recipe

BIRYANI

Hello, my name is Grace and I’m one of the non-blogging members of Daring Kitchen. I’ve been a member since 2010 and I’m so excited to share my family’s favourite food with you this month – biryani!

At its most basic, biryani is a mixed rice dish distinctive to South Asia. Preparations and spice mixes vary quite a bit by region, but all versions involve layering mostly cooked rice with a thick curry and letting the whole thing steam for a while to let the flavours mix together. The recipes that I’ve shared with you today are all Bengali versions because it was very important to my Bengali husband that I should learn how to cook biryani just like his amma (mum).

Download the printable .pdf file HERE

This challenge also happens to coincide with Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting (9 July – 7 August this year). Millions of Muslims around the world will refrain from all food and drink from sunrise to sunset and then many of them will probably break their fast with one of the biryani dishes you will be making! If you want to feel an extra intensity to the pleasure of eating your biryani, and you’re physically up for it, I highly recommend giving fasting a try.

Recipe Source:

Lamb Biryani, Chicken Biryani, Chicken Tika Biryani – my mother in law’s
Fish Biryani, Vegetable Biryani – Hobson, Wendy The Classic 1000 Indian Recipes

Blog-checking lines:

Grace, one of our talented non-blogging Daring Kitchen members, was our Daring Cooks’ August hostess who shared with us some of her family’s tried and true Bengali Biryani recipes – all of them delicious and all of them prepared fresh from our own kitchens!

Posting Date:

August 14, 2013

Note:

Don’t be dismayed by the long list of ingredients! I don’t want to make you buy spices that you might never use again. You can buy biryani spice mix at any Indian grocery store and substitute a tablespoon or two of it for all the spices I’ve listed in the recipes, depending on how spicy you like it. My family likes the Shah brand best if you can find it.

For the lamb biryani, I get the butcher to cut my lamb shoulder into pieces when I buy it. You can use boneless if that’s easier for you but the flavour is better with the bones in.

Mandatory Items:

Please make one of the five recipes I’ve provided.

Variations allowed:

This is a very flexible dish, so feel free to make it more or less spicy, depending on what you can handle.

Preparation time:

Lamb Biryani: 2 hours cooking time plus 2 hours – overnight for the marinade
Chicken Biryani: 40 minutes
Chicken Tika Biryani: 1 hour cooking time plus 1 hour – overnight for the marinade
Fish Biryani: 20 minutes
Vegetable Biryani: 45 minutes

Equipment required:

•2 large saucepans

Lamb Biryani

Servings: 6

Lamb Biryani

Ingredients

4 cloves garlic
1 inch (2½ cm) ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2/3 cup (180 ml) (6-1/3 oz) (180 gm) plain yogurt
4 tablespoons (60 ml) fresh coriander, chopped
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon biryani powder
½ teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
Salt
18 oz (500 gm) lamb shoulder, cut into 1 inch (2½ cm) pieces
4 tablespoons (60 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) ghee
½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
3 bay leaves
3 cardamom pods
3 cinnamon sticks
1 onion, chopped
Green chillies, chopped (optional)

Rice:
5 tablespoons (75 ml) (2-2/3 oz) (75 gm) ghee
2 cardamom pods
2 small cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
2 onions, thinly sliced
3 cups (750 ml) (550 gm) (19½ oz) basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes and drained

Directions:

1.Blend the garlic, ginger, yogurt, coriander, and spices to a smooth paste. Rub the paste into the lamb and leave it to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
2.Melt the ghee in a large pot and fry the whole spices until fragrant. Add the onion and cook until golden brown.
3.Add the meat and any remaining marinade. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add enough water to just cover the meat. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 hour until the meat is very tender, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn. Stir in the green chillies if using.
4.For the rice, melt the ghee in a separate saucepan on medium high heat and fry the whole spices until lightly brown. Add the onion and fry until golden brown. Add the rice and fry for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in 6 cups (1½ Loser of water, bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain any remaining water.
5.Assemble the biryani by alternating thin layers of rice and meat in a large saucepan starting and ending with a layer of rice. Cover the pan tightly and cook over very low heat for 10 more minutes

Add the onion fry until golden brownAdd the rice and fry

Chicken Biryani:

Servings: 6

Chicken Biryani

Ingredients

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
2 small cinnamon sticks
2 cardamom pods
3 tablespoons (45 ml) (1½ oz) ghee
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch (2½ cm) ginger, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 tomato, skinned and chopped
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon biryani powder
1 chicken, cut into 8 parts
3 cups (750 ml) (550 gm) (19½ oz) basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (½ oz) (15 ml) plain yogurt
Fresh coriander, chopped
Green chillies, chopped (optional)

Directions:

1.Melt the ghee in a medium sized saucepan. Fry the cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon, and cardamom in it until fragrant.
2.Add the onions, garlic, ginger, tomato, and salt. Cook on medium high heat while stirring for 5 minutes or until the onions start to brown.
3.Add the cumin, coriander powder, curry powder, and biryani powder. Cook for another 2 minutes and add the chicken. Cover the pan, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
4.Add the yogurt. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Add coriander and chillies and remove from heat.
5.Boil the rice in 6 cups (1½ Loser of water for 5 minutes or until half cooked. Drain any remaining water. In a large saucepan, alternate layers of rice and chicken starting and ending with a layer of rice. Cover the saucepan tightly and cook over very low heat for 10 minutes or until the rice is done.

