Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mushroom Biryani

This is a combination of the Malabar Egg Biryani recipe I'd posted earlier (which itself was taken from Mishmash's post Egg Biryani Finally Makes It to the Hall of Fame ) and the Brinji Rice that my cook makes when we are out of other options. I made a variation of the elaborate biryani masala (in a not so elaborate way). Here is how I made this afternoon's mushroom biryani.
For the Rice 


  • Basmati Rice - 2 cups
  • Water - 3 cups
  • Coconut Milk - 1 cup
(Add water/coconut milk in a 1:2 ratio; if the coconut milk is too thick, adjust the water accordingly)
  • Shajeera - 2 tsp
  • Bayleaf - 2
  • Cloves - 3-4
  • Star Anise - 2
  • Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
  • Chilly Paste - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste 
  • Yellow Food Color - a pinch 
  • Ghee - 3tbsp
  • Wash the basmati rice well and soak it in water for 20 mins.
  • Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan (I used my pressure cooker itself)
  • Splutter the shajeera (you could use normal jeera if you dont have this), add the bay leaf, cloves and star anise and fry for 30 seconds. 
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and the green chilly paste and fry till the raw smell disappears.
  • Add the rice and fry for 1 min.
  • Add salt and the food color.
  • Add 3 glasses of water and 1 glass of coconut milk and cook uncovered till the rice is almost done (By now the water would have evaporated and the rice would have been 80% cooked) - Take care not to add too much water;esp if the coconut milk is thick, you may want to reduce the water. The taste of the biryani is lost if the rice is over or under cooked.
  • Set aside

For the Biriyani Masala:

  • Onions - 2 large ones thinly sliced
  • Tomatoes- 3 big ones (I had very small ones, so I used 5)
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste - 2 tbsp
  • Green Chilly Paste - as per taste (I made it out of 8 green chillies as I like it spicy)
  • Biriyani Masala - 3 tbsp (a coarsely ground powder of the below ingredients)
    • Cloves - 4-5
    • Green Cardamom - 2
    • Black Cardamom - 1
    • Cinnamon Stick - 2
    • Jeera - 1 tsp
    • Shajeera - 2 tsp
    • Star Anise - 2
    • Nutmeg - 1/2
    • Nutmace - 1/2
    • Saunf (Perunjeeragam) - 1 tsp
    • Peppercorns - 4-5
  • Mushroom - Cut into 2
  • Peas - 1 cup
  • Potatoes - 2 or 3
  • Sour Curd/Yogurt - 1 cup
  • Salt - to taste
  • Mint Leaves - a handful
  • Curry Leaves - 2-3 sprigs
  • I also added 1 tsp of Sakthi Biryani Masala as I had an opened packet
  • Ghee - 3 tbsp
  • Gingelly Oil - 2 tsp (it enhances the flavour)
  • Any other veggies you want
  • Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan.
  • Fry the onions till translucent
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears
  • Add the chilly paste and fry well
  • Add the tomatoes and cook till they are mushy.
  • Add the biryani masala, salt, mushrooms and other vegetables along with the mint and curry leaves and cook covered (You may want to add a little water here-not too much as the veggies and tomatoes will bring out water on their own)
  • When the mushrooms and veggies are cooked, add sour curd and cook till dry.
 For the Seasoning (Deep fry all the above individually in ghee/oil and set aside)
  • Onions - 2 big thinly sliced
  • Brown Raisins
  • Cashew Nuts
  • Ghee/Oil - for frying

Finally, making the biriyani

  • This is a fairly simple step. All you have to do is layer it in a thick bottomed vessel. 
  • Add a little ghee , place one layer of the masala, sprinkle some masala powder and fried seasoning and then layer it with the almost cooked basmati rice.
  • Then  repeat the process (Veggie masala, masala powder, seasoning and then rice).
  • Cover the vessel with a lid and then wrap it with a piece of cloth so that the steam does not escape (I had to use the help of my heavy chapati rolling stone and roller for this). 
  • Cook this biryani on Dum for 15-20 minutes on low flame. 
  • After setting it aside for another 20 minutes, open the lid and mix the biryani.
  • It is now ready to serve.

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