Biryani used to be a Sunday regular at my home growing up. I just love amma’s version of veg biryani, that she tailored it to our likes. It wont be too masala-fied, yet strong in aroma that it would invite our non-veg friends next door 🙂 After my marriage, Biryani was still a part of my Sunday meal, just that my MIL’s Biryani is a lot different from how amma used to make it. When I had my own kitchen, I took points from both Amma and MIL and started making my version of Biryani (which has not been updated here). While S likes it better than what MIL makes, he has started inclining towards Dum Biryani. Seeing his love for it, I started looking out for recipes and got cues from them to make my own version of Dum Biryani. So far, I have tried it twice and ended up having no morsel of grain left out. Its a little time consuming compared to the normal method, but the taste is worth all that effort. Again, this is my version of the dum biryani and it might not be authentic but tastes great!
To make rice –
- Basmati Rice – 1 cup
- Bay Leaf – 2
- Cinnamon – 2
- Elachi – 2
- Clove – 2
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Ghee – 1 tsp
- Water – as required.
- Salt – as required.
To make Masala –
- Eggs – 3 or 4
- Onion (Medium) – 4
- Tomato (Medium) – 1
- Coriander(finely chopped) – 1/2 cup
- Pudina (finely chopped) – 1/2 cup
- Thick curd – 1 cup
- Lemon – 1
- Green Chilies – 4
- Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
- Curry Powder /Garam Masala – 2 tsp
- Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
- Oil – 3 tbsp + 1 tsp
- Milk – 3tbsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – as req.
- Take a large pot, put all the ingredients under “To make rice” except ghee with enough water and let it boil. The rice should taken off from heat when its 3/4th done.
- Drain extra water from the rice. Spread it on a large plate to cool down. Also, remove the masala items (like Bay Leaf, Cloves, Cinnamon Stick and Elachi) from the rice. The rice would have got the flavour completely, which is enough. Drizzle ghee all over the rice and let it cool before the masala is ready.
- Take a kadai and heat 3 tbsp of oil in it. Chop the onions length wise and add them to the kadai once oil is hot.
- Let the flame be simmer and fry onions until a deep golden brown is attained. This caramelization is must for the taste of the Biryani.
- Remove half of the caramelized onions into a separate plate (which will be used while putting Dum). To the remaining half of the onions, add ginger garlic paste and green chilies – give it a quick stir.
- Add finely chopped tomato to the kadai and fry until its mushy.
- At this stage, add all powders like garam masala, red chili powder and coriander powder. Fry until the raw smell is gone.
- Add half of the chopped coriander and full of pudina leaves to the kadai and keep frying for a minute.
- Add the cup of curd along with the juice from a lemon, add enough salt and keep it frying until the sides start leaving oil.
- Meanwhile, boil the eggs in enough water and remove the shell.
- When the masala is 3/4th done, add in the eggs (either sliced or full) and let the masala soak into the eggs.
- The masala is now ready and all we have to do is it set up the Biryani, put the Dum.
- Take a thick bottomed flat vessel (I had no flat thick bottomed vessel, so I used a round one) and apply oil on the insides using your fingers.
- Mix the milk with turmeric powder. Alternatively one can use saffron as well. I didnt have it and I substituted it with turmeric and it just worked fine.
- Put a layer of 3/4th done rice as a the first layer. Drizzle a little ghee on top (option).
- Spread the caramelized onions as the next layer and on top, spread the chopped coriander leaves. Sprinkle some of the turmeric mixed milk on the rice. This is necessary to keep the rice soft and moist without making it dry. If so much milk is used, rice can go mushy. So, use right judgement.
- The third layer forms from the masala that has been made. Carefully place the eggs along with the masala as the third layer.
- Repeat a rice layer again followed by onions, coriander, turmeric milk and masala. Keep doing this step until everything has been exhausted. The key is to have atleast two layers of each.
- Now put the thick bottomed vessel for Dum process which is nothing but placing it on an iron griddle over a low flame for 15-20 mins, covering it with a heavy lid making sure aroma doesnt escape from Biryani. I didnt have the iron griddle, so I had to directly put the vessel on a very low flame for 15mins and it still tasted good.
- Remove from flame and wait for the aroma when you open the lid. Give it a gentle stir as to not break the rice.
- Serve it hot along with onion raitha!