Mynhart Joubert's Lamb Neck Briyani | Spekko Rice
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Mynhart Joubert’s Lamb Neck Briyani

Mynhart Joubert’s Lamb Neck Briyani

There are as many versions of biryani as there are home cooks in South Africa. This version is prepared from lamb neck that was cooked on the bone. You will want more and more.

  • Serves: 1
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Prep time:
  • Cooking time:
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    1.5 kg lamb neck on the bone
    30 ml (2 tbsp) lemon black pepper
    coarse salt flakes
    60 ml (4 tbsp) oil
    1 liter water
    30 ml (2 tbsp) lamb stock

    For the biryani sauce
    500 ml (2 cups) chopped onions
    45 ml (3 tbsp) grated fresh garlic
    45 m (3 tbsp) grated fresh ginger
    2 dried chillies, chopped
    45 ml (3 tbsp) biryani spice mix
    45 ml (3 tbsp) biryani masala
    1 X 410 g can chopped tomatoes
    45 ml (3 tbsp) tomato paste
    125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped fresh coriander
    500 ml (2 cups) double cream, thick Greek yoghurt
    250 ml (1 cup) dried onion flake
    125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped dried apricots
    pinch of saffron
    500 g Spekko India Gate Basmati Rice
    3 cinnamon sticks
    handful of curry leaves
    5 bay leaves


    1. Season the lamb neck with the lemon black pepper and some coarse sea salt flakes.
    2. Heat half the oil in a large pot and fry the meat in batches until golden brown.
    3. Place all the meat back into the pot, add the water and the lamb stock.
    4. Lower the heat and simmer until the meat falls off the bone. Debone the meat and set the meat and stock separately aside to cool.
    5. To make the sauce: Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions until golden brown. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies and fry for about three more minutes.
    6. Add the biryani spice mix and fry for another two minutes until it starts releasing its fragrance.
    7. Add the masala. By now the mixture will be a dry one but keep on frying until all the oil is soaked up.
    8. Add to this mix the canned tomatoes and tomato paste and give it a good stir so that any spices sticking to the bottom is released.
    9. Add the fresh coriander, Greek yoghurt, onion flakes, dried apricots and the saffron.
    10. Cook until the mixture is warmed through. Remove from the heat and set aside to rest.
    11. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
    12. Divide the meat, biryani sauce and rice into 4.
    13. Layer a large cast iron pot by starting with the rice then the meat and covering it with the spiced yoghurt sauce until all four layers are done.
    14. Stick the cinnamon sticks deep into the mixture and gently push some curry leaves and bay leaves into the pot.
    15. Cover the rice and spiced yoghurt layers with the lamb stock in which the meat was cooked. Cover the pot with heavy duty foil and place the lid on top.
    16. Bake for about two to two and half hours until all the liquid is soaked up and the rice is puffed out.
    17. Serve with sambals and roti.

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