Name one dish that you’d want for a celebration with your family and loves ones.
Was it biryani?
Well, even if it wasn’t, it was a darn good guess!
Today we won’t be talking about how to make Biryani, but rather, how not to make it. This is a very general guide, for any type of rice or any style of Biryani.
The most common thing that goes wrong is the rice turning mushy/overcooked. The first step towards avoiding this is to wash the rice at least 3 times to remove all excess starch since too much starch makes rice clump together. Next, soak the rice for at least 30 minutes or more, depending on the recipe.
To avoid overcooking the rice, measure the quantities of water and rice as precisely as you can. A general rule while cooking rice on dum is, to cook uncovered until the rice expands and almost reaches the level of the water. Then cover it and place it on dum.
Undercooking the rice is an equally painful mistake, but easier to rectify than an overcooked mush!
Flavour is the next thing that could go wrong. Many people complain that home-cooked biryani lacks the flavour that restaurant biryani has. While there are definitely some factors that are difficult to replicate at home (such as cooking on woodfire), you can definitely make a biryani that is just as tasty.
Biryanis from different regions of India have varying ingredients, but one thing that is constant is the presence of whole spices. Biryani should get most of its flavour from whole spices, for that signature taste. The reason that restaurants have ultra-flavourful biryani is that they flavour even the water for cooking the rice, with whole spices and other ingredients. Also, make sure to fully season and taste the water, to check for salt. So the next time you get an elaichi in your biryani, thank it for being the flavour bomb that it is.
Apart from this, try not to skimp on the use of oil/ghee. Fat is flavour, and it is best to use the recommended quantity of fat to cook your biryani.
The protein- irrespective if you’re vegetarian or non-vegetarian, the options for making a biryani are still plenty.
Right from vegetables to paneer to soya or raw jackfruit, to meats and seafood there is never a lack of variety. The cooking time varies according to the variety chosen and the quality of the produce so following a recipe to the dot may be your key here.
So once you’ve fixed the above steps and have cooked the biryani. Then comes the moment of truth.
Something that often goes wrong at this point, is that some of the biryani has stuck to the bottom of the pot. Make sure to use a heavy-bottomed pot always, for cooking biryani. If you don’t have one, you can also use a pressure cooker without the weight and the gasket. Since pressure cookers usually always have a thick bottom, you can use it as a heavy-bottomed pot.
So now that you’re armed with this knowledge, go ahead and make some flavour-packed pots of biryani. And do share the knowledge!