Biryani… Who doesn’t love biryani?? The flavorful biryani is a treat for eyes and taste buds. There is hardly anyone whom I have come across who doesn’t like biryani. A riot of flavours for both the vegetarian and non-vegetarians. Today, I bring to you one of the most popular and flavourful rice preparation.. Lucknowi Veg. Dum Biryani from the Land of Nawabs!!
Many think that briyani is indigenous to Indian Sub-continent.. but actually it is believed to be originated in West Asia. Biryani word is originated from the Persian word.. Birian, which means ‘fried before cooking’ and Birinj, the Persian word for rice. If you want to know i detail about Biryani and its origin click here..
In India there are variations in the way Biryani is prepared and if different from region to region. There are around 12-13 different biryanis depending upon the spices used and ingredients and the way it is prepared. Non-vegetarian versions are more popular world wide . Biryani was introduced in India by Mughals whose main diet included meat. The vegetarian version seems to have originated to cater the dietary preferences of large no. vegetarians in India. The vegetarian version is equally flavourful as its non-vegetarian counterpart.
The two most popular varieties of Biryani in India are Lucknowi Biryani and Hyderabadi Biryani. Both the varieties are equally flavourful, aromatic, use lot of spices. The main difference comes in the use of flavouring agents and the way of cooking. If we go on to the difference of the two, it is going to a long post. So, here I will just concentrate on Lucknowi Biryani.
Lucknowi Biryani is cooked with the Dum Method in a handi ( made of brass or a earthern pot used for cooking),where the rice and vegetables are cooked separately and then layered in alternate layers, flavoured with rose and kera essence (ittars) and cooked on slow flame with the top sealed tightly. The success of a good biryani depends upon the rice, spices chosen and the right technique used to cook it.
I learnt making Biryanis through various television shows like the ones on NDTV and Sanjeev Kapoor’s. Mom too used to make Biryani but different pulao versions were more common in our house. With lot of trial and errors I can now make good biryani that is liked by friends and family. Now I don’t follow any particular recipe and have my way of making it.
Lot of whole spices are used in making this Briyani. Lucknowi Biryani is less spicy than the the Hyderabadi Biryani.
Let see what we need to make perfect Biryani..
The first step in making Biryani is cooking rice. Use long grain basmati rice for preparing Biryani. Cook rice till 80% done.To check the doneness of rice press the rice grain between index finger and thumb,it should be little raw or grainy. The spices are also added to boiling water, can be added directly to boiling water or can be tied in muslin cloth. Strain rice when done, and keep aside. You can spread in a flat dish so that the grains are separate. Also add a tsp of desi ghee to rice.I use Royal Basmati that I get from Costco, while in India I used Daawat Basmati that was very good for making pulao and biryani or any kind of rice preparation.
Fried Onions are also added to enhance the taste. Deep fry onions in a kadhai til dark brown. take care not to burn onions as these will taste bitter when added and cooked with rice.
Prepare the vegetables.. Cut the vegetables to cubes, do not cut to very small pieces. You can marinate the vegetables in curd/yogurt mixture(as I did) or can directly add curd to vegetables with onions and ginger garlic paste. Use any vegetables of your choice.. potatoes, cauliflower, carrots peas, green beans, mushrooms. You can also add paneer cubes. I added paneer cubes while making the masala, as I just forgot to marinate with vegetables.
Other preparations that we do are.. make ginger-garlic and green chilli paste. We need another half cup of onions to masala that we make to cook vegetables.
Mint and coriander leaves are added to enhance the flavour.
Assemble Rice and vegetables in alternate layers , with saffron infused milk, fried onions. Finally garnish with mint leaves and add essence. Cover the pan tightly, seal with foil or thick rolled dough. Cover with lid. You can out any heavy pan over the lid. the rice and vegetables should cook on dum.
You can cook biryani on stovetop, microwave or oven. Please see the recipe card for details.
