Friday, January 29, 2010

Chef @ Home ~ My Mum’s Layered Biryani

I have been meaning to share this biryani recipe for a long time. Especially for my best buds in Delhi- “A” and “P”, who have been wanting to make this for their respective families.

As long as I can remember, my Mum’s been making this biryani – both with mutton and chicken. Its the multiple layered biryani, and is fully cooked before you “assemble” it, unlike the kachchi biryani.

Here is the recipe:

1 kg goat meat/lamb/chicken (with bones)
2 1/2 cups Basmati rice
Half cup natural yogurt/dahi
3 large red onions
2 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
2 tablespoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
A tablespoon full of whole garam masala
2-3 bay leaves
2-3 hard boiled eggs sliced
5-6 small boiled potatoes sliced
Green chilies slit lengthwise
Few sprigs of coriander/cilantro chopped fine
Few drops of red and yellow food color
Veg oil for cooking

Marinade the meat for about 2-3 hours with yogurt, spices, ginger-garlic paste, and a little salt.

Chop two large onions. Heat the veg oil in a thick-bottom pan/ pressure cooker. Add the whole garam masala till they pop, followed by the bay leaves. Add the onions and fry till golden brown. Add the marinated mutton or chicken. Keep frying till you see the oil and the meat separate. Add salt to taste. Cover and cook till the meat  is tender. Do not overcook! I have suffered the pangs of an overcooked meat for a biryani and felt sorely embarrassed about it.

Chicken takes less time than goat meat or lamb, so adjust the timing. If you are in South Delhi, I’d recommend you to buy mutton from Khan’s shop behind Uphaar Cinema or from National Meat Shop in Malviya Nagar Market. The latter’s quality of meat is awesome!

Okay, since I digressed, I now come back to preparing the rice for this layered biryani.

Cook the Basmati rice as you would in a ratio of 1:2 of rice and water. Add a few drops of lemon juice to get all the rice grains separate. That’s a tip my Mum passed on to me and I religiously follow.

Once your rice is done, quickly sprinkle a few drops of the red and yellow (liquid) food colors. Cover the vessel.


This way you will naturally color the grains in three colors- red, yellow/ orange and the natural white! I learnt this from a cook at my Mum’s place.


Now prepare the onions for the layering. Thinly slice one large onion and caramelize it by deep frying in vegetable oil.

Take the bowl in which you will serve your biryani. This can also be served in a traditional biryani handi- you know the ones with the copper base!

On a spacious kitchen counter, arrange all the ingredients you will need to start layering the biryani including the boiled and sliced potatoes and eggs, chopped coriander and the slit green chilies.

Start the bottom most layer with rice and start building up with the meat, caramelized onions, slices of eggs, potatoes, chopped coriander, green chilies. Complete it with another rice and continue doing so till you have space in the bowl.


The top layer should ALWAYS be of rice!

Finish the look with the garnish of fried (crispy) onions, sliced potatoes and eggs, chilies and coriander.

Serve the biryani hot with raita and salad.

I also love to have this with the (Chinese) green chili sauce you get in India. But that’s a luxury I will have to live without…at least for now!

The pictures you see here are from a Thanksgiving Party. I made the layered biryani for P’s work place, where they had a potluck party just before Thanksgiving. This was for about 20 people. I was told it became an instant hit!

After doling out biryani this large scale, I was the uncrowned Biryani Queen among my set of friends!



Suman Khajuria Sharma said...

Looks delicious! can't wait to try it out!

Unknown said...

Hey thanks so much!!! Will try out this weekened itself and give you the feedback.....

Unknown said...

Thank you sooo much Pree!! :) Will try it out coming weekend :)

Armahiar said...

Please can you confirm quantities of cooking for 20? Thank you


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Taj food said...

Top post. I look forward to reading more. Cheers
buy red rice

Taj food said...

Top post. I look forward to reading more. Cheers
where can i buy chopped dates