Today it’s my pleasure to introduce another of my friends, Lail of With A Spin. Lail loves sharing her Bengali cuisine with the world, and does an amazing job with her recipes! So please give a warm welcome to Lail as I give you…..
With A Spin
Today’s recipe is a guest post for Chef Dennis. Being a guest blogger on his space is an honor. Thank you, Chef Dennis for inviting me to guest post on your award winning blog.
Before starting with the recipe, please allow me do a brief introduction of myself. My name is Lail Hossain and I am a mom, wife, daughter, sister, niece, a management consultant with one of the big fours and a blogger. Originally from Bangladesh, I am a committed lover of family and nature. I enjoy adding a spin to the culture I was brought up in; with the one I spent all of my adult life. I share my journey to tackle and celebrate everyday life through food, creativity and family on With A Spin.
Being welcoming and extremely hospitable is a hallmark of Bangladeshi culture. Visitors and friends are always welcome to drop in, sometimes even unannounced. Open doors, sheer hospitality, and friendly disposition are an integral part of the society. Add tons of mouthwatering food shared by the guests and host with chic-chat, laughter, love, and you have a complete picture of sociable Bangladeshis.
Naturally, I am very passionate about highlighting Bangladeshi cooking. When I started to think about my guest post on Chef Dennis’s blog, Kachchi biryani appeared to be the perfect dish to share with all of you, as I would have prepared if I were to welcome each of you in a large group to my home over dinner. Kachchi biryani is usually a featured dish for weddings and social gatherings and celebrations. Layers of meat, rice and potatoes are infused with warm and delectable blends of aromatic spices to prepare kachchi biryani. Whether it is a tender piece of mutton, potato, alubokhara(prune) or the rice itself, each spoonful is a mouthwatering surprise. I find this grand biryani to have lesser prep time because all the ingredients are put in layers and then in the oven instead of cooking the rice and meat separately and then combining (leaving me with less pots to clean afterwards also).
The term “kachchi” means raw referring to the biryani ingredients being combined raw in layers instead of first cooking the meat or rice separately. Traditionally, kachchi biryani is cooked in clay oven and the cooking pot is usually sealed with flour dough to allow the biryani to cook in its own steam. The sealed pot is not opened until the biryani is ready to be served. Several years ago when I was just starting as a novice cook, I was told many a times that kachchi biryani cannot be made in conventional oven or it wouldn’t taste as good. However, over the years, through trial and error, I have pretty much perfected the preparation. First time, I kept the biryani in the oven for 3.5 hours worrying about undercooked meat. Now I turn off the oven after 1.5 hours. Also, in my never ending quest to find an easier way, my spin to the recipe is to skip the sealing process with dough and instead just use a lid that perfectly fits the cooking pot; saves time and no sticky fingers and a lot less messy kitchen. The result is still a flavorful, divine kachchi biryani.
Cooking kachchi biryani is a labor of love and each time it is perfectly paid off when family and friends gather around the table to bond, enjoy and laugh together while savoring delicious, mouthwatering Biryani. It is a perfect celebration food for small family get-together as well as large gatherings.
A simple salad or a colorful one is sufficient as a side for kachchi biryani but traditionally; shami kabab and chutney are served alongside. To complete the meal, add candied winter melon, pranhara or pumpkin halva as dessert.
I hope you will give kachchi biryani a try and find out firsthand how flavorful and delectable this biryani is and enjoy as much as my family and friends does.
Share, enjoy, laugh, bond and have a fabulous Friday.
- 2 lb mutton
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 2 teaspoon garlic paste
- 3-4 dry red chili
- 2-3 inches stick of cinnamon half each
- 4-5 green cardamom
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon mace
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 6-8 allspice optional
- ½ teaspoon caraway seed optional
- 3 tablespoon yogurt
- ¾ cup ghee or butter
- 5 medium potato
- pinch of orange food color optional
- ½ cup onion thinly sliced
- 4 cups basmati or kalijeera rice
- 6 cups water
- ½ cup condensed milk
- 2 tablespoon milk
- pinch of saffron
- 10-12 alubokhara pitted prunes
- 4 eggs hard boiled
- Salt according to taste
- Sprinkle some salt on the meat and let stand for 15-20 minutes. Wash the meat and drain all water.
- Take all the spice from red chili to caraway seed, grind.
- Take the pot where biryani will be cooked. Add the meat and yogurt, ground spice mix and salt. Marinate for anywhere between 30 minutes to overnight(see notes).
- Add about 3 tablespoon of butter/ghee on a frying pan on medium heat.
- Add very thinly sliced onion and sautee until fragrant and golden brown.
- Wash, peel and cut the potato in big chinks. Usually into 3 pieces for a medium Idaho potato.
- If using, rub some orange food color to the potato.
- Sprinkle some salt.
- Fry the potatoes until slightly golden on the same pan used for the onion.
- Wash rice and drain all water.
- Boil 6 cups of water. Add salt.
- Add the rice.
- Turn off the stove at the first sight of water boiling again (bubble forming on the water) after adding the rice. Rice will be uncooked at this point.
- Drain the rice completely saving the drained hot water in another clean pot.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add the saffron to the milk.
- Add butter/ghee to 1 cup of hot water that was set aside in the rice preparing step.
- Add the prepared potatoes on top of the marinated meat.
- Sprinkle some fried onion.
- Add the alubokhara (prunes), if using.
- Add half the water-butter mixture.
- Layer in the prepared rice.
- Sprinkle the saffron milk.
- Make 4-5 indentations from the rice layer through the potato till the meat.
- Add the condensed milk through the indentations.
- Sprinkle the remaining water-butter mixture.
- Sprinkle the remaining fried onion.
- Add the remaining hot water in a way that water doesn't go above the rice layer. You may not need to use all of the hot water.
- Cook in the oven for 1.5 hours.
- Add the hard boiled eggs.
- Serve with salad, kabab and chutney.