For Cooking Rice
- 2 Cups Rice
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 Black Cardamons
- 2-3 Green Cardamons
- 4-5 Peppercorns
- 4-5 Cloves
- 1 tsp Salt
For Vegetable Masala
- 1 Cup Yogurt/ Dahi/Curd
- 1/2 Cup Peas
- 2-3 Baby Potatoes cut into half
- 2 Carrots
- 1/2 Cup Paneer
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 4-5 Cloves
- 4-5 Peppercorns
- 1 Black Cardamom
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 1-2 tbsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
- 1 Finely chopped Onion
- 1-2 tbsp Ginger-Garlic and Green Chilli Paste
For Fried Onions
- 1 Onion(Big) cut into thin slices
- 2 tbsp Ghee or oil
For Saffron infused milk
- 5-6 Saffron strands
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 1/2 Cup Fresh Mint Leaves
- Fresh Cilantro/Coriander Leaves
- 1 tsp Kewra /Rose Water
Prepare Saffron Milk
- To milk, add the saffron strands and let t stand for 15-20 minutes while dong the other preparations.
- Wash rice 2-3 times in running water and soak for at least 1hr.
- In a pan add water enough to cook rice. Add the whole spices and let the water boil.
- Once the water boils, add rice and salt to it and cook till 80% done. Drain rice in a strainer, add ghee to it and spread on a flat tray or dish. Keep it aside.
- In a kadhai or heavy bottomed pan, add ghee/oil, when it hot enough, add onions and fry to dark brown and crispy on medium heat. Take care not to burn the onions. You can add 1 tsp of sugar to speed up the caramelization.
- Once the onions are done, take out from the kadhai, drain the oil and keep aside.
Prepare the vegetables
- In bowl, add yogurt and all the powdered spices under Vegetables section.
- Add vegetables to it, mix well and keep covered till we use it. If you want to skip marinating the veggies, steam the veggies for 2-3 minutes in hot water, drain and keep aside. Add to the masala directly while adding it.
- In the same oil, add the whole spices and cumin seeds. Add finely chopped onions and fry for a minute. Add ginger garlic and green chilli paste.
- Cook till the raw smell of garlic goes and onions are light brown.
- Add the marinated vegetables and mix well. Add salt and mix well. If you are add veggies and yogurt separately add all the powdered spices , mix well.
- Add 1/2 Cup water, cover and cook till vegetables are soft. If water dries add 1/4 more.
Assembling rice and vegetable masala for biryani
- In a heavy bottomed pan, coat the bottom of pan with a mix of yogurt/curd (1 tsp) and ghee(1/2 tsp). This avoid sticking of rice at the bottom and burning.
- Take 1/3 rice and layer, spread in the curd and ghee coating. Add 1-2 tsp of saffron milk, some fried onions.
- Take 1/2 vegetable masala and spread evenly on the rice layer.
- From the rest of rice, take half rice and repeat layering the rice with saffron milk, fried onions,then spread rest of the vegetable masala.
- Finally, spread the rest of rice on the vegetable masala, add the rest of saffron milk, kewra essence, roughly torn mint leaves and add 1-2 tsp of melted desi ghee.
- Cover the pan with a foil or with a thick rolled dough. Seal tightly and put the cover.
Cooking on stovetop
- Switch on the stove-top on medium flame on it keep a girdle or tawa and put the biryani pan on it. Cook on dum for 20-30 minutes
- Arrange the rice and vegetable masala in a microwave safe bowl, keep a loose lid over the bowl and microwave it for 10-15 minutes,
- Arrange rice and vegetable in an oven-safe dish. Bake biryani in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes
- Serve with the raita of your choice.
I am sure you and your loved ones will love this. Make it on special occasions, festivals or get togethers.
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This is 10th in my series of A-Z Biryani/Pulao/Khichdi dishes, that I am taking to Mega Blogging Marathon April’19.
Day 12. L.. Lucknowi Veg. Dum Biryani
This is an event where I along with a group of fellow bloggers are blogging everyday about Biryani/Pulao/Khichdi dishes this whole April, with Sundays off.
My earlier posts for the event..
Day 1. A.. Aloo Matar Ki Tehri
Day 2. B..Broccoli Mushroom Pulao
Day 3 . C..Chana Dal Khichdi
Day 4. D..Dhaniya Pulao
Day 6. F.. Fresh Mint and Peas Pulao
Day 7. G.. Gatte Ka Pulao
Day 8. H.. Hari Moong Dal Khichdi
Day 9. I.. Iyengar Puliyogare(Instant)
Day 10. J.. Jeera Rice
Day 11. K.. Kashmiri Pulao