March 28, 2008

Hyderabadi dum biriyani

Biriyani is a family of primarily South Asian dishes made from a mixture of spices, rice (usually basmati), meat/vegetable and yoghurt. Biriyani has always been an all time favourite Indian dish. All of us have a favourite biriyani either from a region (Hyderabadi, Malabari), by a special cook or from a specific restaurant. During my childhood, biriyani was always served as the special dish on family gatherings and important occasions. When I was in college, three of us close friends would get together after classes at one of our homes, buy a couple of biriyanis and share them between us. Even now, after 6 more years of studies, marriages and kids between the years, whenever I go to India, we would get together to share gossips and ofcourse biriyanis ! Until I came to the US, I never knew all the steps behind making the wonderful dish. This recipe for Hyderabadi dum biriyani from is one of recipes that I have frequented. Hyderabadi biriyani is notable because of the technique of cooking in dum, where the vessel is sealed with flour and the whole thing is cooked in the steam within. Eventhough this recipe has mixed reviews, I have found this to be one that has consistently given good results for me. I have tried this with lamb and chicken. Hope you will find this recipe to your liking too. Enjoy hot with raita !!


The changes that I made to the recipe include,
  1. I omitted the pudina (mint) leaves because I am not a fan of minty flavour.

  2. I also did not add saffron. The color can be attained by sprinkling a bit of water with yellow food color.

  3. The lamb in the US is not as tough as the meat in India, so it cooks at around 30 minutes.

  4. Be careful about the cooking time beacuse the meat layered at the bottom could burn if left longer on the flame.

  5. The biriyani shown was garnished with sliced hard-boiled eggs, fried raisins and cashew nuts.

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