Saturday, March 15, 2008

Femina's Biryani

Some years ago I visited my friends Asif and Femina in Dubai, and Femina made this biryani. Femina is from Kasargod in Kerala and learned how to make this from her mother. She's a fantastic cook and I'll ask her to send me some more recipes which I'll soon post. This is the first biryani I had eaten with meat and vegetables in it and I loved the combination.

For Rice
3 cups Basmati rice soaked for 3-4 hours and drained
2 tablespoons ghee, or oil
1/2 cup onion:
8 cloves
6 cardamoms:
1 stick 3" cinnamon:
1/4 cup green Peas
¾ cup french beans & carrots cut lengthwise into 2 cm pieces
6 cups water
Salt to taste

For Curry
1 kg Chicken or mutton:
4 medium onions sliced
3 tablespoons ginger and garlic paste
2 large tomatoes sliced
6 Green chillies ground
1 cup chopped coriandar leaves:
4 tablespoons Oil
1 teaspoon turmeric powder:
1 tablespoon Coriander powder:
2 teaspoons Pepper powder:
2 tablespoons garam masala powder or (cloves 8, cardamom 6, 2 cinnamon stick, Bay leaves 5, pepper corn 1 tsp)
1/2 cup Yogurt
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon cashew nut paste or 2 tbs freshly ground coconut paste
saffron strands soaked in lemon juice or a pinch of Yellow food colour mixed in 2 teaspoons of vinegar
Salt to taste

First, you have to make the rice. Heat the oil/ghee and mildly fry the sliced onion pieces. Add rice at this point. (Make sure that the rice is completely dry.) After couple of minutes, add all other ingredients, including water. When the water boils, reduce the flame. It might take some 20 minutes. Cover and keep warm.

For the curry, heat the oil. Add onion, green chilly, ginger and garlic. Stir thoroughly till the masala browns. Add tomato, turmeric powder, coriander and pepper. Stir on a high heat for 5 minutes. Add the chicken/mutton. Reduce the flame. Cook for 15 minutes. Add yoghurt, cashew nut paste, lime juice and garam masala powder. Cook for 15 minutes (Make sure that the meat is cooked.) Add coriander leaves. Make sure that the curry is in a pasty and thick consistency.

Take a bigger pot and put some oil at the bottom. Add a third of the cooked rice. Sprinkle saffron water (or yellow food colour mixed in vinegar) and some coriander leaves on the rice layer. Add a third of the curry, and add half of the remaining rice. More saffron water and coriander. Add the remaining portion of curry. The remaining rice must be the top layer. Cover the pot with aluminum foil. Put the whole thing in the oven (350 F) and wait for 10 to 15 minutes. Biryani is done! While serving, you can sprinkle fried cashew nut and raisins on top.

1 comment:

Swati said...

Hi Ria,

Your blog has nice recipes...and very do-able too. i plan to try femina's biryani and the mutton stew soon. will send u my feedback...

with love,