Lajawaab Hyderabadi Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani

I had prepared Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani on the second day of Eid-ul-Adha for our dinner. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed the meal to the last morsel الحمد لله.

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

Pakki Biryani: where are half cooked Basmati 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 (which I am writing about today)
2. Kachche Aqni ki Dum Murgh Biryani

Raw tender and lean meat in this extraordinary kind of Biryani is allowed to first marinate in a mixture of raw papaya paste(optional)+yogurt+lemon juice+ginger+garlic, etc., all of which are natural meat tenderizers, along with several other aromatic spices for 3-4 hours. The marinating meat with all infused flavors is then layered with less than half cooked rice and allowed to slow cook, essentially in a degchi, which an Indian utensil with sloping sides and a narrow neck. The video here and here demonstrates the method and will be useful for beginners. Go through the videos once to have a good idea on the procedure before you try my recipe.

Hyderabadi Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani

The essential requirement for a good Biryani is to use good quality fragrant long grained basmati rice. The secong most important thing is to use lean meat and marinating it in a tenderizing mix before you cook. You cannot even think of preparing this Biryani without marinating it. Raw Papaya skin paste is used as the meat tenderizer back home. My Ammi however says that if the meat is tender enough, there is no need for a meat tenderizer at all. Following her advise, I have prepared Kacchi Gosht ki Biryani many times without using papaya paste and the meat is always bone tender. However, if first timers are apprehensive to try out the Biryani without the use of any meat tenderizers, please go ahead and use it. Apart from the puree of skinned unripe green papaya, peeled kiwifruit puree and pineapple puree are also powerful meat tenderizers.

My dadi(grandmother) always advised us to use rice and meat in 1:1 ratio for Kachchi Biryani. However if you like a meaty biryani, go ahead and follow meat and rice in 1.5:1 ratio, or if you prefer more rice and less meat, follow meat and rice in 1:1.5 ratio. To give time for the raw marinated meat to finish cooking along with rice, the rice is pre-soaked, and then just cooked for a minute or two, then drained and layered with the raw marinated meat and they are both cooked together. As the Biryani cooks, the steam from the meat and its marinade rises above to the rice and aids in its cooking as well. The rice also acquires flavors from the steam and the end result is piquant.

freshly chopped cilantro and mint in water

Hyderabadis prefer Kachchi Biryani over Pakki Biryani for many reasons~because this Biryani is the true Hyderabadi Biryani, for its uniqueness in the method of preparation and ambrosial taste, and also because this biryani is very simple to prepare unlike considered. All you have to do is marinate the meat for about 3 hrs, and then allow to slow cook along with half cooked basmati rice for about an hour, thats it. You do not need to stand in front of the stove stirring it the whole time. Just leave on stove to slow cook and you are free to attend to your other chores.

Make sure that you have everything ready to hand before you begin cooking rice, as you will need to assemble the layers quickly, while the rice is still warm.

Hyderabadi Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani – Hyderabadi Lamb Biryani
Serves: 6-8
Total Marinating time: 3 1/2 hrs
Total ‘Dum/slow cooking’ time: Around 1 hr and 10 mins

Canola oil – 6 tbsp
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Lean spring Lamb meat, with bone, preferably leg, cut into 5 cm cubes – 800 grams (my Ammi even adds mixed pieces like ribs, chops etc) excess fat trimmed, washed, drained and pat dried
for the tenderizing mix:
Raw Unripe Green Papaya skin –  grated or made into a paste , about 2 or 3 tbsp (or) Kiwi fruit – 1, about 50 gms, peel discarded and the pulp mashed into a smooth paste (optional)
Ginger garlic paste – 3 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
for the marinade:
Thick Yogurt – 1/2 cup
Yellow onions – 3, medium sized, finely sliced
Fresh Mint leaves – 1 cup, loosely packed, roughly chopped
Fresh Cilantro – 1 cup, loosely packed, roughly chopped
Small green chillies – 4-6, slit lengthwise
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder -1 tsp
Cardamom powder – 1/8 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
for the rice:
Long Grained Fragrant Basmati Rice – 800 grams (old biryani rice)
Shah Zeera – 1/2 tbsp
Cardamom – 4
Cloves – 4
Cinnamon stick – one 2″ stick
Dagad Phool – 1 tbsp
Dried bay leaf –  2
Salt – 3-4 tsp
for the Biryani:(assembing layers)
Saffron threads – 2 big pinch
Warmed milk – 1/2 cup
Cilantro – 1/2 cup, loosely packed and roughly chopped
Mint leaves – 1/2 cup, loosely packed and roughly chopped
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
additional ingredients:
Dough made with maida/all-purpose flour (flour+water) to seal the vessel(optional)

