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Lamb Biryani and Cabernet Franc

Lamb Biryani

For the upcoming Jan 26th feast lamb is the choice de jour, and thanks to the suggestion from the team at The sector7g experience it’s Lamb Biryani time.

We’ve had this recipe from Persiana previously to great success, so it’s no hardship to break it out again. No photos as yet, we will document properly on the day.

Serves 6-8


  • vegetable oil – although we’ll use olive oil
  • 6 large onions
  • 800g lamb neck fillets cut into 2.5 cm pieces
  • 1 tbsp green cardamom pods
  • 6 black cardamom pods
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 200g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp ground sea salt flakes
  • 600g basmati rice
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 125g butter


Preheat a large saucepan and add 250ml of olive oil. Chop 4 of the onions in half and thinly slice into 5mm half moons. Fry the onion slices in the oil (the oil should just cover them), stirring every few minutes until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove the onions and drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper and set aside.

Pour out the oil, leaving just enough to coat the base of the saucepan. Dice the remaining two onions and fry them over medium high heat until translucent. Add the diced lamb and sear it until it begins to turn brown. Put in the black and green cardamom pods, bay leaves, turmeric, cumin seeds and cinnamon sticks and mix well. Pour in just enough water to barely cover the meat and cook the lamb for about 1.5 hours until just tender. Leave to cool. Once cooled add the yoghurt to the lamb, stir well and set aside.

Fill a large saucepan with boiling water and add the rice with a generous handful of crumbled sea salt. Boil for 6-8 minutes until the rice is parboiled. The grains will change from a dullish white to a more brilliant white, while becoming slightly elongated and begin to soften.

Drain the rice and rinse it immediately under cold running water to wash off all the excess starch until it is cool. Line the bottom of the saucepan with non-stick baking paper and set aside.

Add 2 tbsp of boiling water to a small cup. Grind the saffron with a mortar and pestle and pour over the boiling water and leave to infuse.

Back to the rice, using the paper lined saucepan pour in a generous drizzle of oil and a couple of knobs of butter. Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt flakes. Scatter in enough rice to cover the base of the pan with a good layer, add a drizzle of the saffron water over this layer of rice. Take the yoghurt marinated pre-cooked lamb and devide it into two portions. Layer one portion over the rice, then cover with a thin layer of rice, sprinkle over some more saffron water, then add a generous layer of crispy onions and dot more butter on top. Repeat the layers until the rice, lamb, crispy onion and butter are all used up.

Wrap the pan lid in a tea towel, cover the pan and cook the rice on the lowest temperature possible on gas, or low medium with electric, for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.

When ready to serve, either flip the rice on a serving dish or decant onto a serving platter. Scape the crispy tahdig from the base of the pan and serve it onto the top of the rice.

And to go with it we have a Cabernet Franc from our winetasting excursion at Squitchy Lane in the Yarra Valley

Squitchy Lane Reserve Cabernet Franc, Yarra Valley AUS, 2019, $45, 9/10


On Holidays with Oysters and Sparkling

IMG_2502Some days all that you need is Oysters Kirkpatrick and a nice sparkling. This was one of those days and Blue Pyrenees Luna was the sparkling.

Blue Pyrenees Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir, Pyrenees AUS, NV, $23, 7/10


Blue Pyrenees Winery