Dhakai kachchi/Kaachi Biryani
Cooking Dhakai kachchi/Kaachi Biryani is a matter of love. It is the true child born out of labour. The effort of making the biryani pays off when friends and family seating across the dining table cannot stop taking about it.
I am extremely passionate about Bangladeshi cuisine due to my connection with the country. My ma always cooks Bangladeshi Hindu cuisine at home which she inherited from her mother. I tend to carry the flag! Well the religion connotation is not so much about religion but about the use of spice. The Hindu house hold in Bangladesh, according to my parents and family, use less of garlic or onion . But in Muslim cuisine it is predominant. Also the process of cooking certain dish I guess or the predominant use of certain products, for example use of meat and vegetable, needs totally different spices all together.
Being welcoming and extremely hospitable is a hallmark of Bangladeshi culture. Visitor drop by unannounced and the door to house and heart is opened with warmth, hospitality and foods. No one asks there ‘ Cha kaben? Biscuit debo?’ (would you want a cuppa ? shall I get you biscuit? ) . It is almost disrespectful. My mother faints when she is faced with such questions in Kolkata ( truth be told, people ask actually). And she has lived all her life in kolkata but a very strong Bangladeshi connection still hold as my Didon ( grandmother) still lives in Noakhali. Anyway, tons of mouth-watering food shared by the guests and host over chic-chat, laughter, love: that’s the picture of Bangladeshi household. Bangal’s carry that flag in Kolkata.
“The term “kachchi” means raw referring to the biryani ingredients being combined raw in layers instead of first cooking the meat or rice separately. Traditionally, kachchi biryani is cooked in clay oven and the cooking pot is usually sealed with flour dough to allow the biryani to cook in its own steam. The sealed pot is not opened until the biryani is ready to be served”- said a blogger with a spin.
This biryani is very close to the Awadhi biryani that we eat in Kolkata. However the processes of cooking them are different. Cooking Kaachi/Kachchi biryani needs precision as everything is cooked raw together in a layer, it is also time consuming. Good thing is you can cook it oven too. Traditionally the biryani is cooked with mutton but I am cooking it with chicken today. I am sharing the recipe of which you can sue for mutton or beef but taste would be significantly different. I have taken the recipe from my mother and one of the most respected Bangladeshi chef Siddiqa Kaabir. She has a lovely you tube video of the recipe which you can see. I have also checked the blog called With a spin. I did not change the recipe. If it is good for Siddiqa Kabir and my mother – it is good for me! (My mother: oh I feel she is one of the best chef I have eaten. Not because she is my mother but because she is good, open, experimental and can cook up a storm with anything and everything)
Hope you enjoy the recipe!