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Chilman Biryani

500 g Lamb; cubed
2 1/2 c Basmati rice; (500 g)
Water as required
1/2 ts Mace; (javitri) powder (2 g)
4 Green cardamom
4 Black cardamom
4 Cloves
5 Bay leaves
1 c Oil; (200 ml)
3 1/3 tb Onions; sliced (50 g)
5 ts Ginger-garlic paste; (25 g)
2 ts Salt; (10 g)
2 ts Chilli powder; (10 g)
1 l Water
3 1/3 tb Brown onion paste; (50 ml)
A few strands of saffron
2 ts Vetiver; (kewra) water (10 ml)
4 tb Onions; sliced and fried till brown (60 g)

For the Chilman:
1/2 c Flour; (100 g)
1/2 c Butter; (100 g)
5 tb Water; (75 ml)

WASH and soak the rice in water for one hour. Drain and boil in sufficient water with the whole garam masala till three-fourths done. Remove from heat, drain and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan, add onions and fry till brown. Add ginger-garlic paste with lamb pieces and stir-fry for about 10 minutes. Add salt, chilli powder and water and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes on medium heat.

Stir in the brown onion paste and cook till the lamb pieces are tender and the curry thickens. Remove from heat.

To prepare the chilman (puff) covering: Mix butter into the flour. Add enough water and knead to a smooth soft dough. In an oven proof handi (pot) place alternate layers of rice and lamb curry. Sprinkle saffron, vetiver and the browned onions. Seal the handi (pot) with the prepared puff covering and place in a moderately hot oven (150o C to 175o C) for 20 minutes or till the covering is cooked.

Remove and serve hot with raita.

NOTES : Lamb biryani cooked on low heat, covered with a rich puff

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