I love it with a passion…I love it so much that I dream about it. I’m not a foodie, however the cravings (if any) I have are for just this one…..the one and only Hyderabadi Dum Biryani.
Spending the first 25 years of my life in Hyderabad, I would often end up travelling right across town to meet up with a like minded friend to have biryani. We infact worked together and would finish our 3AM shift, walk right across the road to the biryani place…and binge on Midnight Biryani. What else could one ask for….great food, great company! Ah those were the days.
My first biryani experience in the land of opportunities was a damp squib. Proximity dictated the restaurant we chose, and my tongue dictated my disppointment. Till this day it has been a year and I still hesitate to step into an Indian Cuisine place, unless we are meeting friends who don’t like to experiment cuisines.
NOTE: I like my veggies to be crunchy, so I don’t boil them.
This recipe serves 2 as the main course and we normally just eat it without any appetizer or roti and just with a raitha.
1 cup Basmati rice
a handful of french beans
2 tablespoons of curd
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1 teaspoon of minced fresh ginger
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of garam masala
3 green chillies
1 teaspoon of red chili powder
Oil, salt to taste
1 tablespoon of ghee/butter/margarine
A pinch of saffron, soaked in a small cup of warm milk
A few sprigs of cilantro and mint.
1. Wash the basmati rice , soak atleast for 15 min and cook pouring 2 cups of water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few drops of ghee until done. Remove and keep aside.
2. In a skillet, brown the onions and keep aside.
3.In a skillet heat oil and add the ginger, garlic and green chillies and saute for a minute. Add a tablespoon of curd and keep stirring until it evaporates, repeat with another tablespoon, when the water evaporates completely, add the vegetables except onions, salt and stir and cook covered for atleast 10 minutes.( remember , some salt is already added to the rice)
4. Crush the poppy seeds and add to the vegetables. Add garam masala, chili powder , mix and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
5. In a greased baking dish layer the rice first and then add the vegetable curry and then add the rice. if the quanitity is more than you can add more layers. I could just get to 3 layers.
6. Preheat the oven at 375F and meanwhile garnish the layers of rice and curry with cilantro , mint and cashews if you want. Also add the saffron milk and ghee to it. Cover with an aluminium foil and on top of it place a plate or any cover which is heavy and bake for a good 30 minutes. Some of the rice gets crispy and brown and is a real treat.
7. Once out of the oven, garnish with browned onions and serve hot with raitha.