India, the place of varied culture and heritage and has been the epitome of culinary delights since ages. Indian history has seen rulers from various creeds and the advent of mouth watering food. Biriyani, was the masterpiece creation of veteran Mughal royal cooks. The art of preparing biriyani has been inculcated amongst the descendents of the royal cooks and till day it's a trade secret never to be revealed amongst the general public. Biriyani is quite a famous dish in parts of India like Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata. I am very much influenced by the Mughal culinary art and an ardent fan of biriyani. Well, although the wide availability of biriyani tempts one to buy from the available takeaway counters, but lets see the easy process of preparing biriyani at home.
Basmati rice (250 gms.approximately for 4 people),
Potato (big sized 2 ),
Ghee (150 gms.)
Chicken (300gms only leg and breast pcs.),
Curd (50 gms.)
Egg (2 pcs.)
Milk (25 ml)
Keora water [extract distilled from pandanus flowers] (4 teaspoons)
Shah jeera [caraway seeds] (2 teaspoon),
Javitri [mace] ( 2 flowers),
Jaiphal [Nutmeg] (1 pc.),
Shah marich [white pepper] ( 1 teaspoon),
Dalchini [cinnamon] (2 medium sized sticks),
Elaichi [cardamon](4 seeds)
salt as per taste
Its a slightly complicated and lengthy process indeed.
Marinate the required amount of chicken with curd and salt for 30-45 mins.
Make a blend with javitri, jaiphal, shah jeeraa, shah marich using a dry grinder.
Heat ghee in a container and cook the chicken with the said spices.
Add elaichi, cloves, cinnamon , cardamon (these spices should be blended to form garm masala).
Add garam masala to the chicken along with the other spices.
Add little water (about 100 ml )to the chicken to make it soft.
Keep the spiced chicken aside.
Wash the rice and put it to boil with about 1/2 lts. water and 4 teaspoons keora water.
When boiled allow the rice to dry and be free flowing. Keep aside 1/5 th part of the rice.
Heat the milk with saffron , so that a florescent orange yellow color appears.
Mix this colored liquid with the 1/5th part of rice and keep aside.
Boil potatoes and eggs separately.
Peel off the outer skin of potato and the outer shell of eggs. Make two equal halves of the potato and eggs.
Fry slightly in ghee and keep aside.
Take a medium sized broad mouthed container. Put 1/2 teaspoon ghee, colored rice, normal rice, 1 pc. of chicken, 1 pc potato in the first formed layer.
Repeat this process at least 4 times till you have a brilliant ,dazzling combination of the colored rice , chicken n potato.
Seal the mouth of the container and put in low flame for 3-4 minutes.
Repeat the same process in a microwave bowl and put in the microwave for 3 mins.
Step 4 (garnishing with chopped vegetables for final decoration)
Chop cucumber in rounded fashion, tomatoes, onions, carrot in the way showed in the picture above. Chop the egg in such a way so that you can decorate it nicely. You may follow the above pattern of decoration as shown in the picture.
Serve Biriyani with raita (a combination of curd/ salads) and enjoy the dish with your family. After such a hard toil, you will really enjoy it to the hilt. This is the main course for Muslims in India while they celebrate Id/ Ramzaan and other occasions like marriage. Due to the increasing popularity of Biriyani, it is widely available nowadays in takeaway counters in all metro cities in India.