I started with the basics for mutton biryani, but used soya nuggets instead of meat. The result was very tasty.
- Basmati Rice
- Soya Nuggets
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp jeera (cumin) powder
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 5 tsp coriander powder
- 4 ripe tomatoes diced
- 1 or 2 onions cut into small pieces
- 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (make your own for best effect)
- 2 chopped up green chillies (optional, use if you want it spicy)
- 1/2 cup of curd
- 1 bunch coriander leaves, chopped up
- 1 bunch mint leaves, chopped up
- 3 cardamom pods
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- some raisins
- some almonds
- salt to taste
Procedure:Now, you can do four things in parallel, but make sure that you're done with the nuggets and rice before you actually need each of these.
- Cook the rice till it's about three quarter ready. Cook it with the cinnamon and cardamom, some salt, and a sprinkling of mint, but no oil.
- Prepare the nuggets for cooking. This involves boiling them for 10 minutes, then squeezing out, rinsing in cold water and squeezing out again.
- boil the almonds to remove the skins and cut into slices.
- Start cooking the masalas. This is the elaborate step.
- Heat a pan till it is of suitable temperature for oil (ie, fling a drop of water at it and it should sizzle off immediately)
- pour the oil in, and heat it for a couple of seconds.
- Add the onions, and fry till light brown
- Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for 2 minutes
- Add in the chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and jeera powder and chillies. fry for about 30 seconds, and add in the salt.
- Add the diced tomatoes, and stir fry the whole thing for 3 minutes
- Add in the soya nuggets and mix well. It will start to get really dry, but don't panic. Let it simmer for a minute or so.
- Add in the curd, garam masala, chopped up coriander and chopped up mint (you may want to save a little mint and coriander for the raita).
- Mix well. The curd should make the whole thing watery again.
- Take a baking dish, or a large vessel that can be sealed.
- Put a layer of rice at the bottom, then a layer of soya nuggets, then another layer of rice.
- Add the raisins and almonds on the top (you may want to stir fry them first, but I like to stay off frying as much as possible).
- seal the dish and pop it into the oven at a very high temperature (I used 250°) for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Break open the seal and smell your biryani.
Now for the raita. I normally make a simple tomato-cucumber raita with curd and salt. This time I decided to experiment a bit, and added a sprinkling of mint and coriander. The result was amazing, and my raita was a hit with all those who tried it. Just mix everything together in a bowl, and refrigerate.
Serve the biryani hot and raita cold.