Kolkata styled Mutton Biriyani- Mutton Biryani
Eid walla Biriyani for my dearest friend SS
Growing up in North Africa, celebrating Eid was part of my childhood. My brother and I got new dresses, my mother cooked lovely food and family friends visited our home. We went to visit L aunty, Y and S’s house ritually for all Eid. Durga Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Saraswati Puja etc were part of our life even then, but it was only after moving to Kolkata we realised what Durga Puja was and what being in Kolkata meant around that time. Durga Puja, Kali Puja governs our life now but we still celebrate Eid and my mother still cooks lovely Eid food for us.
Both my parents are religious. As for me, I am not sure. I automatically close my eyes when I go to Belur Math but I also automatically close my eyes when I go near sea or smell the first raindrop on parched land. I hate the temple near my house in UK as the ‘pujari’ (priest in a Hindu temple) is irritating and believe that it is through R that all my prayers can be heard. How much more stupid can he be?!! I hate temple, which has water everywhere, dirty and too many people. What does that make me? Religious or non-religious? Well, I am not too bothered about knowing it too. When I close my eyes in front sea, or when it rains or seeing the peacocks of Leads Castle or in front of a temple that is clean, all I know is, I thank the universes for being so beautiful, for being alive, happy, independent and having the ability to appreciate the beauty in my own way. When we celebrated Eid as children or celebrate Durga Puja now, none of this choices/celebration was/are religious for us. We celebrated what everyone near us and our friends celebrated. We celebrated the spirit of the festival. We celebrate the beautiful life.
My friend SS requested “Eid walla Biriyani” in my blog. This is for her. My kolkata style Eid walla Biriyani: for the spirit of Eid and to beautiful life around us.
Mutton Biriyani Recipe:
Serves: 4 Adults foodies and 2 kiddo foodies
Preparation Time:15 mins for Biriyani Masala, at least 1 hour marinating (longer the better, they say. I believe too. However, some time I make without marinating and it does not make much difference to be honest. So adjust the timing depending upon how much time you have and the occasion you are cooking for. I am cooking for Eid. So it is going to be elaborate). 2 hours for cooking.
Ingredients that I use for Biriyani/Biryani Masala:
2- Bay Leafs
1-Tablespoon cumin seed
1-Tablespoon Caraway seed (Shah Jeera)
4- barks of Mace (Javetri)
½ teaspoon of Nutmeg powder
10- Black pepper corn
1 teaspoon of red chili powder
|My Biriyani Masala|
Making my Biriyani masala:
1. Dry roast cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, Bay leafs, cumin seed, caraway seed, mace, fennel, black pepper corn on a low heat until the spice gives a aroma and also starts to spatter.
2. Grind all the dry roasted spices until smooth powder
3. Mix chili powder and nutmeg powder and grind again to mix well
4. Store in a air tight jar ( I used my little jam jar that I brought back from my hotel in Venice )
Ingredient for Biriyani/Biryani
700gm Basmati Rice (I used Kohinoor that was not good by the way)
1kg mutton fat free shoulder, cut in to small pieces
6 -Potatoes ( small to medium)
4- Onions (Optional: Add 1- more Onion for deep-frying and spreading over the Biriyani as final touch)
2 Bay leafs
8/10 Black Paper corns
1-tablespoon ginger paste
1-tablespoon garlic paste
2- Tablespoon Kewra Water (When I cook for my mother I do not use it. She hates the smell)
1- Pinch Saffron ( soaked in little warm water)
8- tablespoon oil
2 tablespoon low fat spread
Salt to taste
Methods for making the Biriyani/Biryani
Step 1: Preparing the Mutton
1. Wash the mutton properly and cut away all the remaining fats
2. Marinate the mutton with yogurt and 3-tablespoon of my Biriyani/Biryani Masala
3. Add little salt and keep in fridge for 30 mins
1. Slice 4 onions
2. Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a non stick Karahi and add the onions
3. Fry the onions until golden brown
4. Let the fried Onions cool down
5. Once cool, make a paste of the fried onion in a grinder
1. Add the fried onion paste, ginger paste and garlic paste to the marinated mutton
2. Fridge for another 30 mins
1. Boil the eggs, de-shell the boiled eggs.
2. Boil the potatoes until they are 70% done. Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a non stick pan and fry the boiled potatoes until they are golden brown and well done. Mine was a little dark in color as I used just 1 tablespoon of oil.
