After learning the word “Dum” from my husband explanation and it means “cooking with steam”. I found it is a very good method of cooking this dish as it turned out excellent. It produces a very unique fragrant and flavor. You might think that it must be difficult to make this dish just by reading the recipe below. I can assure you that it is not that difficult. I know most of the Indian dishes require a lots of spices in a single dish. Well, it might be intimating but you can always take a short cut to these types of cooking. Nowadays, you can get all store-ready spice mixture to cook this dish.
My husband prefers his dish should be cook from scratch but I agree with him. Well, I had made this dish as simple as possible for all my readers.
5 pounds boneless/bone-in lamb/mutton shanks
6 cups basmati rice
5 large red onions, peeled
3 cups canola/vegetable/corn oil
1½ cups finely chopped fresh mint leaves, divided
1½ cups finely chopped cilantro leaves, divided
6 long green finger chilies
2¼ tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
1½ teaspoons hot red chili powder (amount according to your desire)
1½ teaspoons garam masala powder
3 tablespoons Meat Tenderizer powder
1½ tablespoons turmeric powder
Salt to taste
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2¼ cups plain natural yogurt
Ingredients for Basmati Rice:
2 pieces cinnamon stick
6 pieces green cardamom
6 pieces black peppercorns
1½ tablespoons caraway seeds
4 pieces whole clove
Salt to taste
¾ cup whole milk
10-15 strands Saffron (Kesari)
3 tablespoons melted butter/ghee
5 tablespoons finely chopped mint (optional)
5 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro (optional)
4 hardboiled eggs, peeled and halved
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced
1-2 fresh lemon, wedged
Soak the saffron strands in milk. Set aside.
Place the mutton/lamb meat in a mixing bowl with chopped mint, cilantros, green finger chilies, ginger-garlic paste, hot red chili powder (optional), garam masala powder, meat tenderizer powder, turmeric powder, salt to taste, lemon juice, plain natural yogurt and mix well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight to marinate.
Later wash the basmati rice and soak it in water for about 30 minutes. Drain well.
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add canola/vegetable/corn oil. Once hot, add sliced red onions and deep-fry to golden brown. Remove from heat and spoon out fried onion onto a lined plate with kitchen paper towel to drain. (Reserve 2 tablespoons fried onion for garnishing). Also reserve the used onion oil.
Meanwhile heat a large pot with water over medium heat along with cinnamon sticks, green cardamom, black peppercorns, caraway seeds, whole clove, salt to taste and bring to a boil. Add the soaked basmati rice, stir and let the basmati rice to cook until half done. Remove from heat and drained. Reserve 1cup rice and add onto the saffron milk, stir. Set aside.
Use a large heavy bottom pot and add the marinade mutton and the onion oil. Then spread the half-cooked basmati rice on top of the mutton mixture. Evenly spread the chopped mints, cilantros, fried onions, saffron half-cooked rice and melted butter/ghee. Cover the pot with a large aluminum foil or cotton dish cloth or seal with wheat dough (atta dough). Then cover with the lid making sure no steam can escape in order to steam the basmati rice from inside.
Transfer to heat by placing the pot on top of a iron frying plate (tawa) and cook until low heat. Slow cook for about one and half hours. Then turn off heat and let it stands on the plate to rest for 20-30 minutes.
Garnish with sliced onions, halved hardboiled eggs, lemon wedges, fried onions, mints and cilantros.