Biriyani is just a name for traditional Indian way of cooking meat and rice. How it is cooked and what is added varies drastically across India. In one such variation meat is cooked separately with gravy and then mixed with half-cooked rice and put on the final “dum” (slow cooking). In another, marinated raw meat is layered in rice and spices and cooked together. The meat in this case is kacchi or raw. As you can guess this is what I cover in todays post.
This recipe comes from the Hyderabad Nizams kitchen. One of our relatives (Habu Dadu) ran away from home at a young age and finally with a lot of twists of fate landed as the apprentice of the Hyderabad Nizams chief chef. He worked in the Nizam’s kitchen for many years and finally retired in Kolkata. When he used to visit our home he used to come with his own bag of spices and cook for us. It used to be a grand feast which I remember till this date. Todays recipe dedicated to his fond memories.
- 1kg mutton cut into medium pieces on bone
- 2 large onions thinly sliced
- 1tbsp. salt
- 1/2tsp. sugar
- 1tbsp. ginger paste
- 1tbsp. garlic paste
- 1tbsp. green chili paste
- 1tbsp. garam masala ( You can use Biryani masala of your favorite brand)
- 1tsp. red chili powder
- Juice of 1 lime
- 250gms curd (Yogurt)
- 1 bunch coriander leaves finely chopped
- 1 bunch mint leaves finely chopped
- 500gms. basmati rice
- 2 – 3tbsp. salt
- 50gms. ghee (Clarified butter)
- 1tsp. saffron soaked in quarter cup of warm milk
Soak basmati rice for 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the onion slices till they are brown. Remove and drain them on a paper towel.
Arrange mutton in layers in a heavy bottom pan. Add Half of the fried onion, ginger-garlic paste, green chili paste, chili powder, garam masala powder, salt, sugar, yoghurt, oil, lemon juice, chopped coriander and mint leaves to it. Mix everything well with mutton and keep it marinated for 3-4 hours.
By the meantime in a pan take water along with 2- 3 tbsp. salt and bring to a rolling boil. Stir it well and add presoaked basmati rice to it. Once you have added the rice it will stop boiling. Wait till it again starts boiling. This rice is 50% done. Make an layer of rice on top of the marinated mutton. Add about a cup of water ( Preferably the water in which you boiled the rice).
Sprinkle some more fried brown onions on top of it. Drizzle few spoons of saffron soaked milk over it.
Now seal the vessel tightly with aluminum foil.
We will not be cooking this directly on heat because if we do so the meat will char by the time the biriyani is cooked. So take a tawa (skillet) and place the biryani vessel on top of it. Cook it on medium heat for about 45 minutes. By the end of this time you will see the aluminum foil has swollen up. That means it is ready. Remove the foil an serve it with raita.