KM and Vishal love Biryani, and KM is the one usually making it. Tonight I wanted to make the Biryani all by myself, without 'any' help from him. I was told that it turned out pretty good. I wouldn't know, because I don't eat meat! Here goes...
Mutton: 3/4 kg (1.5 lbs), marinated well in advance if possible
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tsp
Chilli powder: 1 tsp
turmeric: 1/2 tsp
lemon juice: 2 tbsp
Mix all the marinade ingredients into the cleaned meat, and mix well so that the marinade covers all the mutton pieces well. Transfer into a freezer bag and use as needed. This can be stored in the freezer up to six months.
Other items for Biryani:
basmati rice: 4 cups (each cup measures about 200 grams)
Bay leaves: 4-5
Green Chilli: 4
ginger-garlic paste: 1 heaped tsp
tomatillos: 2 small
mint leaves: handful or dried mint: 1 full tsp
papaya: cubed pieces, 1/2 cup
To be ground together:
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Cashews or Pistachios: palm full
Black cardamom: 1
Cinnamon: 1" stick
Saunf (fennel seeds): 1/2 tsp
Jeera (cumin seeds): 1/4 tsp
Dhaniya (coriander seeds): 1 tsp
Methi (fenugreek seeds): 1/4 tsp
Black peppercorns: 1 tsp
Anise: 2 petals (taken from one star anise)
Ghee: 2.5 tbsp
Milk: 3/4 cup
Saffron strands: a couple of pinches
Method of prep:
Heat milk in microwave for 30 seconds. Add saffron strands and set aside.
Chop onions, slit green chillies. Grind the chill powder and cashews(or pistachios). Add 1 tbsp of ghee, 2 tbsp of oil to a heated pressure pan. Add bay leaves, and then the chilli powder mix and fry for a minute. Add onions and green chillies and fry till onions turn translucent. Add ginger-garlic paste, and fry till the raw smell evaporates. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp of mint powder or a few fresh mint leaves, chopped. Add the marinated meat, well chopped tomatillos and tomatoes, finely chopped papaya, Ground masala (reserving 1/2 tsp for rice) and fry for 5-8 minutes. Add a cup of water, cover the pan and pressure cook for up to 8 whistles.
While the meat is cooking, wash and add rice to a thick bottomed pan with lid, add 6 cups of water, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp of the ground masala. Cover and cook till rice is dry (it might be a little undercooked, but that is fine). Turn the heat off. After 5 minutes or so, remove the rice into a plate.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Put in an oven tray and fill with hot water till half the tray's height. Smear 1/2 tbsp all around the same pan in which rice was cooked. Add a layer of rice, and top it with a layer of the cooked mutton with sauce. Add another layer of rice, sprinkle 1/2 of saffron milk. Add a couple of more layers of rice and meat, topping off with rice. Sprinkle the rest of the milk, 1 tbsp of ghee, a few mint leaves. Put the lid on. Cover the lid with aluminium foil and securely all around the lid. Place the pan in the oven tray with water and let bake for 10-15 minutes.
Enjoy with Cucumber raita, onion raita or mirchi ka salan!