The perfect combination of drama, show, and pomp. This dish requires a little effort, but all it needs to go with it is a raita and perhaps a salad on the side. I like to use a few different types of mushroom for varying textures and flavors, and if the budget allows, to add a few wild mushrooms. If not, stick to shiitake, oyster, and large cremini mushrooms. The pastry is lovely on top but you can leave it off and finish the dish with saffron and some roasted cashews instead. The cream and tomato paste are there to balance the flavors of the sauce, so add to taste, and season the sauce well.
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The Kutch are people from Gujarat. It is a small community and one I only heard about when my brother became really close friends with one of them in university. He often told me how delicious their food was and what a great cook his mum is. I think at some point he even wrote down a chicken curry recipe for me to try to cook… but I don’t think I ever did. However, in Mumbai I tried some Kutchi food and it is indeed delicate, fresh and fragrant. Their chicken biryani is probably one of their more famous dishes and, while it has a few steps as does any biryani, it is fun and easy to do. You can put the whole thing together in advance and simply heat it through when you are ready. You can also just make the chicken curry separately; it is just as good.—Anjum Anand, author of I Love India
2 slices of Rock fish, cut into big chunks
1 cup yogurt
1 Tbsp garlic paste
1 Tbsp ginger paste
1 tsp Chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/8 tsp salt
a handful of mint leaves
a handful of cilantro leaves
2 green chilies, chopped
3 Tbsp Sindhi Biryani powder
1 1/2 tomatoes, sliced
1 1/2 cups of basmatic rice, washed and soaked
1/4 cup or less evaporated milk
2 pinches of saffron
Combine the yogurt, garlic and ginger paste, chili and turmeric powder and salt with the fish and marinate for 30 minutes.
Heat some olive oil and cook the tomatoes until soft for about 5 minutes. Then add the mint and cilantro leaves and the green chilies and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and let it cool. Once cool blend into a fine paste and set it aside.
In a big pot bring water to boil. Add about 3 tablespoon salt. The water should taste quite salty. Then add the soaked rice and cook the rice until 70 % done.
While the rice is cooking, add some oil to a heavy bottom wok and add the sindhi biryani powder. Cook for about 3 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. The add the fish and mix to combine with the mint and cilantro paste. Turn off the heat. Make sure the seasoning is to your taste.
Now to make the biryani, scoop the basmatic rice from the boiling water with a strainer and layer it on top of the fish mixture. Spread the rice evenly. Then sprinkle some saffron on the rice.
Take some of the rice water and mix with 1/4 cup of ghee and sprinkle on the rice. You can sprinkle some fried onions, chopped coriander leaves and fresh chopped mint leaves.
Cover the wok with aluminium foil, followed by a cover. Put something heavy on the cover to seal it tight.
Cook for about 5 minutes on high then lower the heat and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes. Fish does not take too long to cook.
Serve with cucumber, onion and pineapple salad.
Biryani is an Indian dish usually made with spiced lamb, raisins, eggs, and vegetables layered with perfectly cooked basmati rice and steamed together in a sealed pot. This version is meatless but still just as flavorful, seasoned with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and garlic. Look for ginger-garlic paste in Indian markets or make it yourself with a mortar and pestle and equal parts peeled ginger and garlic. This recipe was created by Riddhima, who writes the blog Culinary Vibes.
See all rice recipes.