Would you believe it if I said that I hadn't heard about or tasted biryani till I was about 15? I grew up in an orthodox tamil (Iyer) brahmin household...... In our cuisine the main spices we use are Cumin, Coriander, Black Pepper and Red Chillies and at the most Cardamom for Sweets....
So, when I had the first whiff of this dish, my instinct was to throw up :)
This dish has actually wooed me a long time, before I succumbed to it....
I agree this is not the best Biryani ever, BUT, it is a foolproof recipe and comes out well every time..
The Best Biriyani I have had is made by my friend Suhasini.... I will get her recipe and post it on this blog ...
This recipe was taken from a NITA MEHTA Book called Mughlai Cuisine....
This recipe serves 5-6
Here is the Recipe
6-7 Flakes Garlic
1" piece Ginger
1 Tbsp Saunf (Ani Seeds)
1 Tsp Jeera (Cumin Seeds)
3 Red Chillies
1 Tsp Dhania Powder (Coriander Powder)
1 Stick Dalchini (Cinnamon)
3-4 Laung (Cloves)
3-4 Saboot Kali Mirch (Pepper Corns)
Seeds of 2 Moti Elaichi (Brown Cardamoms)
2 Cups Basmati Rice - Soaked for 1 Hour
1-2 Carrots - Cut Diagonally in to slices
1 Small Cauliflower - Cut into Big Flakes
8-10 French Beans - Cut into 1"long Diagonal Pieces
2 Small Potatoes - Cut into fours
2 Onions - Sliced Finely
1/2 cup Oil
3 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
1 Bay Leaf
--->Soak Rice for 1 Hour.
---> Grind the ingredients of the paste together with a little water.
--->Heat Oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add Onions, Cook till golden brown.
---> Add the vegetables and stir fry 3-4 minutes.
---> Add the paste and the Bay Leaf
---> Measure 4 cups of water and add to vegetables.
---> Add Salt and Lemon Juice
---> When Water boils, drain the soaked rice and add to the water.
---> Put a tawa under the pan of rice to reduce the hear further.
---> Cover the pan of rice with a small towel or naplin and then with a well fitting lid. Keep some heavy weight on the lid
---> Slow down the fire and cook till the rice is done (10- 15 minutes).
---> Serve after 10 minutes
I used a handi pressure cooker so did not do the tawa under the pan etc, i just reduced the flame to a very low level and continued to cook it.
It Tasted excellent, an easy one pot meal , I served it with some Cucumber Raita...