Biriani is a popular dish that is great when entertaining or when you want to treat your family to a delicious dinner or lunch. There are so many variations of this dish; I have never come across two people who make it the same way. But it is fun to keep trying different recipes as the flavours are so amazing!
What is biriani? It is basically a lovely ‘casserole’ of marinated and spiced meat, braised, then layered with spicy, flavoured, buttery rice, then you let them finish cooking over very low heat or in the oven and voila! You can use different meats and vegetables. I like making beetroot biriani for the kids lunchboxes; I will share the recipe soon, and mutton or chicken biri for special family dinners.
I woke up craving biri the other day, but the only meat I had on hand was beef mince; I didn’t let it deter me though, so let’s get started!
- 2 cups Basmati rice, cleaned and soaked.
- Whole spices for the rice; bay leaves, cardamom, black pepper, one star anise, cinnamon and cloves
- 500 g beef mince
- About 4 tbsp ghee
- I bunch mint
- 1 bunch coriander (blend half the coriander and mint leaves and ginger garlic paste )
- 1 cup natural yoghurt
- 4 grated tomatoes
- 4 onions, chopped and deep fried, you can use this recipe
- three onions sliced
- 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
- Ground spices for the meat sauce; turmeric, ground coriander, garam masala
- Optional; some rose water and food color. But if you can, please try them to get that restaurant quality aroma to the food. I didn’t have saffron, so used a teeny weeny bit of food colour.
- 4 hard boiled eggs (optional) I didn’t use any here though.
- Green chilli – I did not use any cause of the kids
I first marinated the beef mince mince for about thirty minutes with a tbsp of ginger garlic paste, two tsp of natural yoghurt, 1/4 tsp of turmeric, 2 tbsp of coriander mint paste I had blended, a tsp of garam masala, salt and a tbsp of lemon juice. Set aside.
Now we assemble the dish. You can move to an oven proof dish and layer then bake, or use the same pan of big enough, it is up to you.
Mix some little food colour in a teaspoon of rose water, and assemble the other ingredients, the parboiled rice, chopped Dhania and mint, ghee and fried onions.
Obviously, no biriani dish is complete without a nice raita. It is an Indian condiment of natural yogurt and chopped vegetables and spices of choice. It offers a cooling effect as you eat your spicy meal. Best raita in my opinion for this dish is a cucumber mint one. You can make this before you get started on the main dish.
This is a perfect meal to make over the weekend when you are in no hurry. The rice is moist, perfectly cooked and the spices melt together so wonderfully. The fried onions also add a delightful crunch and sweetness, and the rose water a heavenly aroma that will have you salivating before the first bite. Yum!
This is one dish worth trying out!