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Slow Cooker Lamb Biryani and Scallion Cheese Stuffed Naan

Biryani & NaanI recently checked out The Indian Slow Cooker cookbook from the library and found this recipe for Biryani, which is what I order at an Indian restaurant. The meat is marinated in ginger, garam masala, tumeric, cilantro, mint, and garlic, then topped with saffron-laced basmati. It is a fantastic big batch meal that we’ll add to the rotation. For a complete meal, serve it with Scallion and Cheese Stuffed Naan (see below).  

Biryani modifications: 1) I substituted the jalapenos for the Thai chiles to cut the heat. 2) I prepared this dish with chicken, because lamb wasn’t available. If cooking chicken, it must be cooked longer than the lamb. I hope to add cooking times notes once I have prepared it several more times. 3) I recommend adding cashews and raisins at the end, it adds a great texture and flavor.

Slow Cooker Lamb Biryani

By Anupy Singla

Source: cookstr
Yield: 8 cups
Cooking Time: At least 2 hours to marinate, 3 hours on low.

Ingredients

  • 1 (4 inch [10 cm]) piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
  • 4-6 green Thai, serrano, or cayenne chiles, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) red chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
  • 2/3 cup (120 g) chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup (50 g) fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 pounds (1 kg) boneless lamb leg or shoulder, cut into 1-inch (3 cm) cubes
  • 1 cup (250 ml) plain yogurt
  • 3 medium yellow or red onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons (59 mL) canola or vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) water
  • 2½ cups (526 g) uncooked basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) saffron strands soaked in 2 tablespoons (30 mL) milk (optional)

Directions

1. In a deep bowl, mix together the ginger, garlic, green chiles, garam masala, red chile powder, turmeric, 1 teaspoon of salt, cilantro, and mint. Add the lamb and mix to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or, ideally, overnight.

2. After marinating, add the yogurt to the lamb and mix well.

3. Turn the slow cooker on low. Add the onions, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and the marinated lamb to the slow cooker. Cook for 2 hours.

4. On the stovetop, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the rice and the tablespoon of salt and turn the heat to low. Allow the rice to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, at which point most of the water. Will have evaporated. If it has not, use a slotted spoon to transfer the rice to the slow cooker. Discard any remaining water. Level the rice in the slow cooker with the back of a spoon. Drizzle the rice with the remaining oil and the saffron/milk mixture, if desired.

5. Cook for 1 hour, occasionally fluffing the rice with a fork. Scoop and serve this amazing one-pot meal.

Scallion and Cheese Stuffed Naan

I modified the stovetop version. Bread in Five also have a stuffed naan oven version. From Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

3 cups plus 3 tablespoons lukewarm water
1 tablespoon granulated yeast (2 packets)
1-1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
7-1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (bleached will work, scoop & level)

1. Mix the yeast, salt, olive oil, and water in a 5-quart lidded bucket or bowl.

2. Scoop and level flour and add to wet ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until no more loose flour remains (without kneading). You may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.

3. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 12 days.

ON BAKING DAY

You’ll need, one batch of dough above and coconut oil, vegetable oil or ghee.

1) Dust the surface of refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1/4-pound (peach-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Using your hands and a rolling pin, and minimal flour, roll out to a uniform thickness of 1/4-inch thickness.

2) Place the scallions and mozzarella on one half of the dough, leaving a rim around the edges. Fold in half. Flour the top and roll the pocket into an 1/8-inch thick oval. Check for sticking as you go, and add more flour if you need.

3) Heat a heavy 12-inch cast-iron skillet (I used skillet that wasn’t cast-iron) over high-heat on the stovetop. When water droplets flicked into into a pan skitter across the surface and evaporate quickly the pan is ready. Add the ghee or coconut oil, pouring out excess fat if necessary.

4) Drop the rolled dough round onto the skillet, decrease the heat to medium and cover the skillet to trap the steam and heat.

5) Check for doneness with a spatula at about 3 minutes, or sooner if your smelling overly quick browning. Adjust the heat as needed. Flip the naan when underside is richly browned.

6) Continue cooking another 2-6 minutes, or until the naan feels firm, even at the edges, and the second side is browned.

7) Remove the naan from the pan, brush with butter if the dough was cooked in oil, and serve.

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