Lamb Hyderabadi Biryani
For months I've been wanting to make biryani using my cast iron pot, but too often I have to cook for a large group of people hence requiring our huge old school style aluminium pots. So last weekend, when Mom asked me to make biryani for my two favorite dodgeball players who's coming for a quick lunch, I decided to put both my cocottes to test.
I started out by preparing all the ingredients according to the fool-proof 'Athene Spices' Hyderabadi Biryani recipe. Then I distributed the chicken + lamb plus marinate evenly to cover the bottom of each pots completely. Next, I boiled the rice in a stock pot large enough to bring the water, whole spices and rice to a rolling boil.
Getting the right amount of water was always my Achilles' heel when it comes to cooking rice, plain or fancy! And that's why I decided to make the water measurement for the recipes for rice cooked with Athene Spices as simple as possible! And when it comes to Hyderabadi Biryani, you don't even have to measure the water to cook the rice!
I then layered the rice on top of the marinated chicken/lamb, with the fried onion and coriander leaves, and finally topping the rice with saffron infused rose water.
The Hyderabadi Biryani spice from Athene Spices uses premium whole spices in it's preparation, without any artificial additive, flavoring or coloring, and it's free of MSG too! Best part of all, it makes cooking so simple; who would have thought that you can make a biryani dish that's as good if not better than the one from your favorite restaurant, with little effort and no slaving in the kitchen for hours.
The rice turned out fluffy and not dry, plus the chicken and lamb are juicy, perfectly spiced with Athene Hyderabadi Biryani spice mix,full of flavor, thanks to the heavy lid that seals in all the flavor and the spikes that continue basting the rice with the steam droplet as the chicken and lamb cook.
And the smell that permeates the air as I opened the lids is just heavenly, the rice has been infused with the fragrance of the spices added to the dish and as you scoop the rice out, mixing the meat, spices and fried onion as you do, you have perfection ready to be savored.
Athene Spices Hyderabadi Biryani
2 tbsp. 'Athene Spices' Hyderabadi Biryani Spice Mix
1 chicken, cut into 8 / 2kg lamb or mutton
1 tbsp. ginger paste
2 tbsp. garlic paste
salt to taste
1 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. yogurt
30g coriander leaves, coarsely chopped.
2 green chillies, cut lengthwise
6 onion sliced
2 tbsp. ghee
12 whole almonds
oil as required
1kg basmati rice
2 bay leaves
1 stick of cinnamon
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
salt to taste
1 tbsp. lemon juice
20g coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
a pinch of saffron
3 drops of yellow food coloring / 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp. rosewater
Mix all the MARINATION ingredients plus 1/2 of the fried onions and 2 tbsp of the oil used to fry the onion. Marinate for 30 minutes. Place all the marinates in the pot you are using to cook your biryani rice.
Wash and soak biryani rice for 30 minutes. Boil water in a pot, add all the ingredients from RICE except rice. When water reaches boiling, add rice.
Put the pot with the marinated meat over slow fire. When the rice is half cooked, ladle gently half of the rice over the marinate, scatter remaining fried onion and coriander leaves from DECORATION. Gently top with remaining rice. Drizzle with the saffron, color/turmeric and rosewater. Top with the fried almond. Cover pot tightly, seal with wet towel if needed. To control the heat as not to burn the marinate at the bottom, place an old flat pot cover on the fire to create barrier between pot and direct heat.
Cook for 25-30 minutes, until small steam starts to escape. Scoop rice from the bottom of the pot to mix it together for serving.
Note: If you are cooking with lamb or mutton, you can cook the the marinated meat until it's cooked through first before topping with the rice to ensure even cooking.