Prep Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8
Cooking Time: marinate overnight plus 1½ hours
  • 1kg - leg of lamb cut into 2,5cm cubes
  • 15ml - ground cumin
  • 15ml - ground coriander
  • 10ml - turmeric
  • 5ml - chilli powder
  • 3 - whole cloves
  • 3 - whole allspice pods
  • 4 - cardamom pods
  • 2 - cinnamon sticks
  • 4 - large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 - thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2-3 - red chillies, whole, depending on taste
  • 125ml - lemon juice
  • 250ml - plain yoghurt (preferably drinking yoghurt)
  • 250ml - lentils
  • 500g - basmati rice
  • 1 - large or 2 medium onions, sliced into rings
  • - oil to deep-fry
  • - butter to grease pot’s base
  • 1kg - whole medium potatoes, peeled (enough to cover the pot’s base)
  • 250ml - plain yoghurt
  • 1 - bunch of coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 - chilli, finely chopped, depending on taste
  • ½ - lemon, squeezed for juice
  • - salt to season
True Malay-style Breyani: we share a colleague’s recipe and show you, step by step, how to make this mouthwatering one-pot dish.

The day before
Place the cubed meat in a large mixing bowl. Using a pestle and mortar, grind together all the spices, garlic, ginger and chillies, until fine. Add the lemon juice and the yoghurt to make a marinade and, using your hands, thoroughly rub the mixture into the meat. Cover with clingfilm and allow to marinate in the fridge overnight.
On the day
Wash the lentils and boil until cooked. Half-cook the basmati rice, then strain. Deep-fry the onions in heated oil until golden brown, then drain on paper towels. To make the dae or dhai, mix the yoghurt with the coriander, chilli, lemon juice and salt.
To prepare
Grease the base of a pot with butter and line it with potatoes, completely covering it. Add salt to taste. Place the meat on the potatoes. Put half the rice into the container in which the meat was marinated, mix it with the leftover marinade, and put that on top of the other pot contents. Mix the remaining rice with the lentils and add that too. Lastly, place the deep-fried onions on top of the pot's contents.

Cover with a tight-fitting lid. (If your pot's lid does not fit securely, cover the pot with foil before putting on the lid. It's important that the pot is properly sealed so that all moisture stays inside.) Steam the food on a medium setting for about 45 minutes, then turn it down to a low setting for the last 45 minutes. After about 1½ hours the meat should be tender and the potatoes soft and fluffy. Serve with dae or dhai and crispy poppadoms.

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April 2023

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