Saturday, July 28, 2012

Khushka Biryani

The word ‘Khushk’ in Urdu means plain or dry. Plain boiled rice is called 'Khuskha' rice, which is very common in Hyderbaadi Muslim households. The plain rice is served with a curry, mostly a wet curry. When the same rice cooked in meat stock, then it is called 'Khushka biryani'. The meat broth flavors the rice.

In Tamilnadu, this khushka biryani is made with a  few variations, coconut milk  is added to flavor the rice for a vegeterian version of the same.  Curry leaves, mint etc are also added to flavor the rice.

Few days ago, my foodie-friend Somnath da gave me  a rather interesting take on 'Khuska biryani' and  I found that to be most suited to my family's taste buds.  Since I was going to have it with Bhuna gosht, I wanted it to be simple and not overwhelming.  This version of 'Khuska biryani' needed use of saffron soaked milk to flavor the rice.

The delicate  and precise aroma of saffron and kewra water with  the gorgeous bhuna gosht...ah food can be such a pleasure...:)

Things you need to make khushka biryani

  • Basmati rice: 2cup
  • Ghee: 1tbsp
  • Shah jeera(black cumin): 1/2tsp
  • Cardamom: 3-4
  • Black cardamom:2-3
  • Cinnamon: 2-3(1inch) sticks
  • Cloves:6-7
  • Mace:1
  • Nutmeg:1/8tsp
  • Bay leaf:3
  • Black peppercorn:6-7
  • White pepper(shah marich) Powder:1/2tsp
  • Milk:1/3cup(80ml)
  • Saffron: few strands
  • Kewra water: 1/2tsp
  • Rose water:1/2tsp
  • Yellow food color:5-6drops
  • Salt to taste

How to make it:

1. Soak the basmati rice for 30min. Wash the rice and drain all the water.
2. Take warm milk in a cup, add saffron strands into it, cover the cup and let stand for 15min.
3. Take shah jeera, cardamom, black cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, mace, nutmeg, black peppercorn on a muslin cloth and make a potli(bag).
4. Take a pot. Add lots of water to cook the rice, add the potli and bay leaves and salt (2tsp). 
Remember that you should boil the rice in lots of water and salt. That would help the rice not to stick with each other, the bengali way we say that 'jhorjhore bhat'. Add the rice when the water is at rolling boil.
You have to par cook the rice (meaning 3/4 cooked and rest will get cooked later). Do not over boil the rice. To check if the rice is done you can take a grain of rice out and press in between your thumb and forefinger. If the grain breaks into 3 parts, it means your rice is cooked just right. Now strain the rice and spread it out on a flat tray or surface, so that it cools faster.

5.Cook till the rice is done 3/4. Drain and take the bay leaf and potli out of the rice.
6. Mix kewra water and rose water to the saffron milk and keep aside.
7. Take a heavy bottom pan, add ghee into it. Add the rice and milk mixture. Sprinkle some melted ghee, yellow food color, shah marich (white pepper) powder on the top. Cover the pan with aluminium foil, put the lid on, keep cooking in very low flame for 15min. Switch off the heat. But do not open the lid. Let it rest for another 20-25min. Open just before serving.

Garnish your Khushka biryani with golden fried sliced onions.

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