop into the fridge and allow to marinade overnight.

Ingredients for the biryani:

  • 2 x tsp salt.
  • 1 x tin lentils, drained and rinsed.
  • 500g x rice
  • 6 x potatoes, peeled, quartered and deep fried till crisy.
  • 5 x onions, thinly sliced.
  • 6 x hard boiled eggs, halved.
  • Few strands of saffron.


  • Heat oil in a deep pot.
  • Add onions and saute till the start to brown.
  • Add the meat and marinade, cover and cook till the meat is almost tender.
  • Add the lentils and salt and give it a good stir.
  • Add the rice, saffron threads and cover with enough boiling water to cover the rice.
  • Cover and cook till the rice is soft and most of the water has evaporated.
  • Top with the boiled egg halved and fried potatoes.
  • Cover with foil and pop into a preheated oven.
  • Allow to steam for 45 – 60 minutes in the oven.

Tell me what you think of this recipe