Biryani is a basic spicy meat dish served with multi-colored rice. It originated from Persia, and to date, the dish is dominant in Asia. Biryani is a royal delicacy mostly served during festivities such as Eid celebrated by Muslims. Other people call this dish Biriani, Buryani, or Breyani.

This Biryani recipe takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes to prepare and cook. It's best cooked using long-grain rice like Basmati rice, a combination of earthy spices to intensify the flavor, layered with meat or vegetables, and colorful spices such as saffron.

If you have time, follow the traditional procedure for best results. However, in this article, we are going to discuss a cheat’s way of doing it while still maintaining the authenticity of Biryani.

Ingredients
• 2 cups of long-grain rice (best brand- Basmati)
• 1/2 cup of water
• Finely chopped vegetables (For vegetable biryani) or 250 grams beef
• 2 tablespoons of ghee or canola oil. (you can also use the regular salad oil)
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 strand of mace
• 4 green cardamoms
• 3 cloves
• 1 tablespoon Cumin seeds
• A two-inch cinnamon stick
• 4 to 5 black peppercorns
• 2 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced
• A tablespoon of garlic-ginger paste
• 1/2 cup of coriander leaves and a handful of mint
• 1 tablespoon Biryani masala
• ¼ teaspoon freshly ground turmeric
• 1/4 fresh cup of curd/ yogurt (not sour)
• Salt to taste
• 1/2 tablespoon of shahi jeera( optional)

For Fried Onions
• Two teaspoons oil (preferably canola oil)
• 3/4 cup finely chopped onions (medium in size)
• 6 cashew nuts (sliced into two halves)
• 5 Almonds.

Method

The Fried Onions

In a small pan heat the 2 tablespoons of oil. Fry the cashew nuts first, and then add the almonds until they turn golden brown. Scope them in a bowl and set aside. Shallow fry the chopped onions until they are golden brown and crisp. Mix with the nuts and keep warm.

The rice

When using meat, soak it in yogurt overnight.
Wash the rice in flowing tap water until clear and soak for 30 min. Thoroughly cleaned rice has less starch, and therefore it will not stick or be mushy when fully cooked.

Use a heavy bottomed pan and heat the oil on a low to medium flame. Add the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and peppercorn while stirring until they give an inviting aroma. Add whole pieces of cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle. At this point, your kitchen should smell heavenly.

Add the onions and let them fry until they have a golden brown color. Add the ginger-garlic paste, the red chili powder, mint, coriander, turmeric, and salt. Add Biryani masala powder and simmer on low heat until the oils start separating from the mixture.

Add the meat together with the yogurt, hot water, and enough seasoning (salt and pepper). Add rice and cover with a heavy lid. Place the pot on top of a flat pan such that the heat from your source never comes into contact with the rice pot directly.

Prepare some dough using wheat flour and a little water and seal the contact point between the lid and the pot so that the steam doesn’t escape during cooking. This is very important. You might be wondering why not use a pressure cooker. A pressure cooker will overcook our pot of rice, and the results will be mushy. We only want the rice and meat to cook evenly with minimal water and heat.
In 10 minutes or so, your rice will be ready. Open the lid and fluff it using a fork and Garnish with the fried onions and nuts.

Accompaniment
Biryani can be served with a fresh green salad and fresh fruit juice; preferably mango juice to loathe the spicy flavor.

Conclusion

Traditionally, when cooking Biryani, you first cook the meat in all the spices and then boil rice separately. The boiled rice is then separated into three portions. One portion is mixed with turmeric for a deep yellow color, the other portion is mixed with saffron water for a purple color, and the third portion remains white. These portions are then mixed during service, and then the meat mixture is served on top. The idea is to have a mix of spicy meat and colored rice.

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