Recently, I shared a delectable brownie recipe to include in your Eid treats. Nonetheless, many people might be wondering what to cook up with the lamb meat they may have from Eid. While it’s certainly an option to freeze it, there is no better way to prepare it than now when it’s fresh. The meat will be juicier and tender- which locks in more flavor from the herbs and spices you use to cook it.
Although it may be more difficult to find, grass-fed lamb has significantly more nutrient quality than conventionally fed lamb or beef. Grass-fed lamb is much higher than the conventional version especially when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and Vitamin B12, which are all linked to a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease. In fact, it has 25% more omega-3 fatty acids per serving. The diet of the livestock you consume can greatly impact the percentage of vitamins and minerals in the meat that ends up on your plate. This delectable biryani recipe is extremely high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids (if you purchase grass-fed meat or chicken), fiber, anti-inflammatory benefits- thanks to the spices- digestive health benefits, cognitive health benefits and even has cardiovascular health benefits. It is not only very filling, but it will also provide you with good energy, unlike the restaurant version full of unhealthy fats- resulting in sluggishness soon after your meal.
Using butter, coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil is frankly what I’d recommend- versus vegetable oil or corn oil. They are high in healthy fats, are natural and are not genetically engineered. They will give your biryani the same fatty taste without being detrimental to your health. Many restaurants today will use soybean oil or vegetable oil to cook food and biryani is not excluded. I’d recommend using butter, surprisingly to many, as it is much better for your health than canola, vegetable, or soybean oil. These oils are highly processed and refined and are high in Trans-Fat. They come from genetically engineered plants and seeds and are extremely devastating to your health in the long-run. If you can, try getting these oils out of your kitchen immediately. Try to also become accustomed to feeling comfortable asking restaurants what other options they can use to prepare your meal. Butter, organic preferred- in its natural state- actually comes with delightful health benefits. In fact, butter is one of the sunnah superfoods I discussed precisely in my book, Sunnah Superfoods. I share reasons of why numerous holistic doctors and health practitioners advise everyone to “put butter back on your plate,” and how this food item can be added to your kitchen. If you’d like to give your biryani the same traditional taste, definitely use butter over the coconut oil in this recipe. Besides extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil is one of the best oils you could use to uphold better health in many ways. It has a myriad of health benefits, ranging from easier digestion, gut health and improved heart health.
Besides the meat really, the spices are the star of this recipe. Whether it’s the aroma of cardamom, or the strong taste of ginger, this recipe is bursting with spices. Importantly, spices add more than just aroma and taste to your food- they have tremendous health benefits! Ginger is anti-inflammatory, aids with nausea, relieves indigestion, gives energy and aids in healing coughs and colds. Turmeric is also a wonderful anti-inflammatory spice and even gives a subtle nice color to the dish. You can completely omit or increase the amount of jalapeno peppers used depending on the spice level you and your loved ones enjoy. Try this recipe now, and watch as it becomes a new family favorite.
9 cups of water, total
(Himalayan Pink Salt, 2 bay leaves, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 fresh ginger slice, teaspoon turmeric, ground mustard seed, rosemary, and 3-4 cardamom pods for the meat)
5 pounds baby lamb chunks, cut with bone (you can use chicken)
3 cups organic brown basmati rice
2 tablespoons turmeric, ground
2 tablespoons Himalayan Pink Salt
4 cloves garlic
¼ cup organic coconut oil (or organic butter)
½ raw onion, chopped
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped
1-3 teaspoons ground red pepper (depending on your spicy preference)
8 slices fresh ginger
1 tablespoon ginger, ground
5 cinnamon sticks
10 green cardamom pods
12 cloves, whole
6 whole black peppercorns
1 whole allspice
4 bay leaves
½ cup fresh parsley/cilantro (for garnish)
Soak the rice for several hours if possible.
Place the lamb or chicken in your pressure cooker with the meat spices and about six cups of water. Allow to cook on high heat for about 30 minutes. Strain the meat, reserve the broth.
In a medium pot, heat the coconut oil (or butter), ginger, onions, and jalapeno. Stir occasionally, cook for about 5-6 minutes.
Transfer the broth to the pot. Add additional 3 cups boiling water.
Add the rice, ¾ of the cooked meat, and remaining spices. Cover. Cook on high heat for about 10-12 minutes, or until the rice begins to show. Lower the heat, keep covered for 5 minutes.
Transfer to a serving platter. Fluff with a fork. Top with remaining meat and fresh parsley/cilantro.
It tastes delicious served with cucumber yogurt and salad.
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, SUNNAH SUPERFOODS, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.