1. In a large thick walled oven-proof vessel/saucepan (if you have a thick walled degchi, please use it) (also please choose a vessel that is large enough so that there is about 1/4 amount of free headspace left after the whole biryani is assembled for the steam to collect and aid in cooking), add the tenderizing mix and the marinade and mix well. Wear gloves, add the meat and thoroughly mix the meat well. Using a knife, gash/poke the meat in the marinade. Mix once and again gash/poke it with a knife and then mix. Cover and keep aside.
2. In a thick bottomed frying pan, pour in oil and ghee. Once the oil is hot add the sliced onions. Deep fry them until evenly golden brown in color, keep a close eye and make sure you do not burn them. Once done, remove the pan from heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove half of the fried onions into a platter and spread them out. In a while, they will crisp up as they cool. The crisped fried onions will be later used for garnish. Reserve the remaining fried onions and oil in the same pan and let cool. These will be added to the marinade.
3. In a small bowl, add the warmed milk and soak the saffron threads in it.
4. Add the cooled fried onions and about 4 tbsp of the oil from the pan to the marinating meat and thoroughly mix using a spoon. Cover and keep it back in the refrigerator for 3-4 hrs.

marinating meat

5. Wash the rice in 3 changes of water and soak it in surplus fresh cool water for 30 minutes.
6. In a large saucepan, pour in surplus cool water and add the shahzera, cardamom, cloves, dried bay leaf, dagad phool and salt (do not forget adding salt). Cover and bring it to a boil on high. Once the water is boiling, drain the soaking rice and add it to the boiling water and stir. Cook for just 2 minutes and drain the rice immediately.
7. Spread the drained half cooked rice over the marinating meat. Spread evenly the chopped cilantro, mint, saffron soaking in milk, remaining crisped fried onions and lemon juice. Cover the vessel properly with aluminium foil or a tight lid (with vents closed with dough if any) so that no steam can escape. You can also apply dough to seal the lid which is the traditional method.

top layer of garnish just before putting it on dum

8. Cook the Biryani on high for 5 minutes. You will notice that a good amount of steam has built up, which is called as the pehli bhaap, meaning first steam.. Then take a flat dosa tawa and keep it below the vessel (so that the bottom does not burn and it slow cooks evenly) and lower the heat to simmer and let it slow cook for 30 minutes, until done. Remove from heat, and have a quick look to see if the rice has cooked and stick a fork through to test the meat (be careful as there will a lot of steam, do not burn yourselves). If it needs to cook a little longer, cover again tightly with the lid/foil again and cook for a further 10-15 minutes. when it is done and wait for 10 mins before mixing the rice with meat, and serve on a large serving platter. For a special touch, garnish with more fried onions, cilantro and mint leaves, toasted/fried almonds or cashewnuts or pinenuts or raisins and quartered hard boiled eggs.
Oven Method:
1. Follow the above steps until step 7.
2. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
3. Cook the assembled biryani in the vessel on stove-top on high heat for 5 minutes, until nice steam has built up, which is called as the pehli bhaap, meaning first steam. Immediately transfer this vessel in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. After that, turn the oven setting to 300°F and bake it for further 15 minutes, after which have a quick look to see if the rice has cooked and stick a fork through to test the meat (be careful as there will a lot of steam, do not burn yourselves). If it needs to cook a little longer, cover again tightly with the lid/foil again and cook for a furthur 15 minutes. Remove from oven when it is done and wait for 10 mins before mixing the rice with meat, and serve on a large serving platter. For a special touch, garnish with more fried onions, cilantro and mint leaves, toasted/fried almonds or cashewnuts or pinenuts or raisins and quartered hard boiled eggs.

