Friday, April 3, 2009

Hyderabadi Biryani

Couple of months before, after our tired grocery shopping, we landed in a Vegetarian Indian Restaurant. I saw Hyderabadi Veg Biryani in their menu. My taste buds started to tickle seeing the biryani in the menu card. I went ahead ordering without thinking twice. I got a kadai(bowl) full of rice that neither looked nor tasted like a biryani.
I started explaining to my hubby the exact biryani preparation & I also started guessing what these guys would have done. My hubby crossed his brows & said the “biryani" served was still good. I immediately made up my mind to prepare the biryani & make him taste the real "biryani". I never tried to cook Hyderabadi Biryani even though I had the recipe from my aunt. Without a second thought, I started looking for my word document that contained the recipe & cooked it the very next day. It was straight from heaven. Inspired by Hyderabadi Biryani, I tried another version of Biryani too. No doubt, both were the “best one pot meal” I have cooked till date. One of the guests at home appreciated me by saying they were better than what they had in restaurants & got the recipe from me ;)
Before noting the ingredients, here is my piece of advice to you. Never try to prepare biryani in a jiffy; it needs your time, love & patience. But believe me.., all the efforts would be really worth & well appreciated...

Ingredients:

For savory water:
3 inch cinnamon
5-6 cardamom
6-8 clove
1tbsp pepper
2 star anise
2 bayleaves
1 tsp fennel seeds
6 cups water

For sweet water:
½ cup milk
1 tsp saffron strands
1 tsp rosewater
1/2tsp cardamom powder

For rice:
3 cups basmati rice
5 cups savory water
1tsp ghee
1 bay leaf
Salt according to taste

For vegetable layering:
½ cup green peas + sweet corn
1 cup mixed vegetables (I used potato, cauliflower, carrots, beans)
½ cup savory water
½ cup yogurt/curd
½ bunch pudina/mint leaves (finely chopped)
1tsp biryani powder (I used store bought biryani powder)
1 tsp chilli powder
2tbsp milk cream (optional)
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Salt according to taste
1tbsp butter/ghee/oil

For garnishing:
1 tbsp cashewnuts fried in ghee
1tbsp raisins fried in ghee
½ bunch pudina/mint leaves
1 onion sliced & fried in ghee till brown (onions should be crisp)
1/4th cup savory water
1/4th cup sweet water
2tbsp yogurt/curd
1tsp biryani powder (optional)

Method:

For savory water:
Add all the ingredients mentioned in “for savory water” to a large pan & boil it for 20 mins on medium flame. Allow it to cool completely & retain only the clear water. Discard the spices.

For sweet water:

Add cardamom powder to the milk & boil it. Allow it to cool. When milk becomes warm, add saffron strands & rose water. Mix well & keep aside.

Rice:
Add rice, ghee, bay leaf, savory water & salt to a pot & cook it on a medium flame until rice is 3/4th cooked (it takes around 15-18minutes). Allow the rice to cool. If water seems to be more in the pot, do not hesitate to drain it. The rice shouldn’t become sticky. Add 2tbsp of sweet water to the cooked rice. Once cool, spread out the rice to ensure each grain is seperate

For vegetable layering:
Add savor water to the vegetables, peas, corn & pressure cook for 1 whistle only. Add ghee to a broad pan, when oil is hot add ginger garlic paste. Add finely chopped mint leaves & fry for 10secs. Add yogurt, milk cream, chilli powder, biryani powder, salt & boil it for a minute or two. Add the half cooked vegetables to the yogurt mixture & cook it on a slow flame for 5-7minutes.

Layering the Biryani:

Take a thick bottomed pot; spread 1/3rd of cooked rice first. On top of that, spread ½ of the vegetable gravy prepared equally. Sprinkle 1/3rd of the fried cashewnuts, raisins, mint leaves, onion, 1tbsp savory water, 1tbsp sweet water & curd.
Cover this with another layer of rice, followed by remaining vegetable gravy, garnishing items. The top most layer must be rice. Sprinkle the biryani powder(optional), 1 tbsp curd, cashewnuts, raisins, onions & cover it with a aluminum foil. One could use a tight lid too.
Heat the tawa/dosa pan on a high flame. Place this pot on top of the tawa & reduce the flame. Cook this on tawa for 10mins on medium flame. Remove the lid just before serving.
Serve it with raitha & get applauded.

Blog Events:

Biryani along with mavinakayi chitranna goes to COT-Flavored Rice hosted by Kadumanga