3. Keep both eggs and fried potatoes aside
Step 5: Cooking the mutton
1. Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a non- stick pan (I used my pressure cooker). Add 2 cardamom, bay leaf and fry until it leaves faint aroma
2. Add the marinated mutton and cook for 15 mins
3. Add 1 more tablespoon of Biriyani Masala. Adjust salt to taste. Add this stage you can add more chili in case you like hot food.
4. Cook the mutton on slow heat until well done and the gravy has dried up. I cooked in pressure cooker. Careful not to make the consistency of the gravy to too dry or too watery.
Step 6: Cooking the Rice and deep-frying Onion
1. While cooking the mutton, soak the rice in water
2. Dain water from the rice
3. In a deep vessel heat water. I use rice to water in 1:2 ratio. As I have 700gm of rice, I used almost 1.5 liter of water, if not more. Do not worry about water as you are going to throw it anyway. So a little extra will not harm.
4. Make a cloth pouch-containing bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper and clove. Add the pouch the boiling water. This will give a nice aroma to the rice.
5. Add the rice. Add salt and 2 tablespoon of oil
6. When the rice is 70% done, drain the rice.
7. Place the rice in plates/white paper (not news paper please) and let them air dry.
8. Take a little bit of rice and add to the soaked Saffron to make yellow/orange rice
9. While the rice is being cooked, thinly slice 1 onion. Deep-fry them until brown and crisp. You will need half a cup of oil for this process. I did not do it, as I wanted my Biriyani to be light.
|Drying the cooked rice|
Step 7: Layering the Biriyani/Biryani
1. Take a deep bottom vessel. Rub the low fat spread all over the vessel.
2. Make a layer of rice. Top it up with a layer of cooked mutton. Sprinkle some milk and Kewra water. Sprinkle some of your orange/yellow rice as well.
3. Then on top of the layered mutton, add another layer of rice. Repeat the process. Remember you last layer or the top layer should be rice not mutton.
4. Remember:do not make too thick layer as this will interrupt with cooking the rice. Remember to sprinkle milk, which will prevent the rice from sticking at the bottom as well as help in cooking with vapor from milk. Add Kewra water in all layers in case you want your Biriyani to smell like the shop Biriyani. Otherwise, do not add this at all.
5. On the top layer of rice arrange the fried potato and sprinkle the deep fried onions ( if you are using)
|The final Layered Biriyani|
Step 8: Final Cooking
1. Close the vessel. I used a sealed vessel. If you do not have a sealed vessel, seal the vessel with a flour dough so that the vapor remain trapped in the vessel which will induce pressure cooking
2. Oven Method: Add water to the oven tray. Heat the oven in 200c and heat the water. Place the sealed vessel on the hot water. Cook for 45 mins. Bring the vessel out. Give a proper shake. Real good shake so that rice, mutton and spices mix well and they are fluffy. You can use spoon to fluff them up. But careful not to break the rice. Close the vessel again and cook for another 20 mins.
3. Gas method: Place a big tawa on the lowest flame and add water. Place the vessel on the water-filled tawa. In case you cannot add water to tawa, you can place the vessel directly to heated tawa. However, this will mean that some rice will stick at the bottom. Give a proper shake. Real good shake so that rice, mutton and spices mix well and remain fluffy. You can use spoon to fluff them up. But careful not to break the rice. Close the vessel again and cook for another 10 mins.
Step 9: Serve NOW!
1. Serve with raita. Put fat free yoghurt in a bowl. Add chopped cucumber, tomato, onion, rock salt and cumin power. And mix well and serve with your Biriyani