With Eid around the corner, you might be thinking of what you want to prepare for your family and friends. Of course, alongside the vast array of starters and sides – you’ll want to prepare at least one show-stopper. And who doesn’t love a traditional meat biryani for Eid? But why not take it up a notch this year and make a Hyderabadi Biryani with Lamb Shanks?

Here’s an original recipe for you to follow:


For marinade of meat:

  • Yogurt – 200g
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon of Salt
  • 1/4 tablespoon of Turmeric (haldi)
  • 1 tablespoon of Red chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon of Coriander powder
  • 1 bunch of Fresh mint
  • 1 bunch of Fresh Coriander
  • 4-5 Green chillies
  • 2 large Onions
  • 1 cup of oil to deep fry the onions
  • 1 tablespoon of biryani masala

For Rice:

  • 1kg or 8 cups of Basmati rice
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 4-6 Black Pepper Corns
  • 3-5 Cloves
  • 1-2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 tablespoon of Salt
  • 16 cups of water


For Preparing Meat Marinade:

1. Wash the lamb shanks in water, drain and keep aside

2. Prepare green paste, by picking only the leaves of fresh mint and coriander and removing stems of green chillies, and blending them into a paste by adding a spoonful of yogurt and keep aside

3. Slice onions finely, and deep fry, in oil ghee mixture or only oil till golden brown. Keep fried onions and 5 tablespoons of oil for later use.

4. Keep ginger garlic paste ready.

5. Prepare Biryani Masala with the below ingredients.

For Biryani Masala

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-5 cloves
  • 4-6 green cardamom
  • 1 large black cardomom
  • Half tablespoon of black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon of Shajeera
  • Half tablespoon of Fennel
  • Half tablespoon of Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of Mace
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 3 petals of Star-anise

6. Dry roast all these ingredients and make into powder. This will make approx. 1 tablespoon of biryani masala for our dish.

7. Soak a few strands of saffron in warm milk (3-4 tablespoon) and keep aside.

8. Now in a big mixing bowl, place the lamb shanks and add salt, juice of 1 lemon, yoghurt, ginger garlic paste, green paste, red chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder, biryani masala, fried onions along with oil and mix well till well coated, and cover with foil and place in a refrigerator for at least 2 hrs (this can also be prepared and left in the refrigerator overnight and can be cooked the next day).

For Preparing Rice:

9. Clean and wash rice for at least 3 changes of water and soak.

10. Now take a heavy bottom vessel or pressure cooker and transfer the lamb shanks together with all the marinade (DO NOT ADD WATER) and place on the stove top and cover the lid, pressure cook for 15 mins. on med-low flame ( DO NOT BURN) check the meat for doneness the oil should just get separated.

11. By the time, on the other hand, prepare rice by placing a vessel with enough room and add 16 cups of water, salt, bay-leaf, cloves, cinnamon, pepper corns and bring to boil, add rice and cook. Just let the water evaporate and the kernels should be wet still…DO NOT OVERCOOK. The process of rice should not complete, if you are not sure of cooking this way, take extra water to cook rice the same way and drain the excess water when the rice is cooked 3/4ths. But this takes more time, more fuel and….more effort and care should be taken while draining water from large vessels and not to burn ourselves. So I prefer cooking with enough water which i do by myself. Rice SHOULD NOT be cooked and kept before the meat is ready.

Final Procedure:

12. Finally to assemble the meat and rice for Dhum, take a large heavy bottomed vessel or oven dish (in case we are using an oven).

13. Place the cooked meat (pakke-gosht) as the first layer in the vessel, then pour over all the rice which has been prepared,or make it in layers first meat with little gravy then rice and again meat with all gravy and completing it with rice layer, add juice of 1 lemon, saffron milk (if you don’t like this smell, you can add yellow food colour), fried onion and the reaming oil ghee mixture which has been kept aside.

14. Seal the lid with chappati dough or foil paper tightly, see that the steam doesn’t escape.

15. Place the vessel in the oven if it is oven proof on low gas mark for about 30-40 mins on the middle rack OR to cook on the stove, place an unused pan or girdle under the vessel, so that the flame doesn’t touch the vessel directly and keep for at-least an hour on low flame.

*I completed the final process in the oven and it just turned out perfect!!!

CAUTION: As the steam is sealed inside, take care while opening the lid,

NOTICE: I have mentioned it as pakke-gosht (cooked meat), because we cook the meat before adding the rice, for kachchey-gosht (raw meat) biryani the meat is marinated and is directly put on Dhum with the cooked rice.

This biryani is easily digested because of the use of mint, cumin, fennel,ginger and lemon juice. So do not hesitate to have an extra portion…ENJOY!!!