TAH CHIN (YOGURT, LAMB AND RICE)
2 lb Lean lamb from leg
2 1/2 c Yogurt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 t Turmeric OR
1/2 ts Saffron threads
3 c Basmati rice
8 c -- water
2 Egg yolks
1/4 c Ghee or butter -- melted
1 tb -- hot water
Cut lamb into 1-1/4 inch cubes. Combine in a bowl with 2 cups yogurt, 2 teaspoons salt, a good grinding of black pepper and the turmeric or pounded saffron threads. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
Pick over rice and wash well until water runs clear. Boil water, add 2 tablespoons salt and the rice, stir and return to the boil. Leave uncovered and boil for 5 minutes. Drain in colander or large sieve.
Beat egg yolks in a bowl, stir in 1/2 cup yogurt and 1-1/2 cups of the rice. Place melted ghee and hot water in a 10-cup casserole or Dutch oven. Swirl to coat sides. Spread egg, yogurt and rice mixture evenly over base.
Arrange half the lamb cubes over this with some of the yogurt marinade. Add a layer of rice, remaining lamb mixture, and all but 1/2 cup of marinade. Top with remaining rice and spread reserved yogurt marinade on top. Cover casserole or Dutch oven with lid and cook tah chin in a moderate oven for 1-1/2 hours.
Spoon rice and lamb mixture into center of serving dish. Lift off crusty layer from bottom of dish and break into large pieces. Arrange around edge of dish. Alternatively if a Dutch oven has been used, place on cold surface or in cold water for 5-10 minutes, run a knife blade around edge of contents and invert serving dish on top. Tip upside down so that contents can come out like a cake. Cut in wedges to serve.
Source: The Middle East Cookbook by Tess Mallos.