Biryani is mixed rice dish made with spices, rice and meat or vegetables. Biryani derived from the Farsi word Birian. Birian means fried before cooking. Base on the name and cooking style, conclude that the dish originated in Persia or Arab. It could have come from Persia via Afghanistan to north India. It could have also been brought by the Arab traders via Arabian Sea to Calicut a city in the state of Kerala in southern India.
India has witnessed many invaders, with every invader came a different culture and a new cuisine. The Arabs, Turks and Persians introduced the culture of feasts to India. The Mughals raised cooking to an art form, introducing several recipes to India similar to biryani, pilaf and kebabs. I could go on and on with no end to meet .Therefor the origin of the dish is uncertain. But what is certain is that it taste really good.
There are several kinds of biryani all depend on the community and regions. Each has its own traditional style of making biryani. The most popular of all are the Hyderabadi when it comes to cooking biryani.
Here are few different types of biryani:
Hyderabadi biryani, Dindigul biryani, Ambur biryani, Bhatkali biryani, Lucknowi biryani. Kolkata biryani, Malabar biryani, Sindhi biryani, Bombay biryani, Calcutta biryani, Beary biryani, Punjab biryani and more lol
All are unique. A wide range of aromatic spices come together to create a beautiful pot of biryani. The use of spices differs from region to region. And most important of all the quality of basmati rice.
– 3 cups of basmati rice
– 2 litres of Water to cook the rice
– 2 cups of water for the stew
– 500g of lamb back chops or shoulder cut into large pieces
– 5 tablespoon of cooking oil
– 4 large onions, thinly sliced
– 6 chopped green chillies (optional)
– 1 tablespoon of garlic puree
– 1 tablespoon of ginger puree
– 3 tablespoon of garam masala
– 4 bay leaves
– 6 cordamoms
– 4 cinnamon stick
– 5 tablespoon of chopped fresh coriander leaves
– Salt to taste
Soak the rice in water for 30 mins and drain
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Fry the spices, 2 bay leaves, 3 cardamom and 2 cinnamon sticks until fragrant for 2 mins.
Add the onion and stir until they are lightly brown about 8 to 10 min.
Stir the garlic and ginger puree into the onion mixture for 1 min. sprinkle the coriander over the mixture and cook for another min or two.
Add the lamp chops to the pan and cook until the meat begins to brown about 15 mins
Add 2 cups of water and simmer until the lamb is tender about 15-20 mins. Add more water if needed to keep the mixture from getting dry. You should have a nice thick stew.
In a separate pan bring 2 litres of water to a boil. Add the rice with 1 tablespoon of salt, 2 bay leaves, 3 cardamom and 2 cinnamon sticks and par- boil for 10 min. Do not cook the rice completely (half cooked). Strain the water and keep the rice aside.
Use a separate pot to layer the lamb stew and rice. Start by spooning half of the lamb stew in the bottom of the pot.
Then Lay on top of the stew half of the rice. Sprinkle some food colouring to the rice. I used red, green and yellow colouring.
Repeat again with the remaining stew and cover it with the other half rice and sprinkle more colouring to the top layer. Do not overdo it with colouring.
Cover the pot with aluminium foil and seal properly cover with the lid making sure no stream escapes. This part is very important. And let it cook on low heat for 20 – 25 mins.
Garnish with coriander and serve hot with salad or Raita. The coloured rice gives you that festivity feeling and can be served in special occasions and also to impress guest over dinner.
Raita is a cucumber yogurt sauce side dish made with dahi (yogurt often referred to as curd). Used in Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian cuisine as a cooling balance for spicy dishes.
– 1 large cucumber, peeled ( half grated and half chopped)
– 2 cup of plain yogurt
– 1 tablespoon lime juice
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or dried
– A glove garlic minced
– 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
– Few springs of fresh coriander (optional)
– Salt to taste
– black pepper or chilli powder for garnish (optional)
Add the yogurt, lime juice, along with the spices in a bowl. Beat well until it becomes smooth.
Add the garlic, the grated cucumber and mix well. Then add the chopped cucumber to the mixture. Then add the coriander and give it a good mix.
Serve garnished with some chilli powder or black pepper. You can also add few additional chopped cucumber pieces and coriander as garnish to give it the wow factor. It can also be made ahead and refrigerate covered for 2 days.
If the sauce is too thick, thin it out with a few teaspoons of water until it reaches the desired consistency. Best refrigerated covered for 30 mins to meld the flavours before serving.