Biryani by request

My mum has been asking me for a biryani recipe for a couple of weeks now.  Her work colleague has asked her a few times.. I was a bit reluctant to direct her to a google searched recipe because there are so many different types/ways.

I finally remembered that I had my own version (although i make it different ways depending on my mood) ”stashed” somewhere.. and conviently typed up.

For a bigger flavour hit, you can use Shaan brand biryani spice mixes. But dont use too much. A tablespoon or two go a long way contrary to what it says on the pack. If in doubt, add a tablespoon or so at a time and taste your ”gravy”. Also remember the mix contains salt!.

So here it is:

Ingedients:

1/2 kg meat (chicken, beef, lamb etc)
One LARGE onion (about one cup)
About 1 tablesppon fresh minced ginger and same amount garlic
One large tomatoe
3 green cloves or 1/2 tsp ground cloves
3-4 green cardomom pods
2 cm mace (optional)
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp tumeric
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp corriander
1/2 to 1 tsp chilli powder on one fresh green chili chopped )optional
1 cup each fresh mint and corriander (I ommit this or use dry when I dont have it)
1 cup natural yoghurt
1-2tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
2 cups of basmati rice soaked for at least 30 mins (ideally you want same amount of rice to meat, so half kg)
salt for seasoning

Method:

Blend together: onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoe, spices etc(except cardomom and cloves) to make a paste.. or just grate finely and mix

Fry the meat a bit in a few table spoons of oil with cardomoms and cloves.. until brownish and then add the paste to fry off until fragrant.

Add about 1cup of water add salt and allow the meat to cook until soft.. add yogurt when halfway and mix well. ( You may need more water depending on the meat)

Reduce the liquid until u get a thickish gravy..

While this is happening you should have some boiling salted water.. add the rice and cook until about 60% cooked (takes maybe 10 mins?) drain.

Bring a pot.. layer some meat with gravy down the bottom (use more liquid on the bottom layer and less in between).. then rice.. the final layer being of rice.. (I usually end up with only 2 layers.. but it depends on the amount and pot size)

Bring to the simmer and let it cook gently on low heat until the rice on top is fully cooked .. but be careful not to burn the bottom..

The way u prevent it from burning is keeping an eye and an EAR on it.. if u hear bubbling down the bottom and it doesnt look dry then it”s ok. If u hear a ‘searing’ sound its probably going to burn so add a little bit of water. Best cooked in a pot with a glass lid so you can see the progress of the rice without lifting the lid which can ruin your rice.

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