Biryani is an Indian dish that has many variations and different ways of preparing, each resulting in a totally different flavor profile. We grew up on a biryani dish that is -in my opinion- the best biryani out there. It is my moms recipe and now it's mine.
You can make this with chicken, mutton or beef.. but my preference is beef. It is totally up to you what protein you use. I have never tried it, but i think even a vegetarian version of this is yummy.
For Biryani you will need Basmati long grain rice, it cannot be made with short grain. And the rice is not cooked like you would do any other rice.. it is actually boiled then drained of excess liquid and then added to the meat and potato mixture. After that another cooking process is made to blend the flavors together. You might think it is difficult but if you follow my easy steps you will end up with a delicious Biryani without the hassle.
Ingredients: (for a large family meal)
- 1 kilo beef cubes (you can use mutton or chicken) - كيلو لحم عجل مقطع مكعبات
- 5-6 large onions sliced - 5-6 حبات بصل مقطع شرايح
- 10 garlic cloves - 10 ضرس ثوم
- A 5-6 cm ginger piece - قطعة زنجبيل 5 سم
- 3-6 green chilies 3-6 حبات فلفل حار
- 2 medium potatoes - 2 حبات بطاطا
- 6 ripe tomatoes juiced - عصير 6 حبات بندوره
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste 2 ملعقه كبيره صلصة بندوره
- 1 teaspoon sugar - 1 ملعقه صغيره سكر
- 1-2 cups beef stock or water - 2 كوب مرق لحم او ماء
- 4 -5 cups basmati rice - 4 -5 كوب رز بسمتي
- A few strands of saffron - القليل من الزعفران
- 3 teaspoons biryani spices - 3 ملاعق صغيره بهارات البرياني
- 1 teaspoon black pepper - 1 ملعقه صغيره فلفل اسود
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon - نص ملعقه صغيره قرفه
- 1/2 teaspoon all spice - نص ملعقه صغيره بهار حلو
- salt - ملح
- Fried raisins - زبيب مقلي
- Fried cashew nuts - كاجو مقلي
- Fried almonds - لوز مقلي
*Start by cooking the meat until fully cooked and setting it aside until it is time to use it. Medium sized cubes is the preferred choice of size for this recipe.
* Chop the onions into slices and sauté them in vegetable oil in a large pan.
* In a blender, blend the garlic, green chilies and the peeled ginger piece until they are very fine. If your blender is smaller in size this might turn into a paste, don't worry, it is perfectly ok. Add the mixture to the onions once they turn translucent, this will release all the amazing aroma in the garlic and ginger and your kitchen will smell really good by now.
* Chop the potatoes into chunks similar in size to the beef or chicken you are using. Add them to the onions and garlic mix, sprinkle salt and black pepper and saute for a few minutes.
*Add the already cooked beef to this aromatic mix, also add in the biryani spices, black pepper, cinnamon and all spice and coat everything with them and leave them so that all the spices penetrate through. This will take a few minutes, be careful not to leave this unattended because it has no liquid, it will burn.
*Juice the ripe tomatoes in the blender and pour them over the mix, along with 2 cups of beef stock, the tomato paste, a teaspoon of sugar and a sprinkle of salt. Get it to a boil then lower the heat and leave it to simmer until the potatoes are fully cooked.
*In a cup pour hot water on your saffron strands and set it aside until it is time to use it.
*Now to boil the rice, we are using a method similar to boiling the pasta. Heat water in a large pan and salt it. Wash the Basmati rice and drop it in the boiling water. Make sure the water is much more than the rice, just like when boiling pasta.
*When the rice is 90% cooked you pour it into a strainer and fully drain it.
*Once you have all the components ready, start layering in a large non stick pan. Add a little bit of vegetable oil, scoop in half of the rice and level it. Pour the beef and potato mixture over the rice. Cover with the rest of the rice.
*Pour the saffron and water equally on the surface of the rice, cover tightly, lower the heat to the minimum and leave for 40 minutes to an hour. This will allow the rice to fully cook in the liquids of all the good stuff we made earlier and the saffron to flavor everything.
*Meanwhile in pan fry the raisins, cashews, almonds in a little bit of oil. Do each one separately and not together, they require different cooking times. And then lay them on some kitchen paper.
*When the Biryani is done flip it on large serving dish and garnish with the raisins and nuts and maybe a sprinkle of parsley for some green. Dig in right away and enjoy. This is by far the best Biryani recipe you will ever have! Thank you Mama.