This recipe for biryani is a marvellous creation of perfectly cooked goat, layered with rice, scattered with tomato, coriander, mint leaves, chilli and almond.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (32 votes)


  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 400 g basmati rice
  • 2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 tomato, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves
  • ¼ cup mint leaves
  • 1 long green chilli, sliced
  • 2 tbsp sultanas
  • 2 tbsp blanched almonds, toasted

Dry goat curry

  • 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 kg bone-in goat leg or shoulder, cut into 4 cm pieces (see Note)
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 15 cm piece ginger, finely grated
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 6 whole green cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp ground chilli
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 140 g (½ cup) natural yoghurt

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make curry, heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions for 8 minutes or until golden. Add goat, garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until meat is sealed. Add spices and cook for 1 minute. Stir in yoghurt and 500 ml water, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours or until goat is tender and sauce has thickened. Season with salt. Set aside and keep warm.

To make fried onion, heat ghee in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towel and set aside.

Cover rice with water in a bowl. Stand for 30 minutes. Drain and cook in boiling salted water for 8 minutes or until cooked. Drain and divide rice between two bowls. Soak saffron in 2 tsp boiling water for 10 minutes. Using the back of a spoon, press saffron against the side of the bowl to extract as much colour and flavour as possible. Stir in soaked saffron and soaking liquid into one bowl of rice until combined. Set aside and keep warm.
Press one-third of the saffron rice into the base of a 20 cm deep bowl. Top with one-third of the plain rice, then half the goat curry. Top with half the remaining saffron rice, then remaining white rice, pressing down firmly. Top with remaining goat curry, then remaining saffron rice, spreading to cover goat curry. Cover surface with plastic wrap and press down firmly to compress layers.

Upturn bowl on a large serving platter and gently remove the bowl. Serve scattered with tomato, coriander and mint leaves, sliced chilli, sultanas, almonds and the fried onion.


Ask your butcher to do this for you. 

Drink 2011 Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Gris, New Zealand ($19)

As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 12, pg74.

Photography by Armelle Habib