Saturday, 23 May 2015

Yum

Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani

Biryani, is a rice dish, authentically made with Rice, Nuts, spices and meat/vegetable. In olden days or say the authentic way of making Biryani is using a big clay/aluminium pot, called HANDI.
There are authentically two types of biryani, Pakki and Kacchi. Biryani is served with Raita, Mirchi ka salan, baghare baingan and salad as a side dish.
Biryani can be of any type, such as Daal Biryani, Soya Biryani, Chicken Biryani, Beef Biryani, Egg Biryani, Shrimp Biryani and Fish Biryani. Vegetarian people use choice of mixed vegetables to replace the meat. One more ingredient which is very visible, looks wise and taste wise is Onions. Plenty of fried onions, mint and coriander.



Hyderabadi Biryani is also called the "Kachi Akhni" Biryani. Where, marinated meat/vegetables and the rice are cooked together. Since all ingredients cook together, making a perfect Hyderabadi biryani requires experience to balance the marination time, moisture, heat etc.
Awadhi biryani (aka Lucknowi biryani) lives up to the original persian meaning of the the word Biryani (fry separately) where meat and rice are cooked separately and baked together in last stage of cooking. Lucknowi biryani is cooked mainly with whole garam masala, giving dum from bottom as well as from top.
Sindhi biryani, famous in Pakistan, combines most of the local produce, such as prunes and apricots.
Bombay biryani is very similar to Sindhi and includes potatoes. Bombay biryani is also referred as Bohari biryani. Calcutta biryani is also cooked similar to lucknowi biryani but they use whole boiled potato and kalaunji(Onion seeds) also. This is just one of the many kinds of Biryani that was cooked in Nizam's kitchen long time back.


It has been said that This biryani dish was invented after the mix of Mughal and south indian cuisine back in the times of Nizam, when they ruled Hyderabad. There are variety of Biryani dishes based on Region in India, like Hyderabadi Biryani, Thalassery Biryani, Lucknowi Biryani, Bombay Biryani and so on.....
Here the one I tried to make is called Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani, which was invented at the time of  the rule of Asaf Jah I. This Biryani is known for it's best layering and spice mixes. This Biryani has layers of vegetables and rice, soaked in spices, yogurt and saffron. Some people use Kewra or Rose water to give it another level of aroma.


I've been making several types of Biryani in my Kitchen and believe me friends, when you cook Biryani, your kitchen smells amazing, aromatic and awesome.
I bet you can't resist yourself making this Biryani in your Kitchen. Don't forget to comment below :)  Until next time.......Happy Cooking Friends, Saumya



Ingredients:

To make Rice:
Basmati rice                                      - 2 cups
Green Cardamom                             - 2
Cloves                                               - 2
Cinnamon                                         - 1/2 inch stick
Bay Leaf                                           - 1
Water                                                - 4 cups
Salt

To Prepare Vegetables:
Carrot                                                - 1 peeled and diced
Potato                                                - 1 peeled and diced in small cubes
Green Beans                                      - 1/2 cup chopped
Mushroom                                         - 5-7 chopped
Green Peas                                        - 1/2 cup
Onion                                                - 3 medium sliced
Green Chili                                       - 2 slit in 4
Ginger                                               - 1 tblspoon chopped
Garlic                                                - 1 tblspoon
Ghee/Oil                                           - 4 tblspoon
Black Cumin                                    - 1 tspoon
Black Cardamom                             - 1
Cloves                                              - 4
Cinnamon                                        - 1 inch stick
Bay Leaf                                          - 2
Mace                                               - 1
Star Anise                                       - 1
Coriendar Seeds                             - 1/2 tspoon
Black Pepper                                 - 4-5
Salt                                                - to taste
Yogurt                                           - 1 tblspoon
Turmeric Powder                          - 1 tspoon
Red chilli Powder                         - 1/2 tspoon
Garam Masala                              - 1/2 tspoon
Cashewnuts                                  - 2 tblspoon chopped
Green Raisins                               - 2 tblspoon
Almonds                                       - 2 tblspoon chopped
Fresh Mint                                    - 1/4 cup chopped
Fresh Coriander                            - 1/2 cup chopped

Preparing the Layers:
Yogurt                                          - 2 tblspoon whisked to smooth
Saffron                                         - 4-5 strands
Milk                                             - 1 tblspoon


Method:

Wash the rice thoroughly and soak in water for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes  you can microwave or pressure cook the rice.
You are required to cook the rice till they are 3/4 done.
The rice should not be fully cooked but almost cooked, that you can fluff them after draining the excess water from them, if any left.
I microwaved the rice and cooked it for 12 minutes at full power. Took the extra water out, fluff the rice and kept them aside.
Authentically, biryani is made in the pots, known as handis. But as I do not have access to Handi here, so I made it in my big heavy bottomed deep vessel (Bhagona).
Heat oil/ghee in the vessel.
Add all whole spices: cumin,cardamoms, mace, cloves, cinnamon, coriander,black peppers and bay leaves.  Fry it till start crackling.
















Now add the sliced onions. Fry the onions until translucent.
















Now add the green chilli, ginger and garlic. Fry for a minute.
















Now add the turmeric,  red chili powder and garam masala. Mix it well.
















Now we add the vegetables into the vessel.
















Whisk and add 1 tblspoon yogurt into it.
















Mix well and add salt into it with 1/2 cup of water. Cover with a lid and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are tender/cooked.
Now add chopped almonds, raisins and cashewnuts to the cooked vegetables.
















At this stage, check the taste of salt, if less add some more to your taste.
Now warm 1 tblspoon of milk.
Add saffron to it, keep it aside to let the mixture cool.
























Now whisk and add the yogurt in to this mixture and mix well.
















Now pour half of saffron-flavored yogurt, mint and coriander leaves. Mix well with vegetables.
Take half of the vegetables out in a box.
















At this time, Put a heavy griddle on the low flame, place your biryani vessel on the griddle.















Now layer half of the cooked rice over the leftover vegetables in the vessel.
















Pour the 1/4 of saffron-flavored yoghurt.
















Add one more layer of Vegetables, which we took out before.
















Spread the layer of remaining rice. Add the remaining yogurt mix.
















Place a moist tea-towel on top. Cover with a lid.
















Then seal with wheat flour dough or keep a heavy weight on the lid. I could not find anything heavy other than my Dumbbells :) Sounds Dumb but effective :)
















Cook for another 20-30 minutes like this. Keep the flame to low at all time to avoid burning your biriyani.
Serve this vegetable biryani with your choice of raita, salad, pickle, papad and side curry.
The best accompaniment with this Biryani is Mirchi ka Salan, Dahi ka Raita and Baghare Baingan which are the traditional way of serving it.


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