1With the help of a mortar and pestle smash together 2 onion, ginger and garlic roughly. Now mix this with mutton, fennel, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, black and green cardamom, bay leaf, yogurt and salt. Leave it to marinate for 4-6 hours or overnight. After the marinate time add water to the above and in a heavy bottom pan cook till the meat is tender.
2Finely slice the rest of the onions. Heat oil in a kadhai and fry the onions. When they turn golden brown, remove them from the heat and spread them onto a kitchen napkin.
3When the meat is done strain the pieces from the stock. Keep the stock aside.
4Heat ghee in a wide large pan and add half of the fried onions, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, and meat. Fry till the moisture has dried up and the pieces are lightly browned.
5Add the washed and drained rice and fry for 2-3 minutes. Now add enough stock to cover the rice about 3-4 inches above. (NOTE: For every cup of rice add 2 cups of stock. If you are less on stock add some plain water)
6Once the water starts boiling, reduce the heat and simmer. Drizzle the saffron on top. Simmer till the rice is done and dry. Do not overcook.
7Serve hot, garnished with the rest of the onions and some chopped coriander and mint.
8The Nawabs of Lucknow are known for their fondness for mouthwatering food, and pride themselves on being connoisseurs of the finest in food and drink. In a household where gourmet cooking is an everyday affair this is one of their ‘Khaas’ recipe.