Dubai: Don't let the long list ingredients deter you from preparing one of the most sumptuous one-pot meals in culinary history.
There are a few things you should keep in mind, said Executive Chef Poonsak Sumonratanakul at Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel, Dubai, senior member of the Emirates Culinary Guild.
Below are his suggestions:
You want the rice fluffy with each grain separate. To achieve this, pre-soak 1 kg rice for about an hour and drain. When ready to cook, heat a pot, add 75g ghee (clarified butter), followed by the rice. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add 1.5 litres of water, cover and cook till al dente.
Instead of cooking oil, use ghee as it will make the biryani more flavoursome.
If cooking with meat, marinate with spices, salt and yoghurt to tenderise and to ensure the meat is well flavoured.
Instead of depending on store-purchased ready biryani spice mixes, take the effort to grid the required dry spices and store. Use when needed. It will have that distinct home-made taste.
To avoid the biryani from sticking to the bottom of the serving dish, place sliced tomatoes as the bottom layer, and then top with biryani.
When adding saffron, soak in a small quantity of hot water for about 10-15 minutes. When ready, use the strands as well as the water, which will add yellow colour.
If you burn the biryani, turn off the heat immediately. Transfer the good portions into a different dish, and add dried lemon to balance out the charred flavour.
When cooking dum style, use pastry sheets to cover the clay or copper pot. It is faster than rolling out the dough yourself.
A mistake most people make when making biryani is overcook it. Turn off the heat at the right time. (This tine varies depending on whether you are cooking meat, vegetable or fish.)
Lamb will result in the most flavoursome biryani, but takes the longest to cook. For quick biryanis, use shrimp or vegetable.