Serve this Biryani along with Mirchi Ka Salan or Baghare baingan or Kaddu ka Dalcha or Tamatar ka Kut or plain and simple Dahi ki Chutney for a sumptuous Hyderabadi meal.

This lajawaab biryani is my contribution to the “The Hyderabadi Bakr-Eid Food Festival-’09” that I am hosting on my blog. The event is on and you can all send me your Bakr-Eid special recipes until December 31, 2009. Click on the link for more details.

Here are other versions of Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani from some of my fellow food blogger buddies:
1. Yasmeen’s version of Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani
2. Anjum’s version of Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani
3. Foodgoddess’s version of Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani

Luv,
Mona

Simple Pleasures

Baghara Khana (or Baghara Chawal), is an another simple and nourishing dish that reminds me of that happier era, when I was a kid. Food that reminds me of my childhood and my hometown definitely makes me immensely nostalgic every time.

Baghara Khana along with Aloo Gobi Matar ~ was my yesterday’s lunch

Fragrant long grained basmati rice is cooked along with caramelized onion and exotic whole spices that give a delicate flavor and a wonderful aroma that will fill your house, and welcome your loved ones with open arms and a sense of home where warmth and comfort abounds. Always serve Baghara khana warm, along with the accompaniments of your choice.

To prepare Baghara Khana, use rice and water in the ratio of 1:2, i.e., for 1 cup rice, use two cups of water. Save a little amount of the water to add later on after the rice is about 3/4th cooked as described below.

Baghara Chawal/Khana
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

Long grained White Basmati Rice – 1 cup (I prefer the brands ‘Daawat’ or ‘India Gate’ or ‘Lal Qila’)
Canola Oil – 1 tsp
Ghee – 2 tsp
Onion – 1, small, finely sliced
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tsp
Fresh Cilantro/Kothmir – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Fresh Mint/Pudina – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Green cardamom/Elaichi – 2
Cinnamon/Dalchini – 2 inch stick
Dry bay leaf – 1, medium sized
Caraway seeds/Shahzeera – 1/2 tsp
Water – 2 cups
Salt – 1 tsp

Method:

1. Wash the rice in two changes of water and soak it in surplus cool water for 30 minutes.
2. In a saucepan at medium high heat, pour oil and ghee and as soon as it warms up, add the sliced onion and stir fry until the onion is nicely browned up. Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry it along for a minute. Add the chopped herbs, green cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and caraway seeds. Fry them for a minute more. Add 1 2/3 cup of water and salt. Cover with a lid and increase the heat to high. Let it come to a boil.
3. Meanwhile drain the soaked rice and keep ready.
4. Add the drained rice to the boiling water in saucepan and mix well. Let it come to a boil once. Lower the heat to simmer and cover with a lid. After 3 minutes using a spoon, mix the rice well, lower the heat to minimum and and cover it back again and let cook for a furthur 3 minutes. Open the lid, pour in the remaining 1/3 cup water and gently mix well. Cover and let cook until the rice is tender. Close the heat and leave the saucepan on the hot stove for about 15 more minutes to finish cooking on Dum. Serve warm.

My house smells like a potpourri every time after I prepare Baghare Chawal due to all those aromatic spices.

Note: You can also add chopped green chillies and a few whole cloves along with the other spices while frying the onions. I do not prefer to add them. Also for a special touch, garnish the cooked rice while serving with a few toasted whole cashew nuts.

