For years I have been trying to experiment and get my biriyani recipe right. I know there are many schools of thought on how a biriyani should look and taste, to me the one I used to eat at Annapoorna in Coimbatore is the best.I love the way they used to make a parcel in the banana leaf,then cover it with a news paper and when you bring it home, the flavor of the biriyani marriage with the banana leaf makes it "out of this world" to me. It is so nostalgic a dish and the best biriyani that I have ever tasted.I made this for my sister's birthday dinner and both of us agreed that I did get it right this time and it resembled Annapoorna's biriyani.I confess that I have incorporated parts of this recipe from my friend Geetha's biriyani recipe.
Heavy bottom Vessel to cook the rice
Basmathi rice - 3 cups
Water for rice - 3 3/4 cups
Onions (red)-3 normal size
Tomatoes (Roma) - 3
Mint - 1 bunch
Green chillis - 6 Slit into 2 and deseeded)
Cilantro - 1 bunch
Carrots and peas mix - 1 cup
Ginger- 2 inches finely minced
Garlic - 1 whole finely crushed or minced
Cumin powder - 4 tsp
Coriander powder - 8 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Cashew (roasted)- 1/2 cup chopped
Bread - 4 slices toasted well.
Bay leaves - 2
Cinnamon - 2 of 2 inch pieces
Cloves - 8
Elachi (black and green)- 4 slit in the middle
Oil - 3 tbsp ( please do add more if you are o.k with that more oil)
Curd or yogurt - 1 cup
1. Wash the rice 3 times and then soak it in 3 3/4 water for 30 minutes.
2. Cut the Onions lengthwise (Juline), tomatoes into chunks,garlic and ginger can be crushed or minced, Mint leaves washed, cilantro leaves roughly chopped and green chillis cut length wise and deseeded if you cannot take too much spice.
3. Add oil in the Heavy bottom vessel and add bay leaves, cloves, Cinnamon, elachi and after 10 seconds add garlic, ginger, onions and some salt and cook until the onions are well done.
4. Add mint leaves, carrot and peas mix and cook for some more time.
5. Once the carrot and peas are 1/2 cooked add chilli powder, turmeric,cumin powder and coriander powder and mix well and cook it for some more time.
6. Add 1 cup of curd or yogurt and cook it until the liquid disappears.
7. Add the rice and mix them well and coat them with the mix.
8. In the mean time boil the water that you had soaked the rice in 3 3/4 cups in a sauce pan and then add it to the rice and cook it on low flame.Add the tomatoes to it and mix it. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.
9. Toast 4 slices of bread and cut them into cubes. When the rice is done add it to the rice and mix them well.
10. Add cilantro and cashew nuts and serve hot with onion raita.