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Assamese Biryani

3 cups Basmati
1 cup Green peas
½ tsp turmeric
20 whole cashews
8 green cardamoms
4 black cardamoms
12 whole cloves
4 inches fresh ginger
1 bunch fresh Coriander
1 tsp. Asofoetida
Ghee for frying
5 small eggplants
1 small head broccoli
4 parboiled potatoes

Cook the rice in two portions: Cook the first as white rice, adding a little ghee, 4 green and 2 black cardamoms, smashed, along with broken cashew pieces and usual amount water for rice. Cook the rice and set aside. Cook the second portion as yellow rice, adding a little ghee, 4 cloves, ¼ tsp turmeric, and the usual amount of water. Cook and set aside. Mix the two cooked rices together and divide into two portions, ¼ and ¾. Set aside.

Chop the coriander and set in two piles. Mince and mash the ginger to a paste. Small the remaining cardamoms together. Fry the peas in a little ghee. Cut the vegetables into small pieces and parboil. Fry the peas lightly in a little ghee, adding half the coriander, 5 cloves, the ginger and the cardamom. Mix all together, place in an oven ready pan with tight lid. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.


Basmati rice - 2 cups
Water - 2 1/4 cups
Ghee or butter - 1/3 cup
Tomato - 1 large
Ginger, minced - 2 tsp.
Green Chillies - 6
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp.
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp.
Fennel seeds, crushed - 1/2 tsp.
Clove powder - 5
Asofoetida to taste
Cinnamon (powder) - 1/4 tsp.
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
Mint leaves - 1/4 cup
Cauliflower - 1 1/2 cups flowerets
Carrots - 1 cup (julienne cut)
Green Peas (dried) - 1/2 cup (soaked previous night)
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Pinenuts or Cashews - 1/3 cup

Soak the rice at least 2 to 4 hours ahead of time in water. Chop and grind the tomato coarsely. Grind ginger, green chillies, in 1/4 cup of water. Grind (crush) fennel, cinnamon and cloves in spice grinder or crush it with rolling pin on the cutting board. Heat a heavy bottomed large vessel (3 or 4 qt.). Add ghee and heat the oil in medium heat. Add the ginger, chillies mixture and saute for about a minute.

Add tomato and cook in medium high heat for 2 minutes. Add turmeric, asofoetida and fennel, cinnamon mixture and cook for another minute. Add the green peas and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the water from the rice and add the rice and saute for 3 to 5 minutes in medium heat. Add 2 cups of water, salt, coriander and mint leaves, raisins and nuts. Add the cauliflower and carrots. Bring the water to boil and reduce the heat to low. Cover the vessel and cook until the rice is cooked (takes about 1/2 hour to 3/4 an hour depending on the rice).

Cauliflower Biriyani

Basmati rice - 1 cup
Cauliflower - 1 medium sized
Green chillies - 6
Fresh thick curds - 1/4 cup
Ghee - 3 tbsp
Fresh grated coconut - 2 tbsp
Coriander - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Asofoetida - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Ghee - 2 tsp
Cashew nuts - 2 tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 small bunch
Lemon - 1
Amti masala (or curry masala powder) - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

Wash and soak rice for 15 minutes. Wash and cut cauliflower into florets. Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they pop, add cut green chillies, asofoetida, curry leaves and cashew nuts. Add cauliflower and fry till it becomes soft. Drain water from rice and fry with the florets for a few minutes. Add two cups of boiling water with salt and turmeric powder. When it starts boiling, add beaten curds, coriander and cumin powder and masala. Cover the vessel with a tight lid and reduce flame. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Before removing from the fire add fresh ghee. Garnish with grated coconut and coriander leaves. Serve with a piece of lemon.

Chana Briyani

Basmati rice 1 pound
White chana ½ cup
Chana dal 1/8 cup
2 inches Ginger, minced
3 Green chillies
½ tsp Chili powder
Tomato, 2 medium
Cinnamon, 2 1-inch pieces
Cloves, 6
Curd 1/2 cup
Chopped coriander leaves 1/2 cup
Chopped pudina (mint) leaves 1/4 cup
Juice of a lime
Garam masala powder 1 tsp
Asofoetida 1-1/2 tsp
Ghee, ½ cup
Salt to taste
A pinch of saffron mixed in 2 tbsps rose water

Wash and soak the chana for 10 to 12 hours. Pressure cook in same water for 20-25 minutes, without overcooking it. Add one tsp ginger, cinnamon and three cloves to the chana before boiling. Soak the dal for 15 minutes and cook till three-fourths done.