Suggested Accompaniments: Baghara khana is enjoyed along with Dalcha or Baghare baingan or Mirchi ka Salan or Sem ki phalli gosht or Qimah or Qorma for a delicious Hyderabadi meal.

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This Summer, I had planted a few tomato seeds (first time with tomatoes) and voila, I had plenty of fresh tomatoes from my lil tomato garden in the backyard. Here are a few snaps:

Tomato Variety: Moneymaker

tomato budss under the warm early spring sunshine

tiny tomatoes and blooms in early summer

after a shower
I love the fuzzy stems and the unique strong scent of tomato foliage

on a warm sunny evening

ripening on the vine

For the curry below I had used the garden ripe tomatoes from my plants. With the commenced autumn chill in the air, I do not think the plants will live much longer. To freeze tomatoes, just cut out the tough part of the core, put the whole tomatoes on a baking sheet and into the freezer. After they’ve frozen, transfer them to a plastic zipper bag and put them back into the freezer. When you want to use them, you can easily peel them if you allow them to thaw until they’re just barely soft on the outside. Then just rub off the skins. Or you can run warm tap water over them and peel them immediately. Use them in recipes for any cooked dish. Inshallah the next season, I plan/wish to grow the heirloom ribbed or beefsteak tomatoes and even more veggies. Have a look at the beautiful heirloom tomatoes here, I am sure even you all will be smitten by their beauty. Need to stock up the seeds soon for the gardening season.
For those of you interested, this book has loads of information on heirloom tomatoes and how to plant them.

Aloo Gobi Matar – Potato Cauliflower and Peas in one pot

Ingredients:

Canola Oil – 1 1/2 tbsp
Onion – 1, large, finely sliced
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Fresh Curry leaves – 6
Dry red chillies – 3, each broken into two
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Cauliflower – 1 medium head, cut into florets, washed and drained
White Potatoes – 3, peeled and cut into quarters
Tomatoes – 2, medium sized, chopped
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Frozen organic peas/Matar – 3/4 cup
Fresh Cilantro – 2 tbsp, finely chopped

Aloo Gobi Matar along with toasted Afghani Roti, and home-made Lemon pickle ~ todays lunch

Method:

Heat oil in a wide saucepan at medium high heat and as soon as it is warm, pour in oil. Add the sliced onion and stir fry until the onion are just lightly browned. Add the baghaar ingredients~cumin seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies. Also add salt and turmeric powder. Mix well. Add the cauliflower florets and potato quarters and mix well. Spread the vegetables so that they are in a single layer in the pan. Sear the vegetables for about two minutes. Keep stirring them occasionally. Add the chopped tomatoes, half cup of warm water and red chilli powder. Mix well and cover the lid. Let cook until the vegetables are tender and have absorbed most of the liquid. Keep stirring occasionally. Add the frozen peas and cover the lid for 2 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm.

‘Aloo Gobi Matar – Potato, Cauliflower and Peas’ in one pot goes to Andera’s Grow Your Own event.

Luv,
Mona

Kachchi Aqni ki Dum Murgh Biryani

Note – Read the whole post very carefully (also watch the video link I have posted at the end of the post) before you try preparing the Biryani, Please do not be overwhelmed by the length of the post. I have tried to explain each and every step briefly and as efficient as possible. Do write to me, if you have any queries. I will be glad to help you out.

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 (which I am writing about today)

The preparation process of Kachchi Biryani is rather simple compared to the Pakki Biryani. In Kachchi biryani all you have to do is to marinate the chicken for overnight preferably and the next day layer it along with half cooked Basmati rice and leave it cook on slow heat/dum until completely done; whereas in Pakki Biryani you have to stand in front of your stove attending the chicken as it cooks completely, and then layer it with half cooked Basmati rice and finish it until done on slow heat/dum.

As you use the raw marinated chicken in this method, while you slow cook the Biryani on dum, the flavor of the chicken intensifies and infuses with the rice and other aromatic fresh herbs and spices giving you a heavenly aroma in the end which will fills your kitchen and your entire house.

