If you’ve never tried world-famous Hyderabadi biryani, then you’re missing out. Hyderabadi biryani is the best biryani, hands down. Its fragrant smell and rich taste comes from its exotic blend of spices and unique style of cooking, known as dum. It is said that the dish came from Persia during the regime of Mughals in the country, where it became so popular and spread to other parts of India.
Many people get intimidated by making biryani because of all the steps involved. But once you get the hang of it and prepare the ingredients in advance, it is one of the easiest one-pot dishes to prepare.
There are two methods of preparing biryani. Pakki gosht is where the meat is cooked first and then layered with the rice. Kachi gosht is where the raw meat cooks with the rice. Kachi gosht is the more authentic way to make biryani. I always avoided this version because I thought it was complicated. I was feeling lazy one day and decided to make biryani with kachi gosht. Oh my gosh! It was the best biryani I had ever made in my young married life. If you marinate the meat the night before (highly recommended), your work is cut in half. Try this version and you will not be disappointed!
– 1 1/2 lb. lamb or goat cut in big pieces (baby meat preferable)
– 1 tsp meat tenderizer, or raw papaya paste
– 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
– 1 cup yogurt
– 1/2 cup fried onions, golden brown
– 1/2 bunch mint, chopped
– 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
– 3-6 green chillies, roughly chopped
– 1-2 tsp red chili powder, depending on spice level
– 1/4 tsp turmeric
– 1 tsp shah zeera/black cumin
– 2 tsp salt
– 1 tsp garam masala
– 2 tbsp lemon juice
– 2 tbsp oil
– 3 cups Basmati Rice (use more or less depending on your preferred meat:rice ratio)
– 1/2 tbsp Shah zeera/black cumin
– 4 cloves
– 4 cardamom
– 1 stick cinnamon stick
– 3-4 tsp salt
– 1 pinch saffron
– 1/2 cup warmed milk
– 1/2 bunch cilantro
– 1/2 bunch chopped mint leaves, chopped
– 2 tbsp lemon juice:
– 1/2 cup fried onions
– 2 tsp ghee:
1. Trim and wash the meat to your satisfaction.
2. Mix in all the ingredients for marinating the meat. Use your hands and show it some love, or if you prefer, use a spoon. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for 4-6 hours if you’re short on time.
3. Remove meat from fridge and place in the bottom of a heavy bottom pan.
4. Wash your rice three times. Let it soak in water for at least half an hour.
5. Meanwhile, take a large pot and fill it with water. Add the shah zeera, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and salt. It’s very important to taste the water to make sure it is salty. You want it to be very salty tasting (DO NOT FORGET TO SALT THE WATER!). Bring to a boil.
6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. While the water is coming to a boil, get your ingredients for the biryani layers ready. Once the rice is done, you have to move quickly to ensure proper cooking.
7. Dump out the water the rice was soaking in and add the rice to the boiling water. This step is VERY important. How long you cook your rice will make or break your biryani. Since we are doing kachi gosht biryani, you want your rice to be 1/2 cooked. The rest of it will cook with the steam when it goes in the oven. So make sure you watch the rice like a hawk 🙂 Keep checking to make sure the rice is half cooked.
8. Once the rice is done, drain it. Do not rinse! Add half of the rice on top of the meat. Sprinkle cilantro, mint, and onions on top of the rice. Then add the rest of the rice on top. Spread the saffron milk all over the rice. This gives the biryani color. I don’t do any of that food coloring business! Dump a few teaspoos of ghee all over the rice. Cover with foil and make sure no steam can escape. Then put the lid on top of the pot.
9. Cook on high heat on the stove with a griddle or tawa underneath for five minutes. The steam will start to build up.
10. Transfer the pot to the 450 degree oven. Cook for 20 minutes. Then lower the heat to 300 degrees and cook for 15-20 minutes. After 20 minutes, carefully take out the pot and make sure the meat is cooked. Be careful of the steam, I learned that the hard way. It should be done by this time but if it isn’t, you can put it back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until cooked.
11. Once its done, take it out of the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. You can prepare the raita/yogurt chutney in the meantime.
12. Mix the biryani well before serving. Your house should have filled up with a wonderful aroma by now. Enjoy!