The one-pot dish that most of us love and crave for every Sunday, it’s none other than biryani.
The aroma of the fragrant rice cooked with tender meat fills the room as soon as the seal of the dum is broken and the lid is removed. Biryani is proof of the fact that the idea of a one-pot dish is not only quite feasible but also delicious. When the flavours of the meat or vegetables are infused with the long grains of rice, the result is a mouth-watering dish that is hard to resist. Every Sunday, my mother thinks of making something new for the family that we can have together for lunch. Being the foodies we are, my sibling and I start brainstorming days in advance about the Sunday special.
Often times, when we can’t think of something new, we resort to our old yet lip-smacking comfort food i.e. biryani. The one-pot dish is undoubtedly a great mélange of flavours and spices but making biryani is quite a task. You need to have a good knowledge of the kind of spices that go into its making as well as the cooking technique. Right from layering the ingredients to sealing the dum, the biryani has to be carefully monitored at every step.
For a fragrant and flavourful result of hours of hard work, here are some tips and tricks that will come in handy for you.
1. Rice Is The Essence
When making biryani, rice has to be top-notch. After all, it is a one-pot rice dish. Long-grain basmati rice is the most preferred kind of rice for biryani because it doesn’t break easily and has a pleasant aroma which adds to the overall fragrance of the dish. It also helps the dish to look appetizing.
2. Marination Is The Key
If you’re making a meaty biryani, then the next most important thing after rice has to be the meat. Usually meat is cooked with the bone in the biryani. For this, it is best to marinate the chicken or mutton with a host of spices and keep it that way at least for three to four hours, although overnight works even better in this case. This helps the meat to attain the flavours of the spices to the core.
3. Cooking Is The Task
Here, the idea is to ensure that everything gets cooked properly while nothing is over-cooked or under-cooked. This is possible when you cook the meat and the rice separately. The rice can be soaked in water and boiled. It needs to be partially cooked, about 80% after which the meat can be layered and the rice gets cooked with that. Ensure that you use a heavy-bottomed pot, preferably brass or copper.
4. Spices Are The Core
A potli of spices along with whole lime can be added to the pot once the dish is half-cooked. This will allow the flavours of the spices to seep in just right without overpowering the overall taste of the biryani. Don’t add salt in the beginning as the meat will retain it and lose out all the moisture.
5. Ghee Is Supreme
It is recommended that you glaze the pot with ghee before layering the other things. This will prevent it from sticking. While you top the biryani with ghee or kevda and other aromatics, be careful not to go too overboard because that will simply release a lot of moisture and the biryani would turn out soggy and watery.