Lamb or Chicken – 1 kg, cut into pieces
Basmati Rice – 3 1/4 cups
Vegetable Oil – 1/2 cup
Onions – 4, large, chopped lengthwise
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Black Peppercorns – 1/2 tsp
Cloves – 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch stick
Green Cardamoms – 1/2 tsp
Mace – 1/2 tsp
Yogurt – 1 cup, sour
Salt to Taste
Yellow Food Colour – a few drops, dissolved in 1/4 cup milk
Saffron – a few strands
1. Heat the oil in a kadai.
2. Fry only half the onions till brown.
3. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain the excess oil on absorbent paper towels. Keep aside.
4. In the same oil, fry the remaining onions till transparent.
5. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute.
6. Add the red chilli powder and the whole spices.
7. Saute slightly.
8. Now add the lamb/chicken and cook on medium heat.
9. When the water evaporates, add the yogurt gradually till all is used up.
10. Add just enough water to cook the lamb/chicken till tender.
11. There should be no gravy left.
12. Boil the rice in plenty of water with salt. When almost done drain it.
13. In a large vessel, spread a layer of rice, then a layer of cooked lamb/chicken, and some fried onions.
14. Continue the layering till all the rice and lamb/chicken are used up.
15. Top with fried onions.
16. Mix the saffron with the yellow food colour mixture and pour it over the rice mixture.
17. Do not mix the rice at this point.
18. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
19. Remove from the oven and immediately cover the rice with a wet cloth.
20. Then place a lid on the vessel.
21. Before serving, remove the cloth and lid.
22. Serve the biryani.