(Adapted from Sept 2010 issue of Masterchef Australia Magazine)
60 ml (1/4 cup milk)
1/2 tsp saffron threads
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 cm piece ginger, finely chopped
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp chilli powder
2 1/2 tsp garam marsala
1 1/2 tbs tomato paste
280g (1 cup) Greek-style yoghurt
1.2 kg boneless leg of lamb, trimmed, cut into 2 cm pieces
200g ghee, melted
450g (2 1/2 cups) basmati rice rinsed, drained
1 1/2 tsp cloves
10 cardamom pods, bruised
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 cinnamon quill
2 bay leaves
50 g (1/2 cup) raisins
45 g (1/3 cup) pistachios
Coriander leaves, to serve
[Notes: Although recipe called for ghee, I did not use it. Instead used grape seed oil. Still taste good. Also, if you have a big wok like me, I had use just the one wok for the whole process without washing them in between processes instead of using different pans as stated in the methods below. Only extra pan I used is at step 7 for the raisins and pistachio mixture.]
1) Place milk in a bowl and sprinkle with saffron. Cover with plastic wrap, then set aside at room temperature until needed.
2) Finely chop 1 onion, then process with garlic and ginger in a food processor to a paste. Add turmeric, chilli powder, garam marsala, tomato paste and yoghurt, and process until combined. Transfer marinade to a bowl, add lamb, then stir well to coat. Cover. Set aside to marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes.
4) Halve, then thinly slice the remaining 4 onions. Heat 125 ml (1/2 cup) ghee in a large, heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for 35 minutes or until deep golden and caramelised (don't burn). Using a slotted spoon, remove onions from ghee, draining well. Drain on paper towel. Reserve ghee.
7) Preheat oven to 180C. Heat remaining 2 tbs ghee in a frying pan over medium heat. Add raisins and pistachios, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until pistachios are light golden.