My dad is a true blue South Indian and my mom is North Indian, so I have been brought up on a healthy diet from both these totally different worlds. One of my favourite recipe from Dad’s side which happens to be Bangalore is Deccani Biryani, its largely influenced from Hyderbadi Kachche gosht ki biryani but mine is a much simpler and foolproof version of the same. Here it goes:
For Hara masala
Green Chillies – 10-15
Mint leaves – One big bunch
Yoghurt – 1 1/2 cups
Coriander Leaves – One small bunch
Salt to taste
Chicken – 1 kg
Basmati Rice – 1 kg washed and soaked for one hour at least
Mint leaves – 10-12
Black cardamom – 2-3
Cinnamon – one stick broken into pieces
Cloves – 4-5
Bay Leaves – 2
Onions – 6 big sliced
Tomatoes – 4-5
Ginger Garlic Paste – 3 Tbsp
Red Chilli Powder
Oil – 1 cup
Biryani colour – add in 1/2 cup milk
1. In a large pan add oil and saute the whole spices then add ginger garlic paste. Keep stirring so that it doesn’t burn.
2. Add onions and cook till they turn translucent then add chopped tomatoes. Add Red Chilli powder. Keep stirring.
3. Simultaneously blend all the ingredients to make the hara masala as mentioned above and marinate the chicken pieces in it.
4. Add the hara masala blend to the pan once the tomatoes have left oil.
5. Keep stirring, add some more mint leaves for flavour. Once the chicken is cooked keep it aside. This is called Yakhni or broth.
6. Boil the rice in 2 litres of water, salt and a few mint leaves. Strain the rice once its partially cooked. Do not overcook.
7. In a large pan first put a layer of rice (slightly less than half), then pour colour mixture over it then pour the Yakhni/broth (half ) over this layer, add another layer of rice and colour and pour the rest of the yakhni, add any leftover rice and colour above this.
8. Cover the lid and place something heavy on it so that the flavours don’t escape, simmer the gas on low heat and let it remain on dum or slow cooking for half an hour. Garnish with mint leaves and serve hot with curd chutney.