Ham Hock Biryani Pie

I’ve got to give credit to Laurence our food photographer for this Ham Hock Biryani Pie. His favourite Indian restaurant Dishoom in Manchester serves a speciality called Nalli Nihari Biryani, essentially a lamb shank biryani pie so we thought why not try to recreate a version of it using ham hock. What a result – show stopping and fabulously tasty!

October 2, 2019
: 4-6
: 25 min
: 1 hr 5 min
: 1 hr 30 min
: A little difficulty but worth it!

This Ham Hock Biryani Pie is a wonderful dish for entertaining. It’s absolutely delicious and a stunning centrepiece when brought to the table. Economical too!


  • 100g butter
  • 2 onions, sliced finely
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 6 cardamom pods, husks removed and seeds crushed
  • 3cm ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 50g tomato puree
  • 1 ham hock, meat removed and shredded, retain the bone
  • 300g basmati rice
  • 100g yoghurt
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 10g fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 15g fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • seasoning to taste
  • 375g all butter puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sprinkle of sea salt
  • ½ tsp nigella seeds
  • Step 1 Preheat the oven to 200’C/ 180’C fan/gas mark 6.
  • Step 2 Heat the butter in a large pan over a low to medium heat and add the spices. Cook for a few mins before adding the onions and cooking for a further 7-10 mins, until golden brown. Add the ginger, garlic and tomato puree and cook for a further 2 mins. Stir in the shredded ham hock and remove from the heat.
  • Step 3 Boil the rice until the rice is almost cooked, then strain. Add the rice to the spiced meat and stir through the yoghurt, coconut milk, mint, lemon juice, and coriander and season to taste.
  • Step 4 Place the biryani mixture in an oven proof dish and make a well in the centre. Place the stripped ham hock in the well with the bone pointing skywards. Pack the biryani around the hock and wrap the rolled out pastry over the protruding ham hock – make sure the bone pops out through the hole in the centre. Cover the exposed bone with foil. Brush with the beaten egg, sprinkle with sea salt and nigella seeds and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
  • Step 5 Serve with a red onion salad, dressed with torn fresh mint and coriander leaves and a dish of yoghurt with diced cucumber, a squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt and fresh chopped mint stirred through.
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