125 ml vegetable
oil, plus 2 tablespoons extra for cooking rice,
1 teaspoon black
220 grams plain
1 teaspoon garam
1 bay leaf,
60 ml single
For the rice:
long-grain basmati rice,
black cumin seeds,
2 green cardamon
1 small piece
1 teaspoon salt,
saffron threads in 2 tablespoons warm milk.
Put the rice in a fine
sieve and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Put the
rice and enough water to cover in a bowl and leave to soak for 30
Meanwhile, slice 250
grams of the onions, put aside and finely chop the remainder. Cut the
beef into large cubes.
Put the garlic and
ginger in a mortar and use the pestle to pound together to form a
smooth paste. Alternatively, use the side of a wide-bladed knife to
Heat 60 ml oil in a
heavy-based saucepan or flameproof casserole over a medium heat and
fry the sliced onions for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally,
until dark brown and crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onions
to kitchen paper.
In the same oil over a
high heat, stir-fry the black cumin seeds, garlic and ginger paste and
chopped onions until the onions are tender.
Add the beef and
continue stir-frying until all the pieces look opaque and slightly
fried. Cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Stir in 250 ml water,
the yoghurt, salt, garam masala and bay leaf, then cover the pan again
and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes
until all the liquid is absorbed and the meat is tender. If all the
liquid is absorbed before the meat is tender, stir in a little more
water and continue simmering. If the meat is tender before all the
liquid is absorbed, remove the meat pieces and cook the mixture,
uncovered, over a high heat, stirring occasionally to evaporate excess
water until a creamy consistency is obtained. Then return the meat in.
Remove from the heat
and stir in the cream, crisp onions and chopped fresh coriander. Set
Meanwhile, while the
beef mixture is simmering, drain the rice. Heat the oil in another
heavy-based pan or flameproof casserole over a high heat and add the
cumin seeds, cardamon pods, cloves and cinnamon.
When the seeds
splutter, add the drained rice, stirring to coat each grain in oil.
Stir in 750 ml water and bring to the boil. Cover the pan, lower the
heat and simmer for about 8 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed
and grains are almost tender.
Meanwhile, soak the
saffron threads in the warm milk. About 30 minutes before you want to
serve, set the oven to 150 degrees centigrade.
Put half the beef
mixture in the washed-out casserole or an ovenproof dish with a tight
fitting lid. Top with half the rice, then layer with the remaining
beef mixture and rice. Spoon the saffron and milk over the top. Cover
and bake for 30 minutes.
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