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Here is the outline of the steps involved in the preparation, so that it is simpler for you all to understand the detailed method, follow these steps while you prepare the Biryani:

Outline of the steps:

Day 1:
Marinate Chicken.
Day 2:
1. Add Fried onions to the Marinated Chicken.
2. Give a smoked flavor to the Marinating Chicken with Fried Onions (
optional, but gives a very good flavor to the Biryani).
3. Prepare Basmati Rice, also called as Adhaan.
4. Arrange layers and garnish.

*****

The Detailed method:

Kachchi Aqni ki Dum Murgh Biryani
Serves – 8-10Day 1Marinate Chicken:

Chicken marinating in a bowl

Ingredients:

Chicken – 1.4 kg, with bone, cut into medium size pieces
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Green chilli paste – 1 1/2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric/Haldi – 1/2 tsp
Tomato – 2, medium sized, pureed (optional)
Ginger-Garlic/Adrak-Lahsun paste – 2 tbsp
Yogurt – 2/3 cup, lightly whipped
Freshly squeezed Lemon Juice – 1/2 cup
Garam masala – 2 tbsp
Green Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
Dry roasted Cumin seed powder – 1 tsp
Dry roasted Coriander seed powder – 1 tsp
Fresh Cilantro and Mint – 2 tbsp, roughly chopped

Method:

In a large bowl marinate the chicken with all the ingredients. Make sure all the pieces of chicken are coated in the marinade. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.

Day 2.

1) Adding Fried onions to the marinated chicken:

Ingredients:

Canola Oil – 3/4 cup
Finely sliced Yellow Onions – 800 gms
Salt – 1 tsp

Method:

1. Remove the marinating chicken from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
2. Meanwhile, pour oil into a large non-stick frying pan at medium high heat. As soon as it gets warm, throw in the sliced onions and add salt. Stir fry until they are evenly golden brown in color. Make sure they do not burn them. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onions from the oil into a platter. Divide the fried onions into two equal parts and add one half of the fried onions to the marinating chicken and mix well. Spread the other half on a tissue lined platter to be used later for garnish, until cool. Once they are cool, they crisp up. Also divide the oil in which the onions were fried into two equal parts. Add one part of the oil into the marinating chicken and mix well. Reserve the other half to be added to the rice as the top layer along with garnish later on.

2) Give a smoked Flavor to the Marinating Chicken (optional step, but gives a really good flavor to the Biryani. I recommend you try this atleast once. Skip to the step 3 if you want to avoid)

Ingredients:

3 or 4 Burning Charcoal briquettes
Canola oil/Ghee – 1 tsp
Disposable aluminium foil tray/loaf pan

Method:

1. Make a well in the center of the marinating chicken in the bowl so that the mini aluminium loaf pans fits into it perfectly. My Ammi uses an onion skin for this purpose. With the help of tongs, carefully put the burning charcoal briquettes into the aluminium loaf pan.
2. Pour about a teaspoon of oil/ghee onto the charcoal. You will see that dense fumes start forming.
3. Immediately cover the bowl with a lid, so that the fumes do not escape. Keep it aside until you prepare the rice.

3) Preparing Basmati Rice/Adhaan:

Ingredients:

Long grained Basmati Rice (preferably ‘Lal Qilla’ Brand) – 4 cups, presoaked in water for 30 minutes
Salt – 3 tsp
Bay leaf/Tej Patta – 1
Cloves – 3
Green cardamom – 4
Cinnamon stick – 3/4 inch
Caraway seeds/Shah Zeera – 1 1/2 tsp
Water – 9 cups

Method:

1. Wash the rice and soak it in surplus water for about 30 minutes.
2. In a large cooking pot pour in water along with cloves, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, caraway seeds and salt. Give it a stir, cover and let it come to a boil. (While the rice is boiling, follow the steps below under ‘Arranging layers and Garnish’ until step 4 and be ready)
3. Once boiling add the rice and mix gently, let the rice cook until it is half done, 2-3 minutes. Drain the rice and keep aside.

