Beef Biriyani

Have you heard of 'Kalyani' before? No, I didn't mean the girl 'Kalyani' but the biriyani which is sold by the name 'Kalyani' in Hyderabad? It's nothing but a biriyani made with beef. I've never heard of it until I got married. Jobin used to mention about Kalyani every now and then and how much he loves it.So I thought of making some at home. Amma used to make Beef Biriyani once in a while but Chicken Biriyani was the most preferred at home, since my brother likes it and the rest of us didn't mind :) Looks like this month is a Biriyani month for the two of us...with the Afghani Ruz Bukhari making an entry into our lives, this is the second one for this month.
Beef Biriyani

This is a very simple and easy biriyani recipe with delicious results. You can substitute Mutton/Goat meat for Beef (or even chicken, but cooking time will vary) because I know a lot of people especially Indians, don't eat beef due to religious reasons.I made the meat and rice separately as always and this time I used a Pressure Cooker to fasten up the process and I must say I will be using that step for all biriyani's now saves a lot of time especially when you are hungry! Well, that reminds me of the 'Cooker Biriyani' Amma makes...I should get the recipe from her.
Beef Biriyani

You can use boneless meat or with bones, the choice being yours. Personally I feel meat with bones tastes better as the juices from the bones add to the taste. Sorry, vegetarian folks, this might sound way too much detailed for you :)

My own recipe
Serves 8

For the rice:
3 1/2 c basmathi rice, washed and drained (no need to soak)
1/4 c ghee/oil / unsalted butter
1 stick cinnamon
4 pods green cardamom
3 cloves
Salt to taste
7 cups water

For the beef:
2 lbs/ 1 kg beef , cut into 2 inch cubes
2 big onions, sliced fine
10 green chilles, slitted (or to taste)
2 medium size tomatoes, chopped small
4 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (this is optional if you don't want it to be too spicy, but I added it)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 c yogurt, whisked
1 bunch coriander leaves/ cilantro , chopped
1 bunch mint leaves ,chopped
Salt to taste
Lime/lemon juice to taste
5 tbsp ghee/oil/unsalted butter

Wash and clean the rice.Drain out the excess water.
On medium- high,heat oil, add the spices and after 30 secs add the rice.
Fry the rice for 3-4 mins, stirring constantly. Add the water and salt to taste. Cover it and let it come to a boil. As soon as it boils, reduce the flame to medium- low and cook covered for 15 minutes.
After 15 mins, switch off the heat and fluff up the rice with a fork.

Heat the oil in a pressure cooker or a pan with tall sides. Add the onions and saute till soft and translucent.
Add the green chillies and saute till it is soft. Next, add in the tomatoes and cook till they become soft.
Add in the ginger garlic paste and mix well.Add the powders and mix well for a minute or 2.
Add the meat and mix well.Now, add in the whisked yogurt,herbs,salt and water if needed. Mix together for one last time and close the cooker with the lid. Cook for 5 whistles (It totally depends on how tender or how tough your meat is, I needed 5).Let the pressure go down on it's own. Open the lid, stir, taste and see if everything is alright.
If there is too much gravy, cook and reduce it. If you need it to be a bit tangy, add some lime/lemon juice.
When I opened the cooker, it was perfect, the oil could be seen on top and the meat was cooked completely.
You will not need a lot of gravy or else the biriyani might taste watery after you assemble it. Make sure you have gravy to the level of meat.

Take a pan with tall sides. Brush the bottom and sides generously with ghee/oil.
Put a layer of meat , cover it with a layer or rice. Then you can sprinkle some fried onions, garam masala and some turmeric water/saffron over it for colour.
Repeat the process one more time. Cover with a tight fitting lid and let it simmer for 30 mins.
When you serve, dig all the way down to the last layer of meat so that you get all the goodness the way you layered it.
Serve hot!

* I personally feel any biriyani tastes good the next the flavours get mixed very well over time.

Verdict: This was very well received and we had a very delicious Sunday Dinner :)
I'm sending the biriyani to The Kerala Kitchen event hosted by Magpie.

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