Sunday, February 14, 2010

Kheema Biryani and a Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to me!! Yay!! Oh sorry, Happy Anniversary to my darling husband! Yeah that’s better. Well, two years are up and I am so lucky to be with a person like Latif. But this post is not about Latif, it is about the biryani I made, kheema biryani to be exact. What is kheema biryani you ask? Rather what my cousin asked me when I told her I made this for lunch on Friday. Hmm, lets see.. it is a biryani mixed with kheema (minced meat) and not pieces of any meat. This is a very yummy and simple dish which my mom used to make (no idea which part of the world this belongs to) and I remembered this when I saw a lot of minced mutton lying in my freezer. The technique for this biryani is the same as with other biryanis so there is nothing new here but just wanted to share something that I made.

After Latif ate his lunch I asked him how the food was, he said it was good, but where were the chicken pieces??? I was speechless.



For Kheema
500 Gms Minced Meat
1/2 Cup Green Peas (Optional)
3 Large Onions (Sliced)
1 Tbsp Assorted Whole Garam Masala
4 Green Chilies
2 Medium Tomatoes (Sliced)
1 Large Potato (Peeled and Quartered)
2 Tsp Red Chili Powder
1 Tsp Fennel Seeds Powder
1 Tsp Coriander Seeds Powder
1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
2 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
2 Tbsp Yogurt
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Cooking Oil
Salt to taste
For Rice
2 Cups Uncooked Basmati Rice
6 Cups Water
1 Tbsp Assorted Whole Garam Masala
Salt to taste
For Garnish
Saffron or Yellow Food Color
1/4 Cup Milk (Warm)
Pinch of Saffron
1 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
Fried Onions
Mint Leaves
1 Tbsp Ghee (Clarified Butter)

Wash and drain the minced meat. Keep aside. Wash and soak the basmati rice. Keep aside. Heat the oil in a pot; add the sliced onions, green chilies and whole garam masala. Fry on high for two to three minutes then turn the heat to low. Keep stirring every few minutes to ensure the onions do not burn; we want to get them to a golden brown color and not dark brown (I say this from experience, believe me when I say that you will cry if you burn your onions. Not that I cried when this happened to me not too long ago! Ahem...)

Sliced Onion, Tomatoes and Green Chilies

Frying the Onions

Whole Garam Masala

Powdered Masalas

When the onions become golden brown, add the tomatoes and potatoes. Turn the heat to high again; add the salt, ginger garlic paste, red chili powder, coriander seeds powder, turmeric powder, fennel seeds powder and garam masala powder. Mix it well and keep cooking till the tomatoes are soft. The masala will look like the below picture (a little better if the onions are golden brown)

Add the minced meat and sauté on high till the smell of the meat goes and it gets a nice brown color. Add the green peas and pour in the lemon juice and yogurt. Stir and cover with lid. Cook on medium flame till the kheema is completely cooked and the potatoes are done. Taste and adjust the seasonings at this point as this is the point of no return... Just kidding... no, seriously it is.. coz you cant do anything about it once the biryani is layered. Anyways, add more salt if you want to or more chili powder if you want it to be spicier.

In a separate pot, heat the 6 cups of water; throw in the whole garam masalas and salt. Keep a wide colander ready in the sink to drain the rice. When the water comes to a boil, add the rice and let it cook on high, uncovered till the rice is almost done. It is very important to watch the rice closely at this point as we want it to be cooked but not completely. There should still be a bite to the grain and must not be easily squished between your fingers. Once the rice reaches this point, turn off the heat and drain the rice in the colander.

Now we will layer the biryani and give the much needed dum. You can use the same pot in which you boiled the rice provided it is big. We need a pot that is big enough to hold all the rice and the kheema.

Wash and chop the coriander and mint leaves. Dissolve the saffron and food colour in the milk. Place the pot on the stove, and add 1/2 tsp ghee. I made four layers so divide the rice in two halves and the kheema as well. Add a layer of the kheema and cover the bottom completely with it. Cover the kheema with a layer of the rice. Sprinkle some fried onion on it and cover again with one layer of the kheema and the last layer of the rice.

Pour the milk on top of the rice spreading it all over.

Scatter the remaining fried onions on top of the milk.

Spread the coriander and mint leaves on top of the onions.

Sprinkle garam masala powder at the end along with a dollop of ghee.

Cover the pot with a tight lid to ensure no steam escape from it. Keep the flame on high for a minute or two to ensure sufficient heat is generated in the pot. Turn the heat to low and keep cooking till steam starts forming on top and the rice is complete cooked.

Open the pot, stir to mix the layers and serve hot with raita

Pieces or not, I’m sure you will enjoy this.
Happy Eating!!

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Hi there! If you have any thoughts, queries or suggestions please do let me know. I would love to hear from you!