Pakki Gosht Ki Biryani, and Dahi Ki Chutney

Dear readers, today I present you with renowned Hyderabadi Lamb Biryani. Biryani is one of the most famous Hyderabadi one-dish meals craved and devoured by people from all over the world. The basic process of preparing Biryani involves the layering of raw marinated or cooked meat along with half cooked long grained aromatic Basmati rice, and a range of fresh spices and herbs for exceptional flavor and aroma.

Basically, there are two kinds of Biryani: Pakki Biryani, and Kachchi Biryani.

Pakki Biryani: where are half Basmati cooked rice is layered along with completely cooked chicken or lamb meat and then cooked till done on slow heat on dum.
1. Pakki Gosht ki Biryani
2. Pakki Murgh Biryani

Kachchi Biryaniwhich is the true Hyderabadi Biryani – where are half cooked Basmati rice is layered along with raw marinated meat and then finished on slow heat till done on dum.
1. Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani
2. Kachche Aqni ki Dum Murgh Biryani

Biryani always reminds me of my wedding, when I wore a very beautiful Khada Dupatta. It was on that day that I had best Biryani ever! This dish is so important in the Hyderabadi Muslim community that it is served along with Mirchi Ka Salan and Baghare Baingan and Dahi Ki Chutney, as the main dish at almost all gatherings, occasions, parties, all kinds of merry making get togethers. Essentially all weddings in Hyderabad are suposed to have Lamb Biryani and Mirchi Ka Salan in the menu.

My lovely sister had prepared this dish on the weekend. We were all in a mood to treat our family and ourselves with something special, and we immediately thought of this dish. What could be a more better meal to delight ourselves than this flavorsome fare.

Gosht Ki Biryani, Dahi Ki Chutney

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Dahi Ki Chutney – Yogurt Chutney
Makes:One small bowl

Ingredients:

Plain Yogurt (low-fat or full-fat)- 375 ml
Salt – 2/3 tsp or according to taste
Thai Red Chillies – 2, chopped (optional)
Green Chillies – 2, chopped
Yellow Onion – 1, medium, finely chopped
Mint leaves – 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Coriander leaves – 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Firm Red Tomato (fresh) – 1, small, deseeded and chopped finely (optional)

Method:

1. To the yogurt in a bowl, add salt and half a cup of water and whip it till smooth, and creamy for approx 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and fold them into the yogurt gently. Adjust salt according to your taste and cover the bowl with a plastic wrap.
3. Put it in the refrigerator to serve it later along with Biryani.

You can store Dahi Ki Chutney in the refrigerator in an air tight food storage box for only one more day in a refrigarator, it doesnt last long. It is always better if you have an idea how much your family memebers will have it and you prepare it in only the required amount.

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Hyderabadi Dum Pukth Pakki Gosht Ki Biryani – Fragrant Flavored Meat and Rice Casserole
Serves:5-8

Ingredients:

For the Marinade
Canola/Vegetable/Sunflower Oil (or) Butter/Makhan (or) Clarified Butter/Ghee – 90 ml/6 tbsp
Yellow Onion/Pyaz – 2, large, thinly sliced
Lean Lamb leg meat – 1 kg, washed and cubed into 3 cm pieces approx (with bones preferably if available, I have used only boneless here)
Plain Yogurt/Dahi – 500 ml, lightly whipped
Red Chilli Powder/Lal mirch powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Salt/Namak – 1 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice/Nimbu Ras – 4 tbsp
Garam Masala – 1 tbsp
Turmeric/Haldi – 1/2 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Water/Meat Stock – 1/2 cup
For the Garnish
Green Chillies/Hari Mirch – 2, each slit into two
Thai Red chillies/Choti Lal Mirch – 2, each slit into two (optional)
Fried Onion reserved for garnish earlier
Mint Leaves/Pudina – 1/2 cup
Cilantro/Kothmir – 1/2 cup
Toasted sliced Almonds/Bareek Kata Badaam – 2 tbsp
Fried Red Raisins and Cashwnuts/Tala-huwa Kishmish – 3 tbsp
Pinch of Saffron threads/Zaafraan soaked in 1/2 cup warm Milk
A dollop of Butter/Makhan or Clarified Butter/Ghee (optional)
For the Rice
Long Grained Basmati Rice/Chawal (preferably ‘Lal Qilla’ Brand) – 4 cups
Salt/Namak – 4 tsp
Black Cumin seeds/Shah Zeera – 1 tsp

Method:

