Do you struggle with the word Biryani? Do you think that you need to buy the ready made Biryani Masala to make a proper biryani? For me both these answers are a straight No. Read on if you wanna join my club.
Kachche Kathal ki Biryani
Almost 400 gms of cut and cleaned Echor / Kachcha Kathal / unripe Jack fruit. Boil it in water along with some salt and turmeric, till its 50 % done. Using a pressure cooker may not be a good idea.
7 onions chopped and fried till brown
About 300 gms good long grain rice, soaked for 1 hour
Masala For the Rice
2 tbsp Oil
A nice mix of whole Garam Masala-
· 1 star Anise
· 1 cinnamon Stick
· 2 to 3 cloves
· 3 to 4 Green cardamom
· ½ black cardamom
· 2 big leaves of tez patta (bay leaf)
· 1 tsp of Shah jeera
A lot of water and salt to taste.
Masala for the Jackfruit
2 heaped tbsp curd
3 tbsp oil
All the Whole Garam masala as mentioned up for the rice preparation.
3 tbsp Ginger and garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Coriander powder
½ tsp Cumin powder
½ tsp Chilly powder
A few shakes of freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon separately.
2 big pinches of cashew nuts and 2 more of raisins
A big handful each of chopped mint and coriander leaves
3 slit green chillies, or to taste
2 tbsp ghee
2 steel containers with lid
1 small pinch of real kesar and warm milk
During biryani making, its best to keep all ingredients out and handy. Also this same process could be used for any other Dum cooked Meat or veggie biryani.
First in a kettle boil a litre of water.
Get a big sauce pot and put it on heat. We would make the whole spice tadka for the rice first, before proceeding for other stuff.
Pour in a few tbsp of oil. Once it heats up, drop in all the whole spices; and on low flame cook till it is fragrant.
Carefully pour in the hot water on the tadka and salt it generously. Add some more cold water and bring it up to a rolling boil before adding the soaked rice. Cook the soaked rice on a rolling boil for 5 to 7 minutes. It should be about 50 to 60 percent done. Drain it out on a plate and let it air dry. I mostly just take my spider ladle and drain out the rice from the starchy water onto a bowl. Then I quickly topple it out on a flat plate and let the rice air dry for a few minutes. Repeat with the remaining rice. The second batch of rice should be kept to air dry on a separate plate.
So by now, you have fried onion kept in one corner . Rice half cooked and air drying in another.
Lets start making the jackfruit masal now.
In a wok/kadhai heat some oil. Once hot, temper in the whole spices along with a sole red chilly. Wait for it to get fragrant.
Add in the cashew nuts and raisins and fry them lightly in this flavour ful oil on low to medim heat.
Now beat the curd with all the dry masala powder, and set it aside.
Now one after another, we would add different elements to the wok and get it frying.
· The first to go would be a big pinch of fried onion along with the ginger garlic paste. Fry till we get rid of the raw smell of ginger and garlic.
· The next would be the curd mix along with all dry spices. Cook it till oil separates out of the masala.
· Now would be perfect to add 2 big pinches each of mint and coriander. Add in the green chilies too for an added kick.
· Adjust salt and sugar and this stage. And, add in our already cooked jackfruit to pan fry in the masala and absorb its flavour.
Taste again for salt and sugar, and adjust accordingly. 2 big pinches of sugar was good enough for me. you can even omit sugar, but I highly recommend adding it to lessen the tang of homemade curd.
Now its time for the assembly.
· You have the jack fruit prepared.
· You have onions fried.
· You have half cooked rice
· You have chopped coriander and mint ready.
· This would be the right time to create the saffron mix. Just warm up a few tbsp of milk in microwave and drop in a few strands of kesar on to it. Let it bloom and get flavourful.
Now all you need is to set up a steaming station- gas or electric.
Generously put ghee on the steel containers you choose to steam the biryani in. Put a thin layer of the most uncooked rice of the lot you have made earlier, in the bottom of the pan. Top it all with jackfruit masala. Now an even layer of onions needs to be followed with an even layer of chopped herbs. Top it all with rice once again.
This is where you need to be creative. Get a proper layer of fried onion on top. Now another generous sprinkle of herbs. Now get that saffron milk and spoon it all over the while rice.
Close the lid, and let it steam for 30 minutes.
And when you open that lid once done, you will be transported to another world it self. Biryani is a soul food, which is made and perfected with love. Make it to believe it.