One of the most famous dishes of India is definitely the royal, glorious Biryanis. The sophisticated version of a pilaf, this rice dish is a classic! I have been a biryani fan for as long as i can remember and though i never made it at home before, i decided to finally give it a go.
Biryani is more than just a rice dish. It is a highly sophisticated and elegant dish which elevates the whole rice eating experience. Biryanis are cooked using the layering method where the al-dente vegetables/meat and rice are alternatively layered and then cooked on low flame in a thick bottom pan. This method of cooking instills the dish with a unique flavour and the vegetables and rice mingle together to create a harmonious plate of decadent Biryani.
I always assumed biryanis to be something which was not doable in my kitchen and since it is requires a series of steps, it just seemed too cumbersome to me. Then one day we had a friend’s potluck party and the host had made biryani for all of us. I was completed bowled over by her dish and decided i had to make it myself too. After a few quick searches and guessing a few ingredients on my own, i finally made it ! I have to say that it does take a little longer than a pilaf/pulao dish but the taste is so amazing that the efforts are well paid off !
If you have not tried biryanis at home, try this recipe. This biryani is so good that trust me, you would be making it often 🙂
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- 2 tsp oil
- 2 tablespoons Ghee (ghee brings in the real biryani flavour)
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 medium sized onions, thinly sliced and fried (check the video here for tutorial)
- 1 cup yogurt
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2-3 green chilies, slit (you can remove the seeds to make it less spicy)
- 1 inch ginger, julienne
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 6-8 strands of saffron, dissolved in 1 tsp warm milk
- handful of fresh coriander, chopped
- Whole spices (bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon stick, black cardamom), tied in a cheesecloth
- Vegetables (You can add in all your favorite vegetables)
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup french beans, cut into 1 inch length
- 2 medium size potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup carrot, cut into thick sticks
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1 cup fresh fenugreek leaves/ 2 tablespoons dry fenugreek leaves
- Preparing Veggies
- Take a thick bottom pan. To this, add in the oil and bring to heat. Now, add in the asafoetida, cumin seeds and let it splutter. Next, add in the Cauliflower, potatoes, french beans and carrots. Add in ginger, garlic, salt, turmeric powder and red chili powder and mix well. Let this cook on high flame for a couple of minutes. Now, keep a lid on the pan and cook on simmer for 5-7 minutes. The veggies will be par-cooked.
- Now, stop further cooking and shut the flame. Add in yogurt and fenugreek leaves and combine well. Place the lid back on the pan and keep aside. The yogurt will help marinate the veggies while we prepare the rice for the biryani.
- Add the half the quantity of fried onions in the vegetable mixture and mix well.
- Preparing Rice
- Take a thick bottom pan. Add in 6-7 cups of water. Bring to Boil. Add in salt and mix well. Add the whole spices wrapped in the cheese cloth.
- Now, add in the rice and let it cook to al-dente (par boiled). This should take about 8-10 minutes. The rice is par boiled when it starts to look transparent on the outside and breaks into a brittle when chewed lightly.
- Drain the rice from the water and keep aside. Remove the whole spices and discard.
- Begin with a layer of vegetables on the bottom of a thick bottom pan.
- Next, add a thick layer of rice. Spread evenly over the vegetables.
- Sprinkle some fried onions on top. Ad some of the soaked saffron with the milk over it and s bit of garam masala.
- Add the next layer of vegetables. Continue with all the layers as explained above.
- Place the lid on the pan and let this cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes. Do not stir in between or the layer will get mixed up.
- Once done, gently remove the rice on a platter. Sprinkle some fried onions and coriander on top. Serve warm.
My first attempt at making biryani at home was a 100% successful !! The taste was no short of spectacular and it looked just perfect… the perfectly long grains of rice, fried caramalized onions and fragrant, this was the best meal.
Make this biryani for your next guest meal and charm your guests !
Bringing this dish to Fiesta Friday !
Try my other favorite rice dishes here :