There is nothing like a good 'Bhatkali biryani' on a day when you can't stop thinking about food.
The biryani brings to mind the stories that my mum always told me about her younger days. Belonging to a family of rich educated business people, for her, indulgence was nothing new. Her grandfather who had rich and fine tastes (and of course the affluence to support it) ; arranged for chefs specializing in local cuisines, to come over, stay in the out-house and create lip-smacking cuisine for the family. Ah! that was life.
Now, almost 50 yrs hence, I used the same recipe, handed down to me by my mum to create the very finger-licking biryani.
And for those who would love to try it ; here it is :
500 gm basmati / any long grained fragrant biryani rice
For the Dry Masala :
2 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp jeera
8 methi seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp khus khus
1.5 inch cinnamon
2 pepper corns
1/2 tsp anise seed
8 red chillies
Dry roast all these 11 ingredients and after cooling, grind to fine powder. Let us call this (A)
Dry roast 2 diced onions , 6 garlic cloves and grind them to a fine powder. Let us call this (B)
Fry 4 onions cut into strips add 4 green chillies, coriander leaves, 2 tomatoes finely sliced. Add (A) and (B). Once the tomatoes are cooked well, add chicken / boiled veggies/ prawns (whatever you prefer) to this masala and cook until the meat is well cooked.
Take ghee, add tej pata, cloves 2, 1.5 inch dalchini and rice. Lightly fry, add twice the quantity of water and boil until done.
Now for the Dum part ;
Layer the rice and masala and cook covered for awhile (Dum cooking). If you don't care much for the dum , you can simply eat the rice topped with the gravy...it takes equally yummy.
And, thank the 'Bhatkali Naytes' for this delectable dish.....ya ya I know ; it's 50 yrs since then , but its the thought that counts :)