Give me Biriyani any time of the day and I can have a good go at it. Today's dish is also a sumptuous and easy to prepare Biriyani.
Moving away from the traditional way of preparing a Biriyani, this dish is elegant yet simple to cook up at the same time. This take on the traditional Kerala Biriyani is a wonderful casserole of tender lamb cooked in Kerala spices which is minced and combined with a spicy and tangy green coriander and mint chutney. This dish is truly company worthy! Serve along with pappads, pickles and a cool raita on the side. Do try this today!
In a hot pan, dry roast the fennel seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise till a nice aroma comes through. (Make sure not to burn it) Cool a little and grind to a fine powder.
Into a pressure cooker, add the meat (mutton/ lamb/ beef) and marinate it with the ground ingredients and the rest of the ingredients listed under 'Ingredients To Cook The Meat'. Keep aside for 15 minutes. (optional)
Add a little water if necessary (Adding water depends whether your meat really needs it. Nevertheless, do not add too much. Allow the meat to cook in it's juices) and cover with the lid and pressure cook till meat is completely cooked.
Don't worry if there is any residual gravy after cooking the meat; we will need it for the rest of the dish.
Preparation Of Minced Meat
Strain the cooked meat through a strainer or sieve. Press out all the liquid/ gravy or stock from the cooked meat. You will have a nice clear spicy stock. Keep aside. Once the meat has cooled, mince or grind the meat in a food processor. Keep aside.
Heat ghee/ oil in a wok, and saute sliced onions till it turns light brown. Add the ginger and garlic paste at this time and saute till raw smell goes away. Now add the sliced tomatoes and mix well till it softens.
Add the chili and coriander powders and saute till raw smell disappears. Next, add the minced meat and saute till the meat has browned well.
Add the spicy stock (obtained after cooking the beef) into the wok and once this reaches a boil, add chopped coriander leaves and vinegar. Adjust salt if necessary. (vinegar is optional)
Cook this mixture till it reaches a gooey consistency and is not too watery. (The mixture will start coming off from the sides. Then you know it's done) Keep this mixture aside.
Preparation Of Rice
Wash and clean the rice. Soak in water for 30 minutes. Drain well.
Heat ghee/ oil in a pressure cooker. Add the whole spices and saute till a nice aroma comes through. Add the drained rice and fry for a few minutes till the rice turns glossy. (5 minutes approximately)
Now, add the stock to the rice. (Vegetable or chicken or any meat stock will work well. You can use water in place of stock too but please note that the flavor of the dish is enhanced because of the use of stock) Stir well.
Add enough salt and mix well. Cover the pressure cooker with it's lid (do not put on the cooker weight) and cook till a high steam appears. Then turn the heat to a gentle sim and continue to cook the rice for exactly 5 minutes.
Switch off and leave it to cook on the residual heat (on the stove) for exactly 30 minutes.
[NOTE: Please feel free to use any method of your choice for cooking the rice]
Once the rice is done, open the pressure cooker, and fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains. Keep aside.
Preparation Of Coriander-Mint Chutney
Grind all the ingredients listed under 'Ingredients For Coriander-Mint Chutney' without water. Grind to a smooth chutney. Keep aside.
Preparation Of Garnish
Prepare the hard boiled eggs, peel and keep aside.
Fry the onion, cashew and raisins in ghee/ oil. Keep aside.
Layering The Biriyani
Preheat the oven to 150 degree Celsius.
Grease a baking dish (I used a large glass Pyrex baking dish) with a little ghee.
Spread a layer of minced meat as the bottom layer.
Over it, add a layer of rice as the second layer.
Now, add the prepared coriander-mint chutney on top of the rice as the third layer.
Repeat layers till all the prepared ingredients are used up. Finish the layering of biriyani with rice. The topmost layer should be the cooked rice.
Add a few drops of ghee over the rice. Cover the dish with a damp cloth and bake it for 25 minutes at 150 degree Celsius.
Once done, remove the cloth and garnish with fried onion, raisins and cashew.
Slice the boiled eggs into half and place the boiled eggs on top.