Add the cumin, coriander powder, curry powder, and biryani powderrice is done

Chicken Tika Biryani:

Servings: 6

Chicken Tika Biryani

Ingredients

1 lb (½ kg) boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (20 ml) tandoori masala powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon curry powder
¾ teaspoon garam masala powder
¾ teaspoon cumin powder
¾ teaspoon coriander powder
3 tablespoon (45 ml) (1 ½ oz) (45 gm) yogurt
2 teaspoons (10 ml) lemon juice
Orange food colouring (optional)
2 inch (5 cm) ginger, peeled and minced fine
8 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (½ oz) (15 ml) ghee
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
3 cups (750 ml) (550 gm) (19½ oz) basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
2 onions, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Fresh coriander, chopped
Green chillies, chopped (optional)

Directions:

1.Mix together 1 tablespoon of the tandoori masala powder, ½ teaspoon each of turmeric, curry powder, garam masala, cumin, and coriander powder with the yogurt, lemon juice, a few drops of food colouring, half of the minced ginger and garlic, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cover the chicken with the marinade, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour or preferably overnight.
2.Roast the chicken at hot 230°C/450°F/gas mark 8 for 15 minutes
3.Melt the ghee with the oil. Add the onions, and the rest of the minced garlic and ginger. Cook on high heat for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, 1 teaspoon tandoori masala, ½ teaspoon turmeric, ¼ teaspoon each garam masala, coriander powder, and cumin, and 1½ teaspoon salt. Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes, cover the pan, and cook on low heat for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add the chilies, if using, and the cooked chicken. Cook on medium heat for 3 minutes, then cover the pan and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the coriander and remove from heat.
4.Drain and rinse the rice. Boil the rice with 6 cups (1½ l ) of water, then cover and lower the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes or until the rice is half cooked. Drain any remaining water.
5.Alternate layers of rice and chicken in a large saucepan, starting and ending with rice. Cover the pan and cook over very low heat for 10-13 minutes until the rice is cooked.

Fish Biryani:

Servings: 4

Fish Biryani

Ingredients

3 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 green chillies
4 cloves garlic
1 onion
3 tablespoon (60 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) ghee
2 cups (500 ml) (370 gm) (13 oz) basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
3 cups (750 ml) coconut milk
1 lb (½ kg) white fish fillets, cut into 1 inch (2½ cm) pieces
Salt

Directions:

1.Blend the tomatoes, turmeric, cumin, chillies, garlic, and half of the onion to a smooth paste.
2.Thinly slice the remaining onion and fry it in the ghee over medium high heat until lightly browned. Stir in the rice and fry for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and enough water to bring the liquid about 1 inch (2½ cm) above the rice. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes until the rice is half cooked.
3.Add the paste, fish, and salt. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes or until the rice is dry.

Vegetable Biryani:

Servings: 6

Vegetable Biryani

Ingredients

4 tablespoons (60 ml) (2 oz) (60 ml) ghee
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ inch (2½ cm) ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (60 ml) (2/3 oz) (20 gm) desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
Salt
14 oz (400 gm) canned tomatoes
9 oz (250 gm) frozen sweetcorn, thawed
5 oz (150 gm) paneer, cut into ½ inch (1 cm) pieces
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

Rice:
6 tablespoons (90 ml) (3 oz) (90 ml) ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 whole cloves
4 whole black peppercorns
1 small cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 cardamom pod
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 cup (240 ml) (6½ oz) (185 gm) basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt
1 cup (250 ml) (6-1/3 oz) (180 gm) raisins
½ cup (120 ml) (85 gm) (3 oz) blanched almonds, halved
½ cup (120 ml) (85 gm) (3 oz) cashews, halved
2 cups (500 ml) water

Directions:

1.Melt the ghee in a large saucepan over medium high heat and fry the cumin seeds until fragrant. Add the garlic, ginger, and onion and fry until golden brown. Stir in the coconut and fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the spices, salt, tomatoes, sweet corn, and paneer. Cook for about 20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the coriander, lemon juice, and mint. Remove from the heat.
2.For the rice, melt the rest of the ghee in another large saucepan and fry the whole spices until fragrant. Add the onion and fry until golden brown. Mix in the rice and fry for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the spices, salt, raisins, nuts, and water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes or until the rice is dry.
3.Layer the rice and vegetables in thin layers in a large saucepan, starting and ending with a layer of rice. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.

Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:

Biryani makes great leftovers. It can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for 2 months.

Additional Information:

They use a slightly different recipe and technique from what I’ve presented, but you can watch this video if you need help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1jbUtZSluo

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