Marinating the Lamb
5 lbs. of bone in lamb shoulder
6 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons freshly crushed ginger
3 tablespoons freshly crushed garlic
2 tablespoons Kashmiri chili powder
2 tablespoons garam masala
2 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon of chopped mint leaves
1/2 cup of tightly packed cilantro chopped
salt and black pepper
For the Rice
3 cups of basmati rice
3 tablespoons ghee
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 sticks of cinnamon
2 black cardamom pods
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
5 green cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon threads of saffron
1 large white onion sliced
2 large ripe tomatoes, cubed
1 tablespoons of mint leaves chopped
1/2 cup of cilantro chopped finely
Trim any fat or skin from the lamb. Squeeze the juice of the lime over the lamb. Mix well with your hands.
Rinse with tap water. Drain the water from the lamb and rinse again with water. Drain the water again.
To marinate the lamb, add to the lamb, greek yogurt, ginger, garlic, chili powder, garam masala, curry powder, turmeric powder, mint leaves, 1 tablespoon of the ghee, cilantro salt and black pepper.
Mix this this really well so that every piece of the lamb is coated with the marinade. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Wash your rice until the water is clear. Soak it for 30 minutes in water. Make sure the water is fully covering the rice.
In a small bowl add the saffron threads. Crush it to a powder form. Add 2 tablespoons of hot water. Let this sit for 30 minutes.
While the rice is soaking heat a heavy cast iron pot on the stove. Add 1 tablespoon of the ghee. Add your sliced onions. Let this fry until it is crispy and brown. This will take about 20 minutes. Don’t let it burn, keep turning it every few minutes.
Remove the onions and drain it on paper towels. Set aside.
Add another tablespoon of ghee to the same pot. Add in your dry spices. The cinnamon sticks, black cardamom, green cardamom, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and the bay leaves.
Sautee for about 3-5 minutes. The spices will start to smell fragrant and sizzle in the pot.
Add in your marinated lamb and the tomatoes. Stir.
Cover with a tight lib and place the stove on low heat. Let this simmer for an hour. Periodically checking and stirring to make sure the lamb is releasing water. If before the hour is up and your lamb is sticking to the pot, add a little water.
After an hour, check how tender your lamb is. It should be tender and just done.
If it is not tender let it cook some more.
While the lamb is cooking, bring to a boil a pot of water. Enough to fully cover the rice.
Add salt to the water. Once the water is boiling add the rice to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes and drain. Spread the rice out on a large tray to cool.
Once your lamb is soft, add the drained and cooled basmati rice, spread over the top of the lamb. DO NOT MIX!!
On top of the rice add the fried onions, mint and cilantro leaves. Pour the saffron water over the rice.
Recover the pot with a lid and let this steam for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat from the stove and move the pot off the burner. Remove the lid and use a fork to fluff the rice in with the Lamb.
Serve with raita!