Biriyani is a household name in India and every region has its own version. It is considered the ultimate graduation test for most amateur cooks. I’ve put together a video with a simple recipe that can be done at home. While a good biriyani is given a good “dhum”, a process of sealing the steam and letting the rice cook with it, I’ve used a simple technique using the oven to recreate the process. The classic method however is to use coal over a wet cloth covering the dish.
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• 2 cups of pre-soaked basmati rice.
• 100g oil
• 1 cinnamon stick, 1 cardamom and 2 cloves.
• 125g onions
• 500g lamb
• 125g tomato
• 2 tsp garlic paste
• 1 tsp chilly powder
• 1 tsp turmeric powder
• 1.25 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
• 4 tsp ginger paste
• 1 cup curd
• 1 whole chilly
• 2 tsp clarified butter
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 bunch coriander
• 4-5 mint leaves
• 3-4 strands of saffron
1. Soak the long grain basmati rice for 30 minutes.
2. 100g oil in a deep pan
3. Add the spices and wait till they float.
4. Add the onions and fry till they are golden brown
5. Add the tomatoes, lamb, garlic paste, chilly powder, turmeric powder, salt, curd and chilly.
Cook for 30 minutes or till the meat is tender. Sautee occationally.
6. Add the bay leaf, clarified butter , coriander and mint leaves and leave for a few minutes.
7. Cook the pre-soaked rice for 5 minutes till it is half cooked.
8. Place the rice on top of the gravy and put the saffron on the rice.
9. Seal with dough and bake in pre heated oven at 350 for 30 minutes.
10. Mix the rice well with the gravy and serve with a yogurt dip with onions and cucumber.
Due to large size of the country and being ruled by various rulers over a long period, India has a huge diversity in its cuisine. In the South of the country sees a lot of rice based dishes, with savoury rice based pancakes (dosa) or steamed cakes (idly) being the staple for breakfast. North India eats a lot more wheat based dishes. Kebabs (meat or veg based) are common all over North India due to the influence of the Mughal, while in South India has a lot more vegetables eaten with rice and lentil soups.
Sweets unite the country with sweets like gulab jamun and payasams being a household name in all parts of the country albeit with similar names.
Chicken Tikka, Butter Chicken Masala, Hilsa Fish, Biriyani, Galouti Kebab, Aapam with stew, Rice with dhal, ghee and vegetables in a thali.