The mere name conjures up images of steaming piles of desi goodness, all yellow and white and heavenly. Your brain teases with memory of the spicy aroma and your heart leaps in anticipation.
Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it.
Today I am going to share the recipe that’ll make you the master of biryani too.
Over the years, I have tried more than 15 different biryani recipes with varying degrees of success.
This one is my baby. So read carefully and follow each step to the book.
If it seems like too much work… Well then, you are simply not ready yet. You can start with the easy peasy chicken karahi :p
I’ve tried to explain each and every step in the recipe as clearly as I could but here are some extra tips that make all the difference:
Slice onions as thinly as possible. The thinner the onions, the crispier they’ll be. If your onions aren’t thin enough, they won’t brown evenly and will turn soggy. You want the onions to be nice and crunchy so that you crush them up easily and not have big onions bits in your biryani.
Don’t skimp on the whole spices. All the different spices that together make up what we call ‘garam masala’ are essential to the aroma and taste of agood biryani. It might be frustrating to collect and add all the bit (and you might hate biting onto a piece of illachi) but trust me when I tell that you it’ll be worth it!
The secret is in the masala. Use red, ripe tomatoes, ½ kilo of them which is around 4 large ones. The riper they are, the better the masala ends up being. Together with the green chilli paste and ginger garlic; MIX MIX MIX. Mix till oil appears on the surface
Have patience. Cook the chicken low and slow. Cook the rice till al-dente. This step is something which I always mess up and so get my mom to do it for me
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. That’s what mums are for
So, one fine Sunday why not ditch the store-bought biryani masalas and make this delicious authentic Sindhi Biryani from scratch. Its rich and spicy and filled with herbs and succulent meat and potatoes. A family favorite at my house and will become your’s too InshaaAllah 💜
Prep Time: 30 minutes Serves: 8
Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
½ kg Basmati rice, soaked for 30-60 mins
6 +4 whole green chilies
4 Tbsp fresh coriander leaves
½ cup cooking oil
2 large onions, sliced thinly
4 large tomatoes, sliced
1 Tbsp whole mix spices1
2 Tbsp ginger garlic paste, heaped
2 tsp chili powder, heaped
2 tsp salt, leveled
1 kg chicken cut into 12 pieces
2-3 potatoes, cut into quarters
1 cup yogurt, whisked till smooth
½ tsp garam masala powder
10-12 dried plums soaked in warm water
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Fresh mint leaves
¼ tsp yellow food color
1. Boil rice in water + 2 Tbsp salt + ½ tsp black cumin + a bay leaf. Cook till rice is 3/4th of the way done. Drain and set aside.
2. Grind together 6 green chilies along with the fresh coriander. Add just a splash of water to help the grinder going. Set aside.
3. In a pan, heat the oil and fry the sliced onions, constantly mixing, till dark brown. Take out the fried onions and spread them on some paper towels. When dry, crush them coarsely with your hands.
4. In the same pan used before, add the tomatoes, ginger garlic, the grinded chili coriander mix, the whole spices, red chili powder and salt. Constantly mix with a wooden spoon. When the tomatoes turn mushy and oil appears on the surface, add in the chicken pieces, potatoes, and half cup water. Mix. Cover the pan and leave to cook on low heat.
5. When the chicken is half done, add the yogurt, fried onions, garam masala powder, and the 4 whole green chilies. Mix well, cover and leave to cook till both chicken and potatoes are tender.
6. Grease the bottom of a bigger pot with a spoon of oil. Transfer half of the boiled rice. Top with the entire chicken mix. Spread it. Sprinkle the fresh coriander and mint leaves + the dried plums. Top it off with the rest of the boiled rice. Spread it and press the rice with the back of your spoon.
7. With the end of your wooden spoon, make holes in the rice, going ¾ of the way down. In these holes spoon in the yellow food color mixed in some water.2
8. Cover with a tight lid and place on very low heat for about 15-20 minutes to steam.
9. Mix and serve immediately with mint raita and fresh cucumber salad.
1. Whole spices include: 1 bay leaf (tayz pata), 2 cinnamon sticks, 4-6 black cloves, 4-6 black peppercorns, 3-5 green cardamom pods (hari illachi), 2 black cardamom pods (bhari illachi), 1 tsp cumin seeds (sabat zeera)
2. This is optional, it’s the way I do it. Alternatively, you can just pour the food color mixed in little water, in just one go over the rice.
Recipe source: The amazing Shireen Anwer