So today I was reading some interesting articles on WordPress where it depicted Indian culture and tradition and how fashion has evolved over the couple of decades, people are the same, humans as usual but the culture is so amazing. Nagaland, I remember when I was a child I wanted to visit there because my Aunt lived there over a couple of years. And she would visit, she would bring some beautiful shawls and that was one of the main reasons why I wanted to visit there. Then when I had internet at my place when I was a child, I browsed a few interesting articles about the place. Beautiful place, lovely culture, nice people. Though nagas are called Indians they do not look Indian nor do they behave like one. In the recent years, nagas have grown in there personality that they have a different mind set compared to the Indian communities. Some say this could be because of the foreign missionaries that came to India to help spread Christianity. And the missionary work took off rapidly over the last two decades in the eastern part of India.
As I am writing this wonderful post to my readers, something distracted me, and I couldn’t help but mention that I have never seen a bride travel with her bridegroom in the metro underground. Something unimaginable but beautiful at the same time! So I just finished my shift, traveling underground metro gives me ample time to produce my skills of a writer and explore with them. Anyway back to nagas, I love the bright colors and indulgence that they carry and create. Spent a good 3 hours trying to capture every bit of street fashion over the Internet to fill my brain with the knowledge. Such a interesting piece.
My love for Biryani goes back to a few years ago, before leaving India to work in Maldives. Coming from the Land of Nawabs, Hyderabad, I always had the immense adoration towards it from the time I first tasted it, which I still remember and it had gotten more aged like the wine, when I left India, which only made me crave for it and forced me to learn to master the art of this recipe. I remember eating a lot Biryani as a child, for every occasion be it marriage, Christmas, new year, Easter, birthday, you name it! It is by far considered the food of rich in India. coming from a cultured heritage and a long known tradition of Indian food, the recipe I am going to share with you will surely inspire you to try out your own hand at this delicious recipe. This recipe is lets just say a family traditional recipe passed on to my mother and from her to me but with my own twist added to it. 🙂
Since, I currently live in Greece, i was able to gather all the ingredients that I need for this recipe, without further ado, I pushed myself to prepare this one pot meal. People often say that cooking a recipe with so many spices and flavors is a tedious job, but the recipe I am about to share you would only leave you with a delicious, mouth melting Biryani. but, I would recommend a bit of patience when it comes to certain stages of this recipe such as gathering all ingredients, marination and especially the cook time.
First, I would like to let you know, this recipe is a ‘Kachchi’ meaning its raw and cooked on a layered form allowing it to take time and cook in its own steam known as ‘Dum’. This recipe calls for fresh ‘mutton’ meaning goat meat, marinated in spices overnight to tenderize the meat and cook the meat faster than its required time. I say do not rush, if you rush, you would just mess it up, take it like a therapy. It will only help for a final fascinating result. So, Let’s begin our therapy, but carefully follow every bit of the recipe to produce the best Biryani you ever tasted:
For the Meat:
I used Mutton as this recipe calls for goats meat.
Note: Tsp = Teaspoon Tblsp = Tablespoon
Mutton – 1 Kilogram
Salt – 1 Tsp
Coriander powder – 2 Tsps
Roasted Cumin – 1/4 Tsp
Garam Masala – 1/2 Tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 3/4 Tsp
Black Pepper – 1/2 Tsp
Cumin Seeds (Jeera) – 1/2 Tsp
Cardamom – 4 Pods
Cinnamon Sticks – 1 Inch
Bay Leaves (Bit Crushed) – 2 Leaves
Cloves – 4
Green Chillies (Crushed) – 5
Ginger Garlic Paste – 3 Tblsps (Must)
Lemon Juice – 4 Tblsps
Mint Leaves (Do not Chop) – 5 Leaves (Must)
Coriander Leaves – 8 Leaves
Greek Yoghurt (or) Thick hung curd – 5 Tblsps
Fried Onions – 3 big Onions chopped and fried in oil.
Ghee (or) ground nut Oil – 5 Tblsps
Ensure to wash the meat twice. place it in a clean bowl which preferably has a lid to close, ensure to gather all the ingredients together in order not to miss any. Place all of the above ingredients along with the meat and mix well, preferably with your own sanitized hands. Add the oil/ Ghee and Mix until it looks like the below mentioned picture, and store it into a refrigerator for a complete marination of up to 8 hours.
For the Rice:
Ensure to use quality Basmati Rice for that fall apart grains once cooked. you don’t want to eat a soggy and sticky riced Biryani.
Rice – 500 grams
Salt – 1 Tblspn
Fresh water to Boil.
Wash the rice thoroughly, I recommend thrice for the removal of extra starch and Soak the rice for approximately 30 minutes so that the rice can cook faster and elongate it’s size while boiling. Bring the rice to boil. remember when placing the rice to cook, that’s when you add the salt. the moment you see the water boil, pull out a spatula, bring out a few grains of rice and break the rice grain into two. if it breaks immediately, it means its cooked 40%. remember the rice has to be cooked only 40% and the rest 60% would be cooked in the skillet with the meat and the rest of the ingredients. Immediately drain the water and set aside the rice.
Assemble / Layering:
Boiled eggs: 3 (Optional) but taste Yum!
Fried Onions : a handful
Mint Leaves – 5 leaves
Saffron infused milk – 3/4 cup
Ghee (or) Groundnut Oil : 4 Tblsps
Heavy based Pot
Aluminum foil for DUM
In the heavy based skillet, add a Tblspn of Ghee and spread the marinated meat evenly without having any space. then, add another 2 Tblspns of Ghee on the top of the spread marination then, layer the rice and spread it evenly once again ensuring that there are no gaps and lumps. Place the 3 boiled eggs on top of the rice. Sprinkle the fried onions, spreading it across, Add the Mint leaves, then, sprinkle the Saffron milk around the prepared dish. Once that’s done, add the last tblspn of Ghee over.
Now, what i am going to say is very important and this is where the moment of truth appears for the dish, Cover the pot with 2 layers of Aluminum foil and then place the lid on top of the pot and wrap around the lid another layer of aluminum foil to ensure that the steam wouldn’t escape the pot while the dish cooks. this is called the ‘Dum’. Turn the gas on to high, Place the pot on the burner and let the dish cook for over 10 mins on high flame and then reduce it immediately to a low flame and let it cook for about 30 minutes. I used a timer and suggest you do the same. once the dish has cooked passed 40 mintues in total. turn the gas down and remove it off the gas and let it rest on the kitchen counter for 5 minutes before you open the pot.
Once you have opened the pot, take a fork and gently fluff the rice, the aroma that fills the house is so pleasing and trust me you would be so satisfied with the cooking.
You may serve the biryani with soft melt in mouth chunks of meat with either, Baigan ka Bartha ( A dish comprising of Brinjal/ Aubergine), Mirchi ka salan (A dish prepared with chillies) a must have Dahi Raitha (Yoghurt based Chutney) and some fresh cut lemon and circled onions.