4) Arranging layers and Garnish: (Work fast while the rice is still hot! and try not to let the rice cool down)

Ingredients:

Marinating Chicken
Boiled, Quartered and shallow fried Potatoes – 2 cups (optional)
Mint leaves/Pudina – 1/2 cup, loosely packed, roughly chopped
Half cooked rice prepared earlier
Cilantro/Kothmir – 1 cup, loosely packed, roughly chopped
Ghee – 2 tsp (optional)
Reserved Fried Onions for garnish
1/4 Saffron strands, crushed and steeped in 1/4 cup warm milk
Rose water/Gulab Jal – 1 tsp (optional)
Green Cardamom seed powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Toasted Almonds and Cashewnuts – 1/2 cup total (optional)
Shelled Hard Boiled Eggs – 6-8 (optional)
Dough to seal the edges of the Casserole dish (optional)

(I use the ingredients stated as ‘optional’ only during parties when guests are invited)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 550°F (only if using an oven to prepare it on Dum, read below)
2. Carefully lift the loaf pan containing the charcoal briquettes from the marinating chicken, and discard it.
3. In a heavy bottomed casserole dish (which can be used in Oven-if using the Oven method (or) which can be used on stove-top-if using the Stovetop method – read below), arrange the marinating chicken along with all its juices in a single layer. Do not crowd it. (Use two casserole dishes if needed)
4. Spread the chopped mint leaves and the shallow fried potatoes (if using) over it.
5. Now add the drained warm half cooked rice prepared earlier and spread it nicely to cover the chicken all over. Reserve about 1 1/2 cups cooked rice for the top most layer.
6. Next, spread the chopped cilantro, toasted almonds and cashewnuts, hard boiled eggs (if using), reserved fried onions, cardamom seed powder and pour ghee (if using) and the saffron soaked in milk and rose water all over the rice. Add the 1 1/2 cup reserved rice and spread as the top most layer to cover evenly. Now pour the reserved oil in which the onions were fried evenly all over the rice.( I do not add fried onions over the top layer of rice to avoid getting the onions and herbs blackened or burned by steam).
7. Cover the dish with an aluminium foil or a tight lid (or) seal the edges with a dough and cover with the lid tightly, you can use some weight over the lid, so that no steam escapes.

Lid sealed with dough and being cooked on stovetop

If using an oven to cook:
Put the sealed casserole in the preheated oven at 550°F for 20 minutes. Later, lower the heat to 300°F and leave the casserole dish in the oven for about 30 minutes. Remove from dish from oven once done.

If you are cooking on stove top:
1. Take a flat Dosa Tawa or a griddle pan and put it on the stove at high heat. As it gets warm, put the casserole dish on the tawa and let it cook for about 5 minutes on high heat.
2. Later, lower the heat to medium and let it cook for about another 15 minutes.
3. Now, reduce heat to very low and let cook for another 15-20 minutes and your Biryani will be done by now.

Once done, let the dish rest for 30 minutes. Later, open the lid and a heavenly aroma fills your house inviting all your house members. Carefully dig your spoon deep into the casserole dish until it touches the bottom, and gently mix the rice with the chicken until it is all completely mixed. Serve immediately.

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: I enjoy my Biryani with Mirchi Ka Salan or Baghare baingan and Dahi ki Chutney as a side dish, and glass of chilled coke alongside. Yumm-O!

Note: You can also go through this video of ‘Khan Biryani’ showcased by VahChef, one of my favorite chefs, to get an idea on how to prepare Kachchi Murgh Biryani. His method for Khan Biryani is a bit different but quite interesting though.

I shared this recipe as part of the RCI:Authentic Cuisine of Hyderabad Event that I am hosting this month on my blog.

Be sure to read all the rules for the event and drop me your entries. The last date to send me your entries is September 15th’ 07.

Luv,
Mona

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