i remember biryani rice often being ordered by my parents when we would go out for dinners or parcel the food for home.
it was one rice dish that was always ordered. my parents would have the rice with some chicken curry and i would have the rice with palak paneer or dal makhani. strange but a fact. this was always my favorite combination squeezed with some lemon juice on top.
so much so, that my dad would get palak paneer or dal makhani and biryani rice especially for me, when he would get food from out. after having biryani rice in various places, i have come to a really good version of making this rice dish at home.
there are many variations of this recipe. in the south they make a similar dish which goes by the name khuska/kuska rice. the vegetarian version is made with coconut milk or yogurt. i still have to try this one. i am sure this one would also taste good.
biryani rice is basically spiced rice. the rice is cooked with spices. so what is the difference between jeera rice and biryani rice. in jeera rice, the rice has flavors of cumin along with other spices. whereas in biryani rice, the rice is just cooked with spices & herbs.
to add some texture and flavor to the rice, i have also garnished with fried onions and cashews. and yes these two do add a lot to this recipe of biryani rice.
for some color and aroma, i have used saffron. however if you are comfortable with artificial coloring, then you can use yellow or orange color. but my suggestion would be to go for natural based coloring ingredients.
along with serve some boondi raita or onion-tomato raita or a kuchumber and you have meal fit for a king. remember to have some nice indian dessert towards the end of the meal like kulfi or falooda or gulab jamun.
biryani rice recipe details below:
- 2 cups basmati rice or long grained rice
- 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 or 2 tsp chopped mint leaves or both mint+coriander leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 2-3 cloves
- 3-4 green cardamom
- a pinch of mace
- 2 star anise
- ¾ tsp shah jeera/caraway seeds
- a pinch of saffron
- 1 tbsp curd – vegan or dairy
- a few drops of lemon juice
- 4 cups water
- 2 tbsp oil or ghee
- salt as required
- 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
- 8-10 whole cashews
- 1 tbsp oil
- a pinch of salt
- few mint leaves
- rinse the basmati rice for a couple of times in water.
- soak the basmati rice in water for 20-25 minutes.
- drain and keep aside.
- heat oil or ghee in a pan.
- add the caraway seeds and fry them.
- add all the whole spices and fry them for a half a minute.
- now add the ginger-garlic paste and mint leaves.
- saute for a minute or till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic disappears.
- lastly add the saffron and stir.
- add rice and stir gently.
- now add 4 cups of water, few drops of lemon juice and salt.
- stir and cover the pan tightly with a lid.
- let the cook rice till its just done.
- the rice should have an al dente texture and not become soft or mushy.
- check in between but don’t stir as this will break the rice grains.
- if you feel the water is less, then just add the required amount of hot water.
- cover and let the rice cook till done.
- whilst the rice is cooking, heat oil in a small pan.
- add the sliced onions and fry till they become golden.
- add a pinch of salt so that the onions brown quickly.
- remove and drain them on paper tissues so that the extra oil is soaked.
- in the same pan, roast the cashews till golden.
- while being served, garnish the biryani rice with the fried onions, cashews, mint leaves.