Thursday, 8 December 2011




     1)    Biriyani rice (aged, scented, narrow grain raw rice) – 500 gm.
     2)    Ghee (clarified butter) – 2 tablespoons
     3)    Cardamom – 1 pod
     4)    Cinnamon stick – 1 inch piece
     5)    Cloves – 2 Nos.
     6)    Saffron – 2 pinches
     7)    Cashew nuts – 25 gm.
     8)    Sultanas or raisins – 25 gm.
     9)    Onions – 250 gm.
     10)    Hot green chilies – 3 Nos.
     11)    Tender ginger – ½ inch piece
     12)    Garlic cloves – 4 Nos.
     13)    Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
     14)    Tomatoes – 250 gm.
     15)    Eggs – 8 Nos.
     16)    Garam masala powder – 2 pinches
     17)    Water – 1 litre
     18)    Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
     19)    Salt – 1½ teaspoons

To Make:

          Hard boil the eggs. Break off the shells and set aside (for beginners, the method of boiling eggs is given in my boiled egg curry recipe). Wash and drain the rice. Set a wok on low heat. Put in t he rice. Pour in a tablespoon of ghee. Tip in the cashew nuts, the sultanas or raisins, the saffron, the cinnamon stick, the cloves, the cardamom and ¾ teaspoon of salt. Stir occasionally to roast slowly till the rice loses its stickiness.

          In another vessel, set a litre of water on high heat. As soon as the rice loses its stickiness, pour in the boiling water and stir till it comes to a boil. Turn down the heat to minimum and cover with a lid. Stir every few minutes to keep the rice from sticking to the base.

          In the meantime, peel the onions and cut into long strips. In another wok or pan, pour in the rest of the ghee and put in the onions. Set on low heat and stir occasionally to roast slowly. Keeping an eye on both the woks, slice the tomatoes into long thin strips and set aside.

          Peel the ginger. Use a mortar and pestle to crush the cumin seeds. Put in the ginger and crush it too. Now put in the garlic and the green chilies and crush them as well. Now put the entire crush into the onion in the wok. Check to see if the water in the rice has evaporated. If the water has disappeared fully, the rice is done. Switch off the lid and cover with lid.

          Stir the onion and the crushed ingredients. Put in the remaining ¾ teaspoon of salt. Add the tomato strips. Stir and sprinkle 2 pinches of garam masala powder. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You won’t need too much salt since you have already seasoned the rice. Stir for just 3 minutes for the tomatoes to blanch a bit, but not cook through. Add the boiled eggs and switch off.

          Take a tablespoonful of the cooked rice and mix in a pinch of turmeric powder till it turns uniformly yellow. Mix the turmeric rice lightly into the cooked rice. Your beautiful mouthwatering egg biriyani is now ready to serve.

To Serve:

          Spread out a thin layer of the cooked rice on a plate. The spread should be rounded in shape about the size of a large saucer. Put a couple of eggs with a scoop of the onion-tomato masala. Put more rice on top to cover the eggs and the masala. Pat it smoothly into a dome and serve. This recipe is enough for four small plates or for 2 large plates. If you have more guests, you need to make more proportionately.

          You will find that egg biriyani is easy to make and tasty to eat. In India, hot and sweet pickle, thick chutney, onion-tomato-green chili-curd salad and papad are served as accompaniments.


          As my children, my husband and I are predominantly vegetarian except for an occasional dish of eggs or seafood; I do not cook or eat any meat dishes now. I used to cook meat for my parents and I used to eat it with them when I was quite young. Based on those memories, I would like to give you a few tips to make chicken biriyani or mutton biriyani.

          It is better to select large (around 200 gm.) pieces of tender chicken or lamb. If you are using a kilogram of meat, it is necessary to increase the quantity of hot green chilies to 5 Nos. and the garam masala to 1 teaspoon. You will also need to put an extra half a teaspoon of salt (around 1¼ teaspoon in all) in the masala.

          Rub the crushed chilies, spices and the garam masala powder into the meat. Pour in 2 tablespoons of curd and massage the meat pieces. When the onions are nearly roasted, put in the meat. Pour in enough water to immerse the meat. Turn up the heat. When it comes to a boil, turn down the heat and put in the tomatoes. Stir occasionally and check to see whether the meat is cooked. If cooked, turn up the heat and let the excess water evaporate. Switch off and serve as described earlier including one boiled egg with a piece of meat inside the rice on each plate.


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