For the Braised Lamb
1. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup water and the saffron to the boil. Whisk in the cornstarch. Let the mixture infuse for 10 minutes. Put the yogurt, crème fraîche, almond flour, grapes, ginger, sugar, salt, cumin seeds, cardamom pods, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, chiles, cloves, and the saffron mixture in a blender and mix until smooth. Pour the marinade over the lamb, cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
2. Put a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 280°F.
3. Remove the lamb from the marinade, scraping off and reserving the marinade. Warm the vegetable oil in a 5-quart cast-iron pot over medium-high heat. Slip in the shoulder and sear on all sides until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the onions and celery, turn the shoulder over, and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add the pistachios, the raisins, cinnamon stick, 1/2 cup water, and the reserved marinade and stir to combine. Cover with a round of parchment paper and the pot’s lid and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the lid, but keep the parchment paper, and continue to bake for 1 hour more. While the lamb is baking, prepare the Lemon-Coriander Basmati Rice.
For the Lemon-Coriander Basmati Rice
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sweat until tender. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and coriander seeds. Add the rice and 3 cups water and bring to the boil. Add the milk and salt and bring to the boil. Simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.