Lamb Biryani a priced dish and real labour of love and hence made at special occasions. Its roots date back to the 16th century as moguls and maharajas popularised it throughout the Indian subcontinent with numerous regional differences.  It’s a signature dish for gatherings full of taste and mesmerising aroma to which basmati rice is key to this jewel of a dish.

240g Kiara Pure Basmati Rice

75g desiccated coconut

2 cinnamon sticks

2 x star anise

3 whole dried red chillies

1 tsp black peppercorns

2 tsp fennel seeds

3 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp salt

5 tbsp vegetable oil

3 x red onions, finely chopped

4 x cloves garlic finenly chopped

2 x tsp grated fresh ginger

6 x tbsp fresh curry leaves

8 tomatoes finely chopped

500g boneless chicken thighs (skin removed)

200ml water or chicken stock

1 x small bunch fresh coriander finenly chopped

A squeeze of lemon

1 x green chilli finely chopped (optional if you like it hot!)

  1. Toast the coconut in a pan over low heat, stirring until it turns golden brown.

  1. Remove the coconut to a plate and into the same pan add the cinnamon sticks, dried chillies, peppercorns, star anise and fennel seeds. Roast in the pan for 3-4 minutes then add the ground coriander and chilli powder and stir for a minute. Add 100ml of water to form a paste and cook for 2 minutes.

  1. Remove the cinnamon sticks, star anise and whole chillies and keep for later. Add the toasted coconut, turmeric and salt to the pan. Add everything to a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind to a smooth paste.

  1. Heat the oil in the same pan and slowly cook the onions until they are soft – this will take about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a couple of minutes then turn up the heat and add the curry leaves and stir for a minute.

  1. Add the tomatoes and the spice paste, return the cinnamon stick, star anise and chillis to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring until you end up with a smooth paste and the oil starts to separate out.

  1. Remove half the mixture and freeze or place in an airtight container which will keep in the fridge for a week or so.

  1. Add the chicken and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Add 200ml chicken stock remove the lid and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

  1. Remove the star anise, cinnamon and chilli, stir through the lemon juice and green chilli (if using) and scatter with the fresh coriander.

  1. While the chicken is cooking, cook your Kiara basmati rice according to the instructions on the packet. Plate up your rice and PERFECT curry and enjoy!