Slow cooking is the key to a good biriani. The Indian origina of this South African dish are evident with the many spices that are included. It is frequently served at weddings and other celebrations.
- 2 pound lamb or beef
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups chopped onions
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon dried, crushed fennel
- 3 cardamon seeds, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 to 1 cup water
- 2 tomatoes peeled and sliced
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups rice
- 1/2 inch strand saffron, crushed
- 1 tablespoon butter
Cut the meat into bite sie pieces and set aside.
Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the garlic and onion until the onion starts to wilt, about 2 minutes.
Place the meat in a large, heavy casserole and add the sauteed mixture, 1 teaspoon salt, cayenne, ginger, fennel, cardamon, cinnamon, 1.2 cup water, and layer the tomatoes on top. Cover and simmer over a ver low heat for 30 minutes, or until the meat is nearly cooked.
Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil, add the rice, saffron, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes. When the rice is don stir in butter.
Preheat the over to 250 degrees F.
Grease the bottom of a large, heavy casserole with a little oil, and 1/3 of the rice, 1/2 of the meat mixture, 1/3 of the rice, the remaining meat mixture, and top with the remaining rice. Sprinkle the top with water. Cover tightly and place the casserole in the oven. Bake slowly for 1 1/2 hours, checking to see that there is always a little moinsture in the casserole; sprinkle with more water, if necessary.