nariman parker

Ready…Set…Spice – Feast of Eid

Parda Saffron Lamb Breyani

Parda Saffron Lamb Breyani

The second season of Sugar ‘n Spice kicks off tomorrow. This time its a little different with the recipes themed around Eid. ‘Time Travel’ is the best description for the weeks leading up to the shoot…at first, I was a little overwhelmed….wouldn’t you be? The Muslim ladies in our neighbourhood were more than good cooks…they were outstanding! A trip down memory lane was just the right place to start…and for me…all good things start in my hometown…a little town, just south of Durban called Isipingo!

Eid was a huge celebration – it did not matter if you were Muslim or not because our neighbours were just simply happy to share…it was not about religion…it was about sharing your traditions with the community.

Aunty Meymoona and Shayda would pop around and teach my very stressed mother how to make samoosa pur or a layered breyani. These ladies were not just good cooks…they were incredibly confident too and happy to share their knowledge!

Back to Sugar ‘n Spice…I was absolutely delighted to part of this project and once again, it’s the team that makes the show come alive. The Ochre production crew took over my home for two days and behind the scenes we were powered by Coca Cola (how do I love my Coke Light???), AMC cookware – (Chris Koekemoer, Nariman Parker and the lovely Kaye Cox) who put the fire into Sugar ‘n Spice and Chantelle I’Ons from Kenwood SA who kept the ‘wheels’ in my kitchen turning! Log onto the competitions link and find out how you can enter to win a cookware from AMC (a must have in my world) and also a Kenwood Kmix!

Here are the playout times for the Sugar ‘n Spice on DSTV’s Channel 195!

Saturday 27th July –Eps 1 & 2 at 3pm….repeat at 8pm

Sunday 28th – Eps 3, 4 and 5 at 1pm …Eps 6 & 7 at 2pm – music break in between…repeats at 6pm and 6.30pm

Daily from Monday 29th at 7.30 pm…2 eps back to back…repeats daily at 8am, 12pm and 4pm.

In episode one, I prepare a Parda Lamb Breyani….Parda means a ‘veil’! I did a food tour around Mumbai a few years ago and this is when I first got a tantalising taste of this style of Breyani. A breyani pot arrived at the table with a knife…the waiter then ‘saws’ through the crispy ‘lid’ to release the aromatic steam! It was certainly quite theatrical and I quite enjoy that from time to time.

This breyani is highly aromatic and the secret is the steam that is trapped in my trusted AMC gourmet unit. The ‘parda’ or ‘veil’ is made from a simple dough and it works wonders…in short, it’s a show stopper….

AMC gourmet unit...sealed with parda dough

AMC gourmet unit…sealed with parda dough

Here is the recipe:

Parda Saffron Lamb Breyani

Serves 10 – 12 people


2,5kg lamb knuckles
8 medium-sized Up to Date potatoes
2 onions, finely sliced
Spar sunflower oil, for frying
100ml sunflower oil
2 large cinnamon stick
4 bay leaves
6 cardamom pods
10ml cumin seeds
2 large onion, finely chopped
15ml coarse salt
30ml crushed garlic
30ml crushed ginger
45ml red chilli powder
20ml ground coriander
10ml ground cumin
15ml garam masala
5ml turmeric
400g chopped tomatoes
250ml fresh cream
3 x 400g Spar tinned lentils, drained
2500ml par cooked basmati rice
125ml extra virgin olive oil
Strands of saffron
500ml boiling water
Few drops of egg yellow food colouring
Fresh coriander and curry leaves, to garnish

For the ‘Parda’ dough:

400g cake flour
100g butter
5ml sugar
150ml cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten

Here’s how:
Peel the potatoes and slice them into thick rounds.
Heat the sunflower oil in a pan and fry the potatoes until tender.
Remove from the oil and leave to drain.
Gently dab the excess oil with absorbent paper towel.
Fry the onion slices until light golden brown.
Remove the onion from the oil and leave in a colander to drain.
Spread the onion slices over absorbent paper towel.

Heat 100ml sunflower oil in a large 30cm AMC gourmet unit (with metal handles).
Fry the cinnamon stick and bay leaves until fragrant.
Add the cardamom pods and cumin seeds.
When the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add the onion and salt.
Saute until the onion is light golden brown.
Add crushed garlic and ginger.
Stir for a few seconds and then add the red chilli powder.
Stir well and add the lamb knuckles.
Mix the knuckles in the chilli paste and continue stirring until the meat begins to stick.
Lower the heat and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
Add the ground coriander, cumin, garam masala and turmeric.
When the spices on the bottom of the pot start to brown, add the tomatoes and pour in boiling water to cover the knuckles.
Simmer the knuckles on a low heat, adding more water if necessary.
When the knuckles are 90 % cooked and the sauce has reduced, layer the fried potatoes over the lamb.
Pour the fresh cream over and then layer half the lentils over the potatoes.
Layer the cooked basmati rice over the lentils and scatter the remaining lentils on top.
Drizzle olive oil over the rice.
Heat the saffron strands in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Leave to cool lightly and then lightly crush the strands with your fingertips.
Pour the boiling water over the crushed saffron strands and leave to infuse.
Pour the saffron infusion over the pot and pour a few drops of egg yellow food colouring over the rice.
Sprinkle the fried onion slices over the rice and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil to prevent the rice from becoming sticky.
Make the parda dough by rubbing the butter into cake flour. Add the sugar and pour in the water.
Use the Kenwood dough hook attachment to work it into soft dough.
Roll the dough into a large round.
Make a thick paste with flour and cold water. This should resemble thick glue.
Spoon the paste over the edges of the round and use the back of a teaspoon to spread it evenly.
Drape the round over the pot, then press and pleat the dough to stick it down firmly under the lip of the gourmet unit.
Brush the dough with beaten egg.
Place the breyani in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 45 – 60 minutes or until the pastry cover is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
Use a sharp knife to cut through the crispy dough to let out the steam.
Gently toss the breyani and garnish with fresh coriander.

Yudhika’s tips:
Always use cold rice when making breyani as this prevents the rice from getting sticky.
The rice should be par boiled and seasoned for this recipe.
The potatoes can be par-cooked by boiling.
Chicken pieces can be used instead of lamb in this recipe.
I prefer using fresh cream but low-fat yoghurt can be used instead.
Adjust the red chilli powder if you would like to make this dish milder or hotter

A note about Spar branded tinned lentils – I have tried various brands and this one works for me…the lentils are not too small and mushy which I have found with some other brands….its also been a stone free experience for me so far! Please use the brands, you are most comfortable with!