Braised lamb shank biryani

Recipe from Andrew Fletcher, Executive chef at Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 1900
  • fat 133gg
  • saturates 64gg
  • carbs 84g
  • sugars 8gg
  • fibre 8gg
  • protein 88gg
  • salt 0g


  • 100g onions, sliced
  • 1 whole spice bouquet garni (3 pcs of cardamom, 3 pcs of black cardamom, 1 cinnamon stick, 5 cloves and 2 bay leaves)
  • 80ml oil
  • 30g ginger and garlic paste
  • 4 (180g) lamb shanks
  • 1.5l water
  • 30g yoghurt
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • Red chilli powder, to taste
  • 50g tomato paste
  • 500g refined flour
  • 300g clarified butter
  • 10g salt
  • 8g sugar
  • 100ml water
  • 300g basmati rice
  • 200g lamb cubes
  • 50g brown onions
  • 100g raw onions, sliced
  • 100g yoghurt
  • A pinch of salt
  • 50g ginger and garlic paste
  • Red chilli powder, to taste
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • 1 whole spice bouquet garni
  • 100g ghee
  • 1 tsp mace and cardamom
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3g saffron threads, placed in a bowl of water
  • 1 tbsp fresh cream
  • 30g mint, chopped
  • 30g coriander, chopped
  • Few drops of kewra water (screwpine or pandan water, available in specialty stores)
  • Few drops of rose water
  • Pistachio, fried cashews, almond flakes and dried apricots, for garnish


  1. Heat oil, and fry the onions with the bouquet garni until golden brown. Add the spices and cook for a few mins. Add the ginger and garlic paste and continue to cook for a few mins. Sear the lamb shanks in a hot pan until golden and season with salt and pepper. Add the shanks to the pot with spices, followed by the water to just cover the shank. Wrap the pot with foil and braise in the oven at 140C for 2 hrs.

  2. Mix the crust ingredients together to make the dough. Set aside for 20 mins, and roll out the dough to a little larger than the dish it will be served in. Make a hole in the centre of the dough – the same width of the lamb shank bone – and set aside.

  3. To make the biryani, heat ghee in a pot, add the onions and fry until golden brown. Add all the spice powders, except the garam masala and cook for a few minutes. Add the ginger and garlic paste, and continue to cook for a few mins. Place the lamb cubes in the mixture and brown off in the pan. Cover with water and simmer until the lamb cubes are tender.

  4. Boil the rice with the bouquet garni until the rice is almost cooked, then strain. Put the rice on the meat and add the saffron water, cream, mint, coriander, kewra and rose water. Cover the pot and cook on a low flame for 5 mins.

  5. Place the biryani in an oven proof dish and make a well in the centre to place the cooked lamb shanks. Pack the biryani around the lamb shank and cover the lamb bone with foil. Wrap the rolled out crust over the lamb shank – make sure the bone pops out through the hole in the centre – and seal the crust around the dish, brush with clarified butter and bake in the oven for 6 mins before serving.

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