Friday, November 8, 2013

Cravings Ravings//Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani

I know you've heard of Biryani, (you just had to, you can't answer no to that) but have you ever heard of Hyderabadi Biryani? Hyderabad is a state in India, the home to the most wondrous Biryani creation ever. It's succulent pieces of marinated meat layered with aromatic rice. This is one dish when you work smart and hard for, your results actually surpass that effort. Yum.
My mum makes this and you can be sure that this goes for the authentic Hyderabadi version; there are a million versions out there, but the one that hails from Hyderabad has been quite often argued to be the best. It's a delight to the tastebuds, the ultimate Maharaja meal and it's here!
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There are two ways to prepare Biryani:
KACHI AKHNI - It involves cooking together the marinated raw mutton and pre-boiled rice together in layers on low heat.
PAKKI AKHNI -It involves cooking the marinated mutton separately and then layering it with pre-boiled rice and put to cook again on a low heat
Just follow the steps in parts to make the Biryani! :)

Serves – 8-10

PART 1 : Mutton Marinating
PART 2 : Rice preparation
PART 3 : Layering the Biryani
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PART 1- Marinating the Mutton
INGREDIENTS
1. Mutton - 2 kgs
2. Fried Onions (golden and crisp) - 2 cups
3. Oil - 1 1/2 cups ( the oil left after frying onions can be used)
4. Yoghurt - 2 cups ( 400 gms)
5. Ginger garlic paste - 2 heaped tablespoons
6. Red chili powder - 1 1/2 tsp
7. Coriander powder - 1 1/2 tsp
8. Garam Masala powder - 1 1/2 tsp
9. Green Cardamom powder 1 tsp
10. Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
11. Shah zeera - 1/2 tsp
12.Cinnamon sticks - 2 small pieces
13. cloves - 6-8  14.Cardamom - 6-8
15. whole green chilies - 6-8
17. Bay leaves - 2 (optional)
18. mace - 1/4 tsp (crushed, optional)
19. Juice of 2 big lemons
20. Fresh cilantro leaves (chopped) - 1/2 cup Mint leaves - 1/2 cup
















METHOD:
1. In a Large container, marinate the mutton first with lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste and salt and coat the pieces well . 
2. Save one cup fried onions and put all the remaining ingredients alongside the mutton, mix well, cover and keep for marinating overnight in a refrigerator. 
3. Make sure you give at least 4-5 hours for proper marinating if you cannot do it overnight.

PART 2 - (preparation of rice)
1. Long grained Basmati Rice - 5 cups (wash well and soak in water with a little salt for half an hour)
2. Shah zeera (black cumin) - 1 tsp
3. Oil - 5-6 tbsp
4. green chilies - 2-3
5. cinnamon sticks -Two 1 inch stick
6. cloves - 6-8
7. green cardamoms - 6-8
8. bay leaves – 2
9. chopped cilantro leaves and mint - 1/2 cup
10. salt - 3 tsp
11. water - 12 cups ( enough to rise 2 inches above the rice level )

METHOD :

1. Put water to boil in a large heavy-based Cooking pot.

2. Add the Shah zeera (black cumin), cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, cilantro leaves, mint, green chilies, oil and salt.

3. When the water starts boiling, add rice and cook on high till the water boils again
4. Simmer the rice for 2-3 minutes (so that the rice is cooked about 70%)
5. Drain the rice and keep aside.

PART - 3 : Layering The Biryani
INGREDIENTS:
1. Marinated mutton
2. 1 cup fried onions reserved earlier
3. chopped cilantro leaves and mint - half cup each
4. green chilies - 2-3
5. 1/2 tsp crushed Saffron soaked in 1/2 cup warm milk
6. Semi-cooked rice prepared earlier
7. 1/2 cup oil mixed with 2-3 tbsp ghee
8. 1/2 cup lemon juice

METHOD :

1. First arrange the marinated mutton in a big heavy-base pot.

2. Top it with half of the fried onions, cilantro leaves, mint. 
3. Spread the semi-cooked rice and top it with the remaining fresh herbs, green chilis and the remaining fried onions.

4. Sprinkle the oil + ghee mixture, lemon juice, saffron soaked in milk and the green chilies.

5. Cover the pot with aluminum foil and then the lid and put on high heat till you see steam coming out from the sides of the lid.

6. Then put the pot on low heat and put the Biryani to dum for 30-40 minutes.

7. Keep changing the position of the base of the pot 2-3 times to provide heat evenly on all sides.

8. Luxuriate in the exotic aroma once the Biryani is done!

 9. Scoop out the biryani in a serving plate and garnish with boiled and sliced eggs (optional) , fried onions and cilantro/mint leaves.

(10. Enjoy it with chutney(Raita) made with yoghurt, chopped onion and fresh green herbs or with the famous Spicy Curry Side (Mirchi ka salan/Baghare Baingan/Baghare Tamatar.)
* Mirchi ka salan/Baghare Baingan/Baghare Tamatar... the Curry is basically the same. Different names are given to the curry when Big green chilies/ Brinjals/ Tomatoes are used.)
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For those of you who've been on their heals for this absolutely tastebud-ticker, here's your calling! Go turn up the heat! :)

Much love, Nash


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