Its no secret, how much I love Biriyani. I am very particular about the kind of Biriyani which reaches my plate. More often than not the Desi restaurants in KC will deliver a shoddy product by the name of Biriyani. Its not everyday that your cravings are so severe that you will get down right and cook up a large batch. Then you head to the places which serve you a mediocre version of the food you love. You wolf it all down, and wash it down with a heady amount of cola or pop and then start cribbing how much you miss the Biriyani, you grew up loving.

Last week, as I started spooning my way through some mixed veggies on my plate and some steamed rice, my cravings for Biriyani got the better of me. I was in the mood for some good Biriyani and the mediocre versions served in town, just would not do for me. Luckily I had some Goat meat in the freezer. I set around to thawing it at first. Mission Biriyani was on. 

When you start browsing for Biriyani recipes, all that Google  will throw up for you, will send you in tizzy. That's when you need to streamline your search. What kind of Biriyani are you looking ? Whats your choice of meat? Having grown up in Kolkata, I grew up loving the Awadhi(Lucknow) style of Dum Biriyani. When someone mentions Biriyani, that is exactly the image my mind conjures up. The speciality of Dum Biriyani is  the meat and rice are partially cooked  and then they are slow cooked in layers, in a  container, which has been sealed. And it will have potatoes and boiled eggs, along with the rice and meat of choice. Not to mention the heady aroma of the spices. 

Most recipes call for the meat to be marinated for a few hours. As I had started with frozen meat, the buffer time I had on hand(read: afternoon) was spent in thawing the meat. There was no time for marination, if we had to dine on Biriyani that night. 

I knew yogurt is a great meat tenderizer. So I half cooked the thawed goat, with the spices and onions and ginger garlic, with some yogurt. When you add yogurt, it will release water and I cooked the meat, till all that water from the yogurt had reduced. In a separate container, I cooked the rice with whole garam masala, till it came to a boil. I turned of the heat at the first rumble of a boil and drained the rice. Oh, I forgot to mention that I had soaked the rice in water , for an hour. When you soak rice in water, it prevents it from breaking, when you finally cook it. I needed my rice grains to be intact when I was serving up the biriyani. 

Finally it was time for the final assembly. The layer of meat of went in first with the juices, it was half cooked in. Then I layered in the half cooked rice. A dash of saffron soaked in some warm milk and some Kewra water. The pot was sealed and baked in a pre-heated oven at 350F for an hour. 

When I was finally plating my Biriyani, I knew it was a success, even before I had done a taste test. The kitchen and living room were fragrant with that all familiar tantalizing aroma. The meat was falling off the bone, when I poked in with a fork. And the rice grains were like  a handful of pearls. 

Midweek Biriyani Cravings taken care of. Hope you all love it, as much as I do. 


Goat Meat: 2 lbs( cut into medium sized pieces) 
Basmati Rice: 3 cups
Whole Garam Masala: 2 tbsp plus 1 tbsp
Saffron strands soaked in warm milk
Canola Oil
Onion: 1 large: Chopped and I small chopped 
Ginger Garlic Paste: 2 tbsp
Kewra Water: 2 tsp
Yogurt: 1 cup
Ghee: 1 tbsp
Salt : taste
Food Color: Orange: A pinch 
Bay leaves: A few
Potatoes: 3 large
Boiled Eggs: 4 large


Fry the chopped onions to a golden brown, drain on paper towels and keep aside.

Soak in some strands of saffron in some warm milk. Let it stand for an hour ,  at least.

In a heavy bottomed pan, add in a mix Canola oil and ghee, and add the 2 tbsp of the whole garam masala and bay leaves. Make sure you have both Black and Green cardamoms to the mix. Once it gets a bit aromatic, add in the goat meat, and the large chopped onion. Season with Salt. 

Cook it on medium heat.

Add in the yogurt and ginger garlic paste and continue to cook. The yogurt will be releasing water which will be tenderizing the meat. Don't feel tempted to increase the heat of the stove as that would toughen the meat.

In a separate container, add in the soaked rice, warm water and the rest of the whole garam masala. Season with salt. Add in a dash of canola oil to it, and cook it till it comes to a boil. Turn off the heat that instant. It takes about 10 mins,but cooking times will vary depending on the water and the rice. Drain the rice.

Once the water of the meat has reduced, make sure that all the meat is one layer. 

Peel the potatoes and cut them in half  and add them to the meat. 

Then add in half the rice in a layer over the meat. Add in half of the rest of the fried onions over the rice and a few spoons of the saffron milk, and few splashes of Kewra Water, and a few pinches of the orange food color. The idea is that only a few grains of rice should be colored and not be a orange glooppy mass.

Layer in the remaining rice and repeat the steps. 

Seal the pan with aluminum foil and then close it with its lid. The idea is to trap in the aroma as much as we can and slow cook the rice and meat together. You could also seal in the lid of the pan with some dough. 

Bake at 350F, in a pre-heated oven for an hour. 

Let the Biriyani rest for around 10 minutes after you have brought it of the oven.

Open the lid and the foil and with a light hand, mix in the rice and meat. Add in the hard boiled and peeled eggs. 

Serve up a portion with meat, rice , potatoes and egg in a plate. 

Enjoy !! 

Bon Appetit !!! 

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