Biryani is a quintessential part of South Asian cuisine. Many regions have their own variation, but the classic Hyderabadi biryani from India is one of the most popular. Biryani is essentially a one-pot meal of basmati rice, marinated meat and aromatic spices and is often made using a slow-cooking method known as “dum,” in which the layers of rice, meat and fried onions are cooked for hours over a low flame. This version of the classic is baked for a hands-off aproach to a delectable and authentic Indian meal.
Recipe courtesy of Durdana Syed
- 2 Cups basmati rice
- 2 Pounds mutton or chicken with bone, cut and cleaned
- 1 Cup canola oil
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 3/4 Cups yogurt
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon ginger garlic paste (or grated ginger and garlic)
- 1/2 Teaspoon red chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 Teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 5 cardamom pods
- 4 cloves
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 Teaspoon Saffron, crushed and dissolved in hot water (for color)
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- 2 Thai green chillies
- 5 mint leaves
- Ghee or butter
- 1 Teaspoon salt, or to taste
Yogurt chutney or raita
- 1 Cup yogurt
- Water to thin it out
- 1 Teaspoon cilantro, chopped
- 1 Thai green chili, chopped
- 1/2 a small onion, chopped
- Salt to taste
Fry sliced onions in canola oil until they are light brown.
Remove onions and place on paper towel to catch excess oil.
Let cool, and crumble onions with hand.
Marinate the meat with ginger garlic paste, garam masala powder, red chili powder lemon juice, 2 of the cardomom pods, cilantro, green chillies, saffron, mint and salt for at least 4 hours.
After 4 hours, reserve a handful of fried onions, and mix the rest of the onions and ⅓ of the oil from the fried onions and yogurt into meat marinade.
In a heavy pan, boil water with rest of cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon stick.
Add half a teaspoon salt to water.
After water boils, add rice and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes.
Drain the rice.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a deep pan, place the marinated meat on the bottom.
Layer it with the rice on top and drop some ghee on top of the rice and a squirt of lemon juice, saffron and reserved fried onions.
(Optional: Gently sprinkle 1/2 cup of milk on the rice, being careful to pour it only near the sides and edge of the pan. This prevents the rice from burning.)
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then another 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
Gently check the inside of pan to see if there is still water on the bottom.
If there is, bake for another 10 minutes.
Serve hot with yogurt raita.
Yogurt chutney or raita
Thin yogurt out with a fork and add water little by little until desired consistency.
It should be a slightly thick, saucy consistency.
Add cilantro, green chili, onion and salt and mix well.
Serve cold alongside biryani.