I am a total novice when it comes to making any type of biryani... It's one of those dishes that I did not even attempt to cook. And I didn't need to, specially with the multitude of restaurants all around me😋
It took me some time to overcome this fear of cooking biryani. I tried it some weeks back, but was not satisfied with the result. The rice was a bit overcooked and the spice level was not up to my satisfaction. No harm,no foul...
500 gms mutton ( cut into medium sized pieces)
3 cups Basmati rice
3 medium potatoes ( cubed)
3 medium tomatoes(chopped)
5 green chillies(chopped)
2 cups curd
2 tbsp ginger- garlic paste
Biryani spice mix
Handful of unsalted cashews
Handful of fresh mint leaves(chopped)
Cilantro leaves for garnish (chopped)
Salt to taste
Wash and marinate the mutton pieces with curd, ginger-garlic paste, biryani spice mix (I have used SHAN Biryani Masala)) and salt. Ideally, you should marinate the meat overnight in the refrigerator.
In a thick bottomed deep pan, shallow fry the onions till caramelized. Take care that the onions don't char, else.. they will have a burnt flavor which will spoil your dish. Add the chopped chillies and continue frying.
After the onions are done, keep a little of the fried onions aside for garnish once the biryani is done.
You can also use store bought fried onions, but trust me, the flavor is significantly compromised. Do take that extra effort to fry the onions on medium heat , stirring continuously to avoid burning the onions.
Next, add the marinated mutton mixture to the pan. Mix it well with the onions. Add 1/2 glass water and bring to a boil.
Transfer the cooked mutton back into the pan. Add the potatoes and allow it to par- cook. Next, add the tomatoes and mint ( I did not have fresh mint, so I used the organic dried mint) and cook till the oil separates.
I have then added the washed basmati rice on top of the mutton mix. Add half of the fried onions and spread on top of the rice. Sprinkle salt on the rice and gently mix it.. taking care that the raw rice is not mixed with the cooked mutton below it. Add 1.5 cups of water to the rice.
Reduce the flame to a sim and allow the biryani rice to cook for around 8-10 mins. Check it after 8 minutes to see if the rice is done and cook accordingly.
Wash the rice with cold water and do not soak the rice prior to cooking. This will help in keeping the rice kernels from becoming sticky.
Note that the rice will keep cooking a bit even after you switch off the heat.
When you serve this biryani, make sure you take a cross section since the spicy mutton will be at the very bottom.