After a long long time, I am back with an awesome recipe for the Sunday Biryani series. For me Sunday always means Biryani and with the very thought, I am transported back to beautiful childhood memories. Amma always made her trademark vegetable biryani on Sunday and I used to gorge on it in bulk loads 😀 Last year after posting her vegetable biryani recipe, I thought why not try out different variations of biryani and there came my biryani series.
When I posted my egg biryani recipe, my dear blog friend M told me about the subtle, mildly flavored Kolkatta Biryani. I made a mental note to look out for a recipe but forgot all about it until very recently I was out of ideas for Sunday lunch. When I think of biriyani, it is always South Indian style – it is spicy, full of flavors with the trademark ingredients like tomatoes, fresh coriander and pudina! As a welcome change, Kolkatta style egg biryani was so different – not to spicy, full of great flavor, slightly sweet and tangy – such subtle beautiful biryani taste!
I looked the lengths and breadths of the big internet for a Kolkatta style dum biryani. Nothing enticed me like this recipe. Having never tasted one, this sounded so tasty that I had to try it right away. I modified the recipe to make dum style egg biryani. For the first time I also made my own biryani masala at home and it was such a great addition! In fact I have been using it in the place of garam masala and it is just perfect. There are specific things that made this biryani awesome. First, the biryani masala. Secondly, using fried potato (I loved loved loved it). Thirdly, using rose essence. There was a slight sweetness to this biryani, what with caramelized onions and this rose essence made it so fragrant. Finally the dum set up. I love preparing biryani dum style, cooking the rice slowly with the masala and letting everything soak in the aromatics and spices – nothing like it.
To make Kolkatta Egg Dum Biryani
What I used –
For the Biryani Masala –
- Coriander Seeds, 1 tsp
- Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
- Black Peppercorns, ½ tsp
- Mace, 2 full pieces
- Nutmeg, ¼ of a nutmeg
- Cloves, 3
- Green Cardamom, 3
- Cinnamon, 2 of 1” pieces
For the Biryani –
- Basmati Rice, 1 cup
- Eggs, 2 -3
- Potatoes, 1 large
- Onions, 3 large
- Ginger Garlic Paste, 1 tsp
- Thick Curd, ½ cup
- Warm Milk, 3-4 tbsp
- Cloves, 2
- Green Cardamom, 1
- Cinnamon, ½” piece
- Red Chilli Powder, ½ tsp
- Rose Essence, ½ tsp
- Oil, 1 tsp + 1 tsp + 2 tbsp
- Ghee/Clarified Butter, 1 tsp
- Saffron Strands, a few
- Salt, as needed
- Water, 2 cups
Prep Work –
1. Dry roast all the ingredients under Biryani Masala for a couple of mins (until golden brown and fragrant) and let them cool completely. Blend until fine in a mixer. Set aside.
2. Chop potatoes into cubes and julienne onions finely. Set aside.
3. Boil in the eggs for 12 mins precisely and run them in cold water. Peel off the shells and set aside.
4. Soak the rice in two cups of water for atleast 15 mins.
How I made –
1. In a thick bottomed pan, heat 1 tsp of oil. Add cloves, green cardamom and cinnamon, fry for a minute. Add two cups of water used to soak the rice. Add salt required for the rice. Let the water come to a boil. Add the soaked rice. Cook on low flame for 10-12 mins. The rice should look cooked but should have a slight bite to it. Remove from heat and let it cool down completely.
2. In another pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil. Add finely chopped onions and let them brown, caramelize. Add a pinch of salt to soften them and keep cooking on low flame until browned.
3. Meanwhile, soak the saffron strands in warm milk. In a small pan, heat 1 tsp of oil. Add cubed potatoes and fry until golden brown. Set aside.
4. Remove half of the browned onions and keep aside. In the remaining, add ginger garlic paste. Fry for a couple of minutes until the raw smell is gone. Add red chilli powder and 1.5 tsp of biryani masala. Cook for 2-3 mins until the raw smell is gone.
5. Add ½ cup of thick curd along and mix well. Add boiled eggs, rose essence and salt required for the gravy. Cook for 4-5 mins until the gravy thickens.
6. Now to set the Dum, in a thick bottomed pan, add few pieces of fried potato and boiled eggs. Cover them with cooked rice. Sprinkle few tsp of saffron milk and caramelized onions. Add few tsp of biryani gravy. As the next layer, add cooked rice, fried potato pieces, saffron milk and biryani gravy. Repeat this until the rice and rest of the stuff is over. Finally add 1 tsp of ghee and cover the pan with a heavy lid.
7. Set it on low flame for 10-12 mins without removing the lid. Switch off the heat and don’t disturb the setting for another 5-7 mins. Gently mix the biryani up.
8. Serve hot with onion or boondi raita.
- The biryani masala stays well in an airtight container and can be used in the place for garam masala for curries/gravies.
- Instead of cooking the basmati rice with fixed quantity of water, it can be cooked with lots of water and then drained out. Mix in a tsp of oil and let it cool down before using it for biryani.
- If there is no saffron, mix a generous pinch of turmeric in milk and use it instead. The color is more prominent and the taste wouldn’t be the same.
- Curd/Yogurt as to be thick and not too sour.
- For placing the biryani in dum, it has to be put on the low flame possible to avoid charring. Don’t open the lid of the pan until it is ready to be served. Most of the dum biryani experience is in the aroma of biryani being opened up.
- Rose essence in this biryani gives it a very unique flavor, don’t skip it.