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Main course: Spicing up supper time

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Celebrity chef Cyrus Todiwala shares his new curry recipe using Scotch Lamb

The nights are drawing in as they say, and there’s definitely an autumnal chill in the air which means a desire to create warming, hearty food.

Celebrity chef, Cyrus Todiwala, has the very thing – a new recipe he created using Scotch Lamb which is full of flavour and spice.

The recipe, Khara Gos Ni Biryani, is the chef’s take on lamb biryani and combines Scotch Lamb leg with a mix of spices, tomato, potato and rice.

If you want to impress guests, even when time is limited, it is a go-to dish.

Cyrus said: “This has to be one of my favourite lamb preparations for its simplicity and flavour.

Cyrus Todiwala

“Its simplicity is perhaps what gives it the character and makes it a base dish that can be used in several other variations.

“For example, instead of potatoes you could add fried pieces of okra, squash or pumpkin.

“You can finish it with or without the rice and that is what makes it a unique dish that I myself grew up on.

“I always use British lamb when preparing this dish in the restaurant or at home.

“We’re lucky to have top-quality producers supplying lamb with flavours that elevate the dish and complement the spices of India.”

His top tips for the recipe shared here include:

  • Cutting the fat and sinew off before cooking the lamb – you can ask your butcher or supermarket meat counter to do this for you.
  • For a traditional flavour, first boil your potatoes but finish them off by deep frying.
  • To make a garlic/ginger paste take roughly four cloves of garlic and a one-inch piece of ginger, peeled, and mix them together as finely as you can in a mortar to form a paste.
  • For extra flavour ask your butcher to cut some lamb bones for you as these can be added in during the cooking process.

Using the best-quality, seasonal Scotch Lamb is something celebrated by industry bodies across the country, including Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), who have come together to jointly provide consumers with the knowledge that, when they are cooking with lamb, they choose to make it with locally produced meat of the highest quality standards.

Lesley Cameron from QMS, said: “In the UK, we have access to some of the finest red meat, such as Scotch Lamb which is naturally reared on trusted farms to the highest-quality standards.

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions at your local butcher shop or supermarket meat counter to find out more about where your lamb is coming from.”

Cyrus Todiwala’s khar gos ni biryani

(Serves 5) 


  • 500g boneless Scotch Lamb leg (sinew, fat and gristle removed and cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 x 2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 flattened, or just gently crushed, green cardamom
  • 3-4 whole cloves
  • 4-5 whole dried red chillies, broken into pieces
  • 2 medium size onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1½ tblsp coriander power
  • 1 level tsp turmeric powder
  • 1½ tblsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 2-3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into large cubes
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • Sea salt, to your taste, crushed and dissolved in some cold water and kept aside
  • 500g Basmati rice, washed and soaked in water
  • A good pinch of saffron strands added to 3 tbsp water


  1. Clean and cut the lamb, unless the butcher is doing it for you, or you are buying pre-cut lamb.
  2. Try not to cut the cubes very large, but rather a 1-inch dice will be sufficient.
  3. Add the oil to a heavy casserole pan and heat until it becomes hazy.
  4. Add all the whole spices and the red chillies. As soon as you see the spices swell,
    puff and change colour add the onions and sauté until they get a good brown colour.
  5. Add the lamb and seal well, turning occasionally so that it browns well.
  6. When the liquid has almost dried up, mix the three remaining spice powders in a little water to form a thin slurry and add to the pan, along with the ginger garlic paste, stir well and continue cooking.
  7. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 20-25 minutes. Alternatively, you can boil until just done and then deep-fry them.
  8. When the lamb and the masala is well sautéed add the salt/water mix (or some stock) to just about cover the lamb. Cover pot with a tight lid and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  9. Check from time to time also ensuring that the sides of the pot are kept clean.
  10. When the lamb is nearly half done, season the rice and cook with a few bay leaves and salt to taste for 8-10 minutes then drain immediately. As soon as the lamb is half done add the chopped tomatoes and continue cooking.
  11. Then add the the boiled potatoes, (if deep frying them, add when assembling the biryani).
  12. When the lamb is cooked, check for seasoning again. Stir in the coriander.
  13. Preheat your oven to between 120-130° fan, 140-150C, 275-300F or Gas Mark 1-2 .
  14. Take a clean casserole pot that can hold all the layers and with a good lid so that it can be placed in the oven.
  15. Place some rice at the bottom of the pot and then add a layer with half the lamb on top. Spread well. Add some potatoes then some rice.
  16. Repeat the layers, with some potatoes, finishing with the remaining rice.
    Spread evenly.
  17. Pour the saffron water all over the top and if you like, add a few small dollops of butter on top. Cover the pot and place it in the middle shelf of the oven.
  18. Bake for at least 50-60 minutes and then turn the oven off leaving the pot inside while you prepare any accompaniments such as a nice raita and some red onion salad to serve with the lamb.