Okay!! Who hasn’t heard of Biryani? Almost everyone knows about this dish, right?
There is something very regal about Biryani and why not! This is a centuries old dish originated in the era of nawabs and nizams. Read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biryani
There are many varieties of biryanis out there, satisfying the tastes of Seafood lovers, Meat lovers to Vegetarians. And, everyone loves a good plate of well made biryani with some cooling raita on side.
I have made Biryani on many occasions, but this time around, I thought of kicking it up a notch and layer up the rich Kashmiri Dum Aloo with saffron flavored basmati rice.
The outcome of Kashmiri Dum Aloo Biryani was amazing. You not only get Kashmir’s rich, flavourful and hot Dum Aloo but also steaming hot basmati rice, scented with cinnamon, saffron, nuts – layered and slow cooked to perfection.
Kashmiri Dum Aloo Biryani is a biryani type, I came up with. It was an experimental dish and surprisingly, it became a hit with family and friends. I bounced ideas with a few friends first and asked them what they think about layering Kashmiri Dum Aloo and saffron flavored rice. They sounded excited. So, the first hurdle was overcome.
Second, I made my Kashmiri Dum Aloo Biryani, in a small batch and as usual my family was the guinea pig. They are also my worst critic, especially my older one. He usually doesn’t say anything negative about anything, but I would know I’m successful with a dish when he cleans off his plate. And he did with this one. So, the second and most important hurdle was overcome.
Then I made another batch for the blog and this time carefully measuring the teaspoons and tablespoons.
I hope through Kashmiri Dum Aloo Biryani, you will not only get to learn and cook one great dish which is the Kashmiri Dum Aloo but also, will be able to layer it up with some fragrant and saffron flavored rice to create a visually stunning Biryani dish which is a crowd pleaser.
- 15 to 20 baby potatoes
- 2 TSP Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 TBSP grated ginger
- 1 TBSP grated garlic
- 2 big red onions chopped
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes pureed
- 1 TBSP fennel powder/saunf powder
- 1 TBSP shah jeera/caraway seeds
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- 1 black cardamom
- 4 to 5 black peppers
- 1 green cardamom
- 10/15 cashews soaked in 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- salt as required
For the Rice:
- 1.5 cup Basmati Rice
- 2.5 cups of water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 TBSP cinnamon powder
- a pinch of turmeric
- 1 TBSP saffron milk
- 2 TBSP ghee or oil
- 1 cup deep fried onion
- Handful of cashew nuts for garnish
- 1 sprig mint leaves chopped
- 1 sprig cilantro finely chopped
- Few drops of rose water
To Make Kashmiri Dum Aloo:
- Rinse and boil the baby potatoes with their skin on. Make sure that they are only half boiled.
- Once they become cool, poke holes carefully in the potatoes all over with a fork. This will let the potatoes absorb the flavors of the curry in which they are getting cooked.
- In a pan heat oil and add the parboiled potatoes and begin to fry them on a low to medium flame until they are light golden and crispy.
- In a small bowl, whisk the yoghurt with chili powder, fennel powder and cumin powder.
- Grind the soaked cashew to a smooth paste.
- Heat the remaining oil. Add cinnamon, cloves, black cardamom, black peppers, green cardamom and fry for a minute or two.
- Add the chopped onions and sauté until they begin to soften for 4-5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and ginger and fry for a couple of minutes as it cooks. Turn the heat to a low setting and add the spiced yoghurt. Stir well for a minute and add the cashew nut paste. Stir for 2-3 mins. Add the tomato puree and stir for a further 2 minutes.
- As the curry starts to leave oil from the sides of the pan add the fried potatoes, water and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 mins stirring ever so often until the potatoes have soaked in the flavours and cooked all the way through.
- Switch off the gas and cover the pan.
- Rinse the rice, till the water runs clear and then soak the rice grains in water for 20 to 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, drain the rice grains.
- In a large skillet, heat ghee and fry the rice with cinnamon and salt until the rice is coated with the spices. Add saffron, water
- Cook on a medium flame until very little water is left. Lower the flame completely. Cover the pot cook for exactly 5 to 6 mins. Once rice is done, fluff it off.
- Make 3 to 4 alternating layers of Rice and Kashmiri Dum Aloo starting with the Kashmiri Dum Aloo layer in an oven proof deep bottomed pan
- Evenly add 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves, 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, a few drops of lemon juice, few drops of rose-water. Sprinkle a few saffron strands dissolved in 1 to 2 tbsp warm milk or water. For the yellow color, you can also dissolve one to two pinches of turmeric in 1 to 2 tsp water.
- Now cover the pan tightly and cook the biryani on dum for 30 to 35 minutes in an oven heated at 300 degrees F or alternatively, place the biryani on a heated tawa/griddle on a low flame for the same amount of time.