The Indian rice dish called Biryani is truly a jewel in the rice dishes of the world. The art of cooking with spices, herbs and other seasonings come together in a wonderful show of color, aroma and flavor. This is an outstanding work of Indian culinary art. This recipe originated in the kitchens of the Nizam of Hydrabad. This is a rice hot dish that makes a one dish meal along with plain yogurt or with yogurt raita.
Cooking the Rice
1 package Ajika Basmati Rice washed and drained
1/2 tsp. salt
10 cups water
Cooking the Biryani
2 lbs. chicken, lamb or mutton leg/shoulder cut into bite size pieces, washed and drained
5 tbs. oil or ghee
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic minced
1 inch piece ginger minced
1-3 green chillies minced
6-7 tbsp. Ajika Biryani Spices
2- 2 1/2 tsp. salt (adjust to taste)
1/2 cup thick yoghurt
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 bunch of cilantro leaves, minced
1 lime or 1/2 lemon, cut into small pieces
A few strands of saffron soaked in a tablespoon of warm water
1 tbs. Ghee
Cooking the Meat
Heat oil/ghee in a large pan and fry onions, until quite dark brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
In the same oil (add more if needed), add spices ginger and garlic. Fry for a minute or two.
Add meat pieces, salt, chilli. Stir fry until meat is nicely browned on all sides.
Add yoghurt, tomatoes, cilantro, lime. Cook, stirring frequently, until meat is soft and only a little gravy is left.
Cooking the Rice
While meat is cooking, boil the water for rice with salt.
Add rice and bring to a rolling boil, until 2/3rd done about 5 minutes after the boil.
Drain/Seive the water off like you do when cooking pasta. You can run a little cold water over it, to stop the rice from cooking further while resting. Leave in the colander for a few minute, for the water to drain out completely.
Add ghee to grease a large oven proof dish or a pan.
Layering the Biryani
Spread 1/3rd of the rice in a layer at the base of the pan. Now layer with 1/2 of the meat.
Repeat the layering till the last layer is the rice.
Sprinkle the saffron on the top of the rice.
Add fried onions on top.
Dot with a little ghee.
Cover the pan with a tight lid.
Put it in a medium hot oven and bake for 30 minuites at 350 F the rice is fully done.
You should have perfect Biryani