Heat half of the ghee. Add the ginger and chillies and sauté till a little browned. Add the chilli powder and tomato. Fry for few seconds more. Add the white chana (drain it) and chana dal. Stir for a few more minutes. Add the curd, lime juice, coriander leaves, pudina and masala powder. Stir well and remove from fire. Keep aside. Heat the remaining oil. Add the cinnamon and 3 cloves. Add one litre of water and salt. When it boils add the rice. Cook till the rice is done and water absorbed. Remove from fire. Remove half the rice. Sprinkle saffron mixed in rose water and a little of the masala powder. Spread the chana masala on the rice. Put the removed rice on top. Sprinkle the saffron, the masala powder and ghee on top. Press well. Keep on a slow fire for 10 minutes. Just before serving, mix the masala lightly with the rice, then offer.

Dumka Biryani

4 cups Basmati
One small Cauliflower
2 carrots
A handful of beans
A few Mint leaves
A handful of Coriander
½ cup Curds
Elaichi (cardamom) 10
Cinnamon 4 pieces
Red chilli powder 2 tsp
Turmeric, ½ tsp
Salt, 4 tsp
Lemon juice (2 big lemons)
Asofoetida 2-1/2 tsp.
Saffron, a sprinkle
Green chillies 8

Prepare a mix of Cauliflower, carrots, beans, coriander and mint, finely cut. Add curds, elaichi, cinnamon, red chilli powder, salt, turmeric, lemon juice, and green chillies. Leave the mix to marinate in the refrigerator for approximately 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, fry the elaichi and cinnamon in a little ghee. Add rice to fry along with it. After 5-7 minutes, add water 8 cups water and half-boil the rice. Once rice is half cooked (water is just gone), leave the rice to dry for a while. If time is short, spread the rice out on a baking pan to cool quickly.

Take the mix out of the fridge. In a large baking dish layer the rice, the marinated mix, and the remaining rice. Put five spoons of ghee on top. Sprinkle a little saffron on for color. Cover the top with a damp piece of muslin, then a tight-fitting (or weighted) lid to keep steam from escaping. Bake for 1-1/2 hours at 325 degrees F.

Hydrabadi Vegetable Biryani

Basmati rice 2 cups
Potatoes 1 cup
Carrots 1 cup
Cashew nuts ½ cup
Almonds ½ cup
Raisins ¼ cup
Glazed Cherries ¼ cup
Green chilies 4.
Ginger 2 inches
Turmeric powder ½ tsp.
Asofoetida 1 tsp.
Red chili powder 1 tsp.
Curd 1 cup
Saffron 1 tsp.
Milk 2 tbsp.
Mint (Pudina leaves) 1/3 cup
Coriander leaves 1/3 cup
Rose water 4 tsp
Ghee 2/3 cup
Salt To taste

Pick, wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Drain and replace with fresh water. Add half the spices and salt. Bring the rice to a boil and cook until the rice is done. Set aside. Peel, wash and dice the potatoes and carrots. Mince the green chilies. Scrape the ginger and mince. Clean, wash and chop the coriander and mint leaves. Soak the almonds in water, peel and keep aside. Beat the curd in a bowl and divide into two equal portions. Dissolve saffron in warm milk and add it to one portion of the curd mixture. Heat ghee in a baking pan, add the remaining spices and sauté over medium heat until it begins to crackle. Add green chilies and ginger and sauté for a minute. Add turmeric and chili powder, stir, add the chopped vegetables and stir for a minute. Add the portion of plain curd, stir, add 2/3 cup water, and bring to a boil, then simmer until the vegetables are cooked. Once the vegetables are done add the dry fruits and nuts. Sprinkle a little of the saffron-curd, mint and coriander on the vegetables, then spread half the rice and again sprinkle the remaining saffron-curd, mint and coriander and top it with the remaining rice. Place a moist cloth on top, cover the lid tightly. Put the sealed pan in a pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Kathal (Jackfruit) Biryani

Rice 2 cups
Green chilies 6
Green cardamom 3 powdered
Cloves 3
Lemon juice 1 tbsp.
Ginger ½" piece
Coriander 1 bunch
Saffron 2 tsps.
Milk ½ tbsp.
Salt to taste
Kathal (jackfruit) 1 pound
Ghee for frying
Green cardamoms 3
Cloves 2
Cinnamon 2 sticks
Bay leaves 2 nos.
Cumin ½ tsp.
Asofoetida 1-1/2 tsp
Ginger paste 2½ tsps.
Yogurt ¼ cup
Vegetable stock 2/3 cup
Cream 2 tbsps.
Red chili powder ½ tsp.
Lemon juice 1 tbsp.
Green cardamom powder ¾ tsp.
Javitri (mace) powder ¼ tsp.
Ittar (Kewra) 1 drop
Salt As required

Wash the rice and soak for 45 minutes. Crush the saffron threads with a pestle or the back of a spoon, soak in lukewarm milk and make a paste. Scrape, wash and cut the ginger into julienne's. Wash, deseed and finely chop the green chilies. Wash and chop the mint the coriander. Peel and cut the jackfruit into quarters, then core and cut the segments into 1½ chunks. Heat the oil in a kadhai, add the jackfruit and deep fry over medium heat until it cooks. Remove onto a sheet of absorbent paper to drain. Whisk the yogurt in a bowl. Heat the ghee in a khadi, add the green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves, stir over medium heat until the cardamom begins to change colour, and add the ginger paste. Sauté` until the moisture evaporates, then remove from the heat, stir in the yogurt, return to the fire and cook o low until the liquid evaporates.

