1.5 kg lamb neck on the bone
30 ml (2 tbsp) lemon black pepper
coarse salt flakes
60 ml (4 tbsp) oil
1 liter water
30 ml (2 tbsp) lamb stock
For the biryani sauce
500 ml (2 cups) chopped onions
45 ml (3 tbsp) grated fresh garlic
45 m (3 tbsp) grated fresh ginger
2 dried chillies, chopped
45 ml (3 tbsp) biryani spice mix
45 ml (3 tbsp) biryani masala
1 X 410 g can chopped tomatoes
45 ml (3 tbsp) tomato paste
125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped fresh coriander
500 ml (2 cups) double cream, thick Greek yoghurt
250 ml (1 cup) dried onion flake
125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped dried apricots
pinch of saffron
500 g Spekko India Gate Basmati Rice
3 cinnamon sticks
handful of curry leaves
5 bay leaves
1. Season the lamb neck with the lemon black pepper and some coarse sea salt flakes.
2. Heat half the oil in a large pot and fry the meat in batches until golden brown.
3. Place all the meat back into the pot, add the water and the lamb stock.
4. Lower the heat and simmer until the meat falls off the bone. Debone the meat and set the meat and stock separately aside to cool.
5. To make the sauce: Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions until golden brown. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies and fry for about three more minutes.
6. Add the biryani spice mix and fry for another two minutes until it starts releasing its fragrance.
7. Add the masala. By now the mixture will be a dry one but keep on frying until all the oil is soaked up.
8. Add to this mix the canned tomatoes and tomato paste and give it a good stir so that any spices sticking to the bottom is released.
9. Add the fresh coriander, Greek yoghurt, onion flakes, dried apricots and the saffron.
10. Cook until the mixture is warmed through. Remove from the heat and set aside to rest.
11. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
12. Divide the meat, biryani sauce and rice into 4.
13. Layer a large cast iron pot by starting with the rice then the meat and covering it with the spiced yoghurt sauce until all four layers are done.
14. Stick the cinnamon sticks deep into the mixture and gently push some curry leaves and bay leaves into the pot.
15. Cover the rice and spiced yoghurt layers with the lamb stock in which the meat was cooked. Cover the pot with heavy duty foil and place the lid on top.
16. Bake for about two to two and half hours until all the liquid is soaked up and the rice is puffed out.
17. Serve with sambals and roti.