Sunday, June 29, 2014

Yum Dum Bhatkali Biryani - courtesy the Manelkars

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
4 cloves
1.5 inch cinnamon
2 pepper corns
1/2 tsp anise seed 
4-5 cashewnuts
8 red chillies
Dry roast all these 11 ingredients and after cooling, grind to fine powder. Let us call this (A)

Now ;
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.

Meanwhile ; 
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 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 :)

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