Add the stock, red chilies and salt, bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the fire and, strain through a fine muslin cloth, squeeze the gravy into a separate pan. Now, add the jackfruit, simmer for 2-3 minutes, add the lemon juice, cream, mace, 3 cardamom and ittar, and stir.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 º F, boil 6 ½ cups of water in a pan, add the cardamom powder, cloves, salt and rice, and bring to a boil. Add the rosewater and lemon juice, and continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until the rice is three-fourths cooked. Drain and keep aside. Remove half the jackfruit and stock and return to medium heat.

Sprinkle in half the ginger julienne's, green chili, mint and coriander, and spread half the partially-cooked rice on top. Arrange the remaining jackfruit on the rice, sprinkle the remaining ginger, green chilies, mint and coriander, and pour half the reserved stock over it. Spread two-thirds of the remaining rice, and sprinkle with the reserved stock and saffron. Spread the remaining rice, cover with a lid and seal with atta (whole-wheat) dough. (Alternatively, cover the rice with damp muslin, then put on lid. Cook unit the steam begins to seep out of the dough, then remove and keep aside. Put the sealed pan in pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes at 350 farenheit, then break the seal and serve the biryani.

Potato and Green Pea Biryani

Basmati Rice 2 cups
Ghee ¾ cup
Cardamom 6-8
Clove 6-8
Cinnamon a few sticks
Bay leaves a few
Black peppercorns 8-10
Green chillies, chopped 2
Ginger, crushed ½ inch
Asofoetida, 1-1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Large potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces 3
Green peas ½ cup
Large tomato, chopped 1
Fresh coconut, grated 3 tbsps
A little turmeric or saffron
Milk ½ cup
Cashew nuts, lightly fried

In a little ghee fry half the cardamom along with, clove, cinnamon, bay leaves, pepper, chillies and ginger. Fry for a minute. Then add one and a half cups of water and salt and boil. Now mix in the potato pieces, green peas and tomatoes. Cover and cook till done and a little gravy remains. Mix in the coconut. Heat two tablespoons of ghee. Add the remaining spices and three cups of water. Add rice and salt and cook until done. In a thick vessel, spread half the rice. Cover with potatoes/pea gravy mixture. Spread the remaining rice over it. Cover the vessel with a wet cloth and a lid. Put on a slow gas and cook for 10 minutes. Heat the remaining ghee and pour over biryani. Garnish with golden fried cashew nuts. Melt saffron in the milk and pour over the rice before offering.

Vegetable Biryani #1

2 1/2 cups Basmati rice
2 cups thick yogurt
Chopped vegetables (carrots, beans, small cauliflower florets, peas)
6 med tomatoes, diced,
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. Fennel powder or crushed seeds
2 star anise
6 cardamoms
6 cloves, powdered
6 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. garam masala
2 tsp. Dhania (coriander) powder
1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
1 bunch chopped coriander
1 bunch chopped fresh mint
5 green chillies, slit
Grind to paste: (and add to above yogurt mix to soak)
4 green chillies
1 tsp. asofoetida
1 inch ginger

Put ghee in a frying pan, add washed drained rice, stir till oil coated and a brown till the rice is a little golden. Add 4-1/2 cups water and cook on low with lid on until rice is 3/4 quarters done. Remove from heat.

Grind 4 green chilies, an inch of ginger and asofoetida to a paste and mix with yoghurt. Sliver the veggies. Heat a little ghee and fry the bay leaves, fennel, star anise. Add the remaining spices and fry. Add veggies, stir until crisp cooked. Add yogurt mix. Add chopped mint and coriander, salt and asofoetida. And cook it down till thick and spoonable.

Pre-heat oven to 400. Spread some rice in a large baking pan, then alternate by spreading some of the yogurt mix. Repeat alternating rice and yogurt mix till everything is used up. Cover tightly with foil wrap by crimping foil over edges of pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Biriyani #2

2 cups Basmati rice
1 cups Vegetables steamed (peas, beans, carrots, cauliflower, etc.)
2 tbsp Raisins
2 tbsp Cashew nuts or slivered almonds
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp Clove powder
1/4 tsp Nutmeg powder
1/4 tsp Chilli powder
½ tsp Asofoetida
1/4 tsp Coriander powder
3 tbsp Butter

Soak the basmati rice in water for 30 minutes and drain well. Melt 1 1/2 T butter in a skillet and saute' the raