Friday, August 23, 2013

Mutton / Gosht / Erachi Biryani

Biryani is my weakness and some days I crave for it and end up ordering it. Though recently we have not had a good biryani from the restaurants around here. Leaving me disappointed and with only one option - to make it at home. I love chicken biryani more than mutton biryani and normally make only chicken biryani at home. But this time I tried making this mutton biryani (considering my husband's weakness for it), with masalas made ground up without any use of ready made mixes. Usually, I have a stock of Shan Memoni Mutton Biryani masala and use that. But like all readymade masalas there comes a time when you have had enough of the same taste again and again and want a change. Added to that, comes the thought that all ready / branded masalas have additives and the only way to avoid them is to make masalas at home. The process is tedious hence I do not resort to it always. I looked up recipes of Pakistani biryani online and then proceeded to put together the ingredients for my mutton / gosht biryani. Largely, I stuck to the process given on the Shan Masala packet with a little changes.
When making this Mutton / Gosht Biryani I kept a pen and my diary on the kitchen counter knowing fully well, I would make adjustments on the go based on the taste and aroma of the dish. I made this Mutton / Gosht Biryani last night and I have to say I was very very happy with the results of this recipe. It is one of the best biryani's I have had to date. And yes, my husband loved it too.
Mutton / Gosht / Erachi - 500gms
Basmati Rice - 2 glasses
Onion - 4 medium
Ginger - 3inch piece
Garlic - 15 - 20
Green chilli - 2
Dry Red chilli - 4
Potatoes - 4 small to medium
Tomato - 1 medium
Fresh Yogurt / Curd - 2tbsp
Coriander leaves - 1 cup chopped
Turmeric pwd - 1tsp
Cloves - 8
Cinnamon - 3 (1 inch) pieces
Green Cardamom - 2
Black Cardamom - 2
Shahi Jeera - 1.5tsp
Jeera - 1/2tsp
Pepper - 5 to 6 crushed
Bay Leaf - 2
Saffron - 1 generous pinch
Milk - 2tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2tbsp
Ghee - 4tbsp
For the Rice:
Water - 3.5 glasses
Shahi Jeera - 1tsp
Jeera - 1/4tsp
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon - 1 small stick
Green Cardamom / Chhoti Elaichi - 1
Black Cardamom / Moti Elaichi - 1
Bay leaf - 1
Ghee - 1tsp
Start out with a few preparatory steps before the actual cooking, - wash and clean the meat and rub in with salt, turmeric and curd / yogurt and put it in the frig for an hour at least. Slice the onions, chop the tomatoes and keep aside. Peel the potatoes, wash, halve them and prick them with a knife and keep aside. Grind the ginger, garlic, green chillies and dry red chillies together and keep aside. Warm the milk and soak the saffron in it. Wash the rice and soak it in water.
I used my pressure cooker to cook this for two reasons - 1. I do not have a big vessel & 2. the pressure cooker has a thick bottom. Heat 2tbsp oil and 2 tbsp. ghee in the cooker, when hot add the shahi jeera, jeera, cloves. cinnamon, green cardamom, black cardamom, bay leaf and crushed black pepper. Stir it then add the sliced onions and fry till the onions turn translucent. Add the ground ginger-garlic-chilli paste and fry well. Keep stirring it so the mix does not stick to the bottom and fry till the raw smell of the ginger garlic has gone. Then add the marinated mutton and mix well. Saute it for about 10 to 15 minutes till you see the oil leaving the sides. Add the potatoes and stir to coat well with the masala mix. Then add the tomatoes and about half cup water and mix well. Let it boil once and check for salt, add some if needed and close with lid and cook till the mutton is done.
Separately, cook the rice to be done in time with the mutton. Boil the water and then add the shahi jeera, jeera, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, green and black cardamoms, salt and ghee. Stir it once and then add the rice. Stir the rice so it does not stick to the bottom. The rice has to be only 3/4th done. I did not want to drain the flavorsome water hence put less water and kept checking if more water was needed to get it to 3/4th done level. Once the rice is done take it off the gas and fluff it so it does not stick together. I took it out in a bigger vessel so I could spread it out a bit without clumping.
Scoop the mutton and its masala out leaving back as much oil in the cooker as possible. Divide the rice in half and layer one half of the rice in the cooker. Then sprinkle half of the coriander leaves on top of it. Put in all of the mutton on this layer and spread out evenly. Then layer the rest of the rice over the mutton and spread it out. Sprinkle rest of the coriander leaves on the rice. Spoon the balance 2 tbsp. ghee on the sides and top of the rice. Then sprinkle the saffron and milk over it and shut with the lid. I put the cooker on top of my tawa and put it on low heat for about 10-15 minutes. Take it off heat and leave it for sometime ideally an hour or so to give time for all the taste to be absorbed.
Serve the biryani with raita / yogurt and salad.

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