Friday, 15 January 2010

Beef Biriyani/Layer Biriyani

On making biriyani I wonder whose invention this is, with a pang of envy, wishing it was me who had done that with all it's grandeur. Me being a biriyani lover, once it is made and occupies my fridge, find myself eyeing greedily at it, listing all the excuses to justify my about to happen hogging. Making a vow of extra gym hours and boring oats porridge for the next few days, I thereby surrender to "Biriyani the mightiness"!!!

You will need...

For Korma...
Diced Beef - 3/4 kg
Big Onions - 2-3 chopped
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Garlic - 1 pod (10-15 cloves)
Green chillies - 5
Coriander leaves - few stems
Mint leaves - few stems
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Tomattoes - 2-3 chopped
Yoghurt - 1/2 cup
Lime juice - 1/2 lime
Yellow color/Saffron

Grind together...
Poppy seeds - 1/2 tbsp
Cashew nuts - 2 tbsp chopped
Grated/Desicated coconut - 2 tbsp
Water - 1/4 cup

For garnishing while layering...
Big onions - 2 sliced thin
Sultanas/Raisins - 10-15
Cashew nuts - 10-15
Coriander leaves - few chopped
Mint leaves - few chopped

Fry onions until golden brown. Keep aside. Fry cashews and sultanas seperatly and keep aside.

For Rice...
Basmati rice - 1/2 kg
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Whole garam masala - few
(Cardomoms, Cloves, Cinnamon sticks)


Pressure cook beef with 1/4 cup of water, salt and few chopped green chillies. Keep aside. Grind together onions, green chillies, ginger, garlic, mint leaves and coriander leaves to a smooth paste. Add ghee and oil in a cooking vessel and saute the onion paste until oil seperates. Add the turmeric, coriander, chilli and garam masala powders and tomattoes. Saute till oil seperates. You may add oil in between if needed. Add beef and the stock obtained while presure cooking beef. Wait till all the water dissappears and add youghurt and lime. When it thickens add the ground cashew, poppy seeds and coconut paste. Mix well and cook for five more minutes. Keep aside.

Boil enough water to cook the rice with the whole masalas, salt and ghee. Add rice upon boiling and drain when half cooked.

In an oven proof deep dish add 1/3 of the rice. Put half of the korma on top. Sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves and fried onions. Add rice and layer again finishing with rice on top. Make holes in between rice, inserting skewer sticks till it touches bottom and drip ghee into these holes. Mix color in very little water and pour down on the sides and the center. Cover with a damp cotton cloth and bake in a preheated oven to 180 degree/gas mark 6 for half an hour. Remove the cloth, garnish with cashews and raisins and serve hot with onion raita, dates chutney and pappadoms.

-The cloth used should be pure cotton with the nylon tags(if any) removed to prevent it melting while baking.
-Take care to set the bowl in such a way that the cotton cloth is not coming in contact with the sides of the oven or flame. Fold the extra lengths in, covering only the top of the bowl.


  1. Biriyani looks amazing..why we can't use foil paper instead of cotton clothes?is their any diff?

  2. That's what initially I did...but the rice on the top gets overcooked and becomes hard like raw rice...the moisture in the cotton cloth prevents this...