Biryani needs no introduction to the foodies around the World. Even though meat (chicken, mutton, lamb or beef) is normally the main ingredients of an authentic Biryani, vegetarian and other meaty versions are gaining popularity too. Kofta Biryani is one such variety that can be made in both veg and non-veg versions.
Serves 6, preparation time: 30 minutes
2 cups of Basmati Rice, washed and dried.
1 packet ground chicken (For vegetarian options, use ricotta cheese, onion, shredded cauliflower and make the koftas. The rest of the preparation is same.)
2 tbsp lime juice
4 tbsp Kashmiri Red Chili powder (available in all Asian grocery store or online)
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup cooking oil (canola)
1 tbsp ghee (aromatic clarified Asian butter, available online or in Asian stores)
Whole Garam Masala 4 pieces of each: Black Cardamom, Green cardamom, Cloves, Black Pepper and
1 medium stick of cinnamon.
1 tbsp Garam masala powder
2 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 bay leaves
1 pinch each of mace and nutmeg powder
1/8 cup warm milk
3-4 pinches of saffron strands
10 drops of rose water
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
salt to taste
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup water (for spices)
1 cup boiling water for cooking
Cook the rice in boiling water along with two pieces each of the whole garam masala, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Once done, strain the rice through a colander and cover with a kitchen towel
Mix the ground chicken with 2 tbsp red onion, lime juice, salt, chopped cilantro and 1 tsp kashmiri red chili powder and keep aside.
Heat oil in a wok.
Add the whole garam masala, caraway seeds and the onions and fry until golden brown.
Make a paste of all other spices, salt and ginger, except nutmeg and mace.
Add the paste to the onions and cook till the oil starts to separate.
Remove the wok from the heat, add the yogurt and mix well.
Return to heat and cook for a while. Add the boiling water and cook in high heat for a while.
Take small scoops of the chicken mix and add to the boiling sauce. Cover and cook until the sauce is no longer watery and has a thick consistency.
Add the saffron strands in warm milk and keep aside for a while.
Take a heavy bottom nonstick container and grease it with the ghee. Take half the rice and set in in the container. Take 2 tbsp of the warm saffron milk and pour it over the rice. Do not mix. Add 5 drops of rose water on the rice. Set the chicken kofta gravy (meat balls) on the bed of rice and sprinkle mace and nutmeg powder, saffron milk and 2-3 drops of rose water. Set the last layer of rice on the chicken, add the rest of the saffron milk and rose water. Cover the casserole. Shake the casserole lightly to let the sauce and the spices seep into the rice. Leave it at room temperature for a couple of hours.
To reheat: Add a little water on a pan and place the casserole on it. Put the pan on low heat, the boiling water will reheat the rice.
Serve hot with onion rings and lemon wedges.