1. Wash and soak the rice in a big bowl for about 30 minutes.
2. In a pressure cooker at medium high heat, fry the onions in oil/butter until they are golden brown in colour. Remove with a slotted spoon on a kitchen towel and reserve half for garnish. Blend the other half in 2 tbsp water inoi a paste.
3. In the same pressure cooker, with oil/butter in it, add the washed cubed meat pieces, Stir fry till the meat has browned on all sides. Add the fried onions paste and the ginger garlic paste and turmeric. Saute them for 2 minutes. Throw in the red chilli powder, salt, garam masala, half cup water, and yogurt. Mix well and pressure cook for about 15-20 minutes until the meat is tender.
4. Meanwhile drain the soaking rice and keep aside. Bring 9 cups of water in a to boil in a large saucepan with Black cumin seeds and salt (do not forget to add salt to the rice!!) in it. As soon as its boiling, add the drained rice and let it cook till the rice grains are just done. Drain and keep aside.
5. Now, open the lid of the cooker and cook the meat mixture well without covering the lid on medium high heat until the meat mixture is done and most of the liquid has dried up. It should be a little bit dry mixture.
Add lemon juice to the meat and mix. Remove from heat.
6. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
7. In a large oven proof baking dish, add half of the rice in a layer at the bottom of the dish. Now add the whole meat mixture in one layer. Then cover it with the remaining rice completely and work gently, try not to break the rice kernels.
8. Garnish the layered rice with the reserved fried onions, mint and coriander leaves, slit red and green chillies, toasted and fried nuts, and sprinkle the milk with saffron threads in it. You can also add a dollop of butter if you wish.
9. Cover the dish with a tight lid or aluminium foil and keep it in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes, till a nice steam has formed inside.
10. Before serving, dig the spoon into the dish till the base and take the rice and meat in a bowl. mix it and serve it hot.

Tip: Adding salt to the water in which you cook rice is essential, or else the whole taste of Biryani turns upside down. One tip if you have forgotten to add salt to the water while boiling rice is – stir the required amount of salt in a little quantity of hot water, about half cup or a few tablespoons, and pour this on the biryani evenly. Warm the biryani in microwave and serve immediately.

Suggested Accompaniments: Mirchi Ka Salan or Baghare Baingan or Dahi Ki Chutney or Tomato Chutney.

This is my entry for Meeta’s Monthly Mingle-One Dish Dinners

Luv,
Mona

Mirchi Ka Salan

Talk about Hyderabad’s cuisine, and Hyderbadi Mirchi Ka Salan is sure to become a topic of interest there. This is one of the classic Hyderabadi curries with its characteristic lightly tangy and very subtly spiced creamy gravy.

Green Chillies /Hari Mirch – stems kept intact – slit and seeds shaken off

The masalas in this curry are all braised/bhun-na until oil floats on top, which is a critical procedure to draw out flavors from the various spices added to the gravy, and only in the last stages, water is added to give it a gravy consistency.

I have used spicy medium sized thick green chillies for this curry as shown in the picture, which are the usual kind favored. The chilies preferred for this curry should have smooth skin, not wrinkly, medium thick, straight and long and fresh with stems intact.

white poppy seeds/khus-khus

Do not be be under the misconception that as green chillies are being used in this curry, the curry is going to be fiery hot. Do not worry~due to the addition of spices like poppyseeds, sesame seeds, groundnuts and coconut, the gravy has a mellow and creamy attribute which is utmost delicious. Furthermore, the seeds from all the green chillies, which are main reason for the hotness of the chillies, are discarded before being added to the gravy, hence they are mild after being cooked.

Hyderabadi Mirchi Ka Salan – Green Chillies in Sesame Seeds Sauce

The procedure to prepare Baghare Baingan and Tamatar ks Salan is also almost the same as this curry. Also, you can also add any firm fish fillets (Red snapper, Haddock, Cod, etc) to the gravy instead of green chillies to make it a fish curry/Machli ka Salan . There is no difference, except for the fact that in Baghare Baingan, brinjals are used; in fish curry, fish fillets are used; in Tamatar ka Salan, tomatoes are used and in this curry, the green chillies are used.

Hyderabadi Mirchi Ka Salan – Green Chillies in a Tangy-Sesame Seeds Sauce

Ingredients:

Green chillies (thick and long, as shown in the picture) – 250 gms in weight
For dry paste/masala:
Khus Khus/White Poppy seeds – 1 tbsp
Till/Sesame Seeds – 1/2 cup/50 gms
Groundnuts/MoomPhalli – 1/2 cup/50 gms
Dry desiccated Coconut – 3/4 cup/50 gms
Dry roasted Coriander seed/Dhania powder – 1 tsp
For gravy:
Canola oil – 1/2 cup
Yellow Onions – 3, large, sliced slightly thick into semi circular rings
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Salt – 1 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 1/2 tsp (optional)
Turmeric/ Haldi – 1/2 tsp
Cilantro/ Kothmir – 3 tbsp, finely chopped
Thick tamarind pulp – 3 tbsp
For baghaar/tempering:
Cumin seeds/ Zeera – 2 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves/ Kariyapaak – 2 sprigs
Mustard seeds/ Rai – 1/2 tsp
Nigella seeds/ Kalaunji – 1/3 tsp
Fenugreek seeds/ Methi dana – 1/8 tsp

Method:

1. Wash, drain, then pat dry and slit the green chillies. Shake the seeds off the chillies to remove the extra spiciness (use gloves while you work with chillies to avoid your hands getting burnt with its chemicals). Keep the stems intact. Keep aside.
2. Heat a small non-stick frying pan at medium high heat and once it is hot, dry roast the desiccated coconut, sesame seeds, khus khus, peanuts, coriander seeds and 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, all one by one separately for just 2-3 minutes until they are a few shades darker and remove them into separate bowls. Do not burn the spices. Once cool, rub off the skins of the peanuts. Grind them all separately in a spice grinder to a fine powder or a smooth paste without adding any water and keep aside.
3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan at medium high heat, and as soon as it warms up add the sliced onions. Let the onions sweat and keep stirring them until they are just starting to brown up in color as shown in the picture below. Once the onions are soft and lightly browned in color, remove them to a platter and keep aside. Once the dry roasted onions are cool, puree them in a grinder until smooth. Keep aside.
4. Pour oil in a cooking pot and once hot enough, carefully add the green chillies and cover with a splatter screen. The oil spits as soon as you add green chillies, so be careful. Stir fry them till blisters form on the skins. Using a slotted spoon remove the chillies to a platter and keep aside.

Clockwise from top – Fried green chillies, roasted desiccated coconut, roasted peanuts,
roasted sesame seeds and fried onions

5. In the same hot oil, add remaining 1 tsp cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves, nigella seeds and fenugreek seeds. Let the spices splutter for a minute. Add the pureed roasted onion paste and immediately cover the pan with a lid for a minute. Lower the heat to medium low and shake the pan to thoroughly mix. This is done for the mixture to absorb all the flavour from the baghaar(tempering). Uncover, lower the heat and add ginger garlic paste and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the desiccated coconut paste, sesame seed paste, khus-khus paste and peanut paste and stir fry it for 2-5 minutes or until you see that the mixture comes together and starts leaving oil. Add the red chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Mix well and keep stir frying it for a further 2 minutes on medium low heat. Once the raw odor of the peanuts, ginger-garlic paste and coconut is no longer coming, add the dry roasted coriander and cumin seed powder and chopped cilantro and mix well. Pour in 3 1/2 cups warm water and the tamarind pulp. Mix well. Add the fried green chillies and stir. Cover the lid and let cook on simmer for 20-25 minutes while stirring frequently, until the oil has all separated and the chillies well cooked in the masala gravy. Remove from heat and serve the curry.

Suggested Accompaniments: Basmati Chawal/Plain Long White RiceMurgh Biryani/Fragrant Rice+Chicken Casserole, Gosht Ki Biryani/Fragrant Mutton+Rice Casserole, Naan/Indian Flat Bread.

This is my contribution to Think Spice Think Poppy seeds event being hosted by RV at her blog.

( I am posting this recipe again as due to some problem this post of mine was deleted! )

Luv,
Mona

Tamaton ka Kut

Tamaton Ka Kut (Tamaton is the plural of Tamatar) (Tamatar(singular) is Urdu word for Tomato) is an another classic Hyderabadi dish. I love the rich red colour of this sauce. Who wouldnt like to have a yummy subtly spiced tomato sauce along with pulaos and biryanis.

Tomatoes, with their juicy subtle sweetness enhance the flavor of most of the dishes. I consider tomatoes as one of the most essential ingredients in Indian cooking, next to onions.

I like to have Tamaton Ka Kut a little bit thick in consistency, not too thick though. I do not add too many spices to this dish, and like to have it only along with cumin and coriander seed powders as the main added spices.

Tamaton Ka Kut – Rich Tomato Saucy Curry
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

Tomatoes – 10, large, red and ripe, washed and quartered (or) Canned ground/crushed tomatoes – 596 ml
Besan/Gram Flour – 1/3 cup
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Dry Roasted Cumin Seed Powder – 1 tsp
Dry Roasted Coriander Seed Powder – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds/Zeera – 1 tsp
Curry Leaves/Karyapaak – 8
Garlic pod/Lahsun –  2, whole, crushed
Dried Red Chillies – 2, each split into two
Fresh Cilantro/Kothmir – 1 cup, finely chopped
Fresh Mint/Pudina
Heavy Cream – a dollop(optional)
Hard boiled Eggs – 4

Tamaton Ka Kut – Rich Tomato Saucy Curry

Method:

  • Put the quartered tomato pieces in a large non-stick sauce pan on medium low heat. Add a cup of water to it, mix, and cover with the lid. Let it cook till the tomatoes are mushy and soft. Keep giving it a stir every once in a while. Let it cool. Once cooled, pour into a blender container and add the gram flour. Blend till pureed. If you are using canned crushed tomato, add the gram flour to it and mix well.
  • Strain this mixture through a wire mesh strainer back into the saucepan. Throw away the left over seeds and skin in the strainer. Add 2 cups water to it and let it cook on simmer.
  • Pour oil into a small frying pan at medium heat and throw in the cumin seeds, whole red chillies, garlic pod and curry leaves when the oil heats up. As they start to splutter, remove from heat and add this to the tomato sauce being cooked in the saucepan.
  • Add the cumin and coriander seed powder, red chilli powder and salt to the sauce and mix well. Bring it to a boil, and let it cook at medium low heat until the raw aroma of gram flour is gone. You can add a little water to it if required. Taste and adjust the salt and chilli powder according your likes.
  • Take the eggs and make light slits on the egg on all 4 sides of it making sure the slits are not deep into the yolk, just on the surface. Add these to the simmering tomato sauce. Cook the tomato sauce until the raw smell of the gram flour is gone, about 30 minutes. Keep stirring it occasionally.
  • Once it is cooked, just before you serve, stir in the chopped cilantro and mint. Pour it into a warm bowl. Drop in a dollop of heavy cream and serve it warm.

Note: For a good dark red colour, add a few tablespoons of canned Tomato paste.

Suggested Accompaniments: It is uaually devoured along with Chinese Fried Rice, Vegetable Biryani or Pulaos as a side dish. WE use this sauce to wet rice when we have it.

Luv,
Mona

Hyderabadi Maheqalya

Maheqalya, is an classic Hyderabadi meat curry with onions, tomatoes, and tamarind and a range of aromatic spices.

Hyderabadi Maheqalya – Tangy Meat Curry

Ingredients:

Lamb Meat – 500 gms, cubed-1.5 cm or sliced, boneless or with bone
Yellow Onions – 3, large, sliced thick
Tomatoes – 2, roughly chopped
Dry Desiccated Coconut – 1/2 cup
Dry roasted Coriander seed powder – 1 tsp
Dry roasted Groundnut powder – 3 tbsp
Dry roasted Sesame seeds – 3 tbsp
Canola Oil – 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Curry leaves (fresh) – 1 sprig
Dried red clillies/Baghaar ki mirch – 3-4
Methi/Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Tamarind juice – 1 cup
Slit green chillies – 4
Cilantro/Kothmir – 1 tbsp, chopped finely
Mint leaves/Pudina – 1 tbsp, chopped finely

Hyderabadi Maheqalya – Tangy Meat Curry

Method:

  • Prepare browned onion+tomato paste: Take a large thick bottomed & non-stick frying pan/skillet on medium heat, preferably a cast iron pan, and as soon as it gets warm, add the sliced onions. Keep stirring the onions and cook them without oil until the onions are all browned soft and get cooked in their own moisture evenly. Remove the pan from heat, and let them cool down. Add the chopped tomatoes and the cooled browned onions into a blender container or food processor and blend till pureed smooth adding just a few drops of water if necessary to aid in the process. Keep aside.
  • Prepare masala powders: Put a small non-stick frying pan on medium heat and dry-roast the groundnuts, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, shredded coconut each individually without oil till they are golden brown in colour. Do not burn them. Remove them into a platter. Once cool, grind them all together very finely. (You can dry roast a handful of almonds/cashewnuts/chironji nuts and grind them together along if you want it more rich). Make sure the obtained spice powder is very fine.
  • Take a pressure cooker and add oil and keep it on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, dried red chillies, and fenugreek seeds to the oil and let them splutter. Now add the browned onion and tomato paste to it and cover the lid immediately, shake the cooker to mix, remove from heat and keep aside for 3-5 minutes, so that the aroma of the tempered oil with spices gets absorbed by the onion mixture. Remove the lid, put the cooker back on stove, lower the heat to medium low and add the ginger-garlic paste, the masala powders, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder and stir it well. Cook stirring continuously until oil leaves. This masala tends to stick to the bottom, so keep a close eye. Add the washed cubed meat pieces, slit green chillies and mix well. Cover with a splatter screen and let it cook while stirring it for 3- 5 minutes. Pour in half a cup of water, stir to mix, and close the lid. Pressure cook it on medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the meat is tender. Then open the lid and cook it till the oil has seperated out from the mixture and starts appearing on the surface. Add the tamarind paste and give it a stir. Add about 2-3 cups water till you get the consistency you desire. Simmer and let it cook on medium high for about 3-5 more minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro and mint leaves. Serve warm.

Suggested Accompaniments: Basmati Chawal or Parathas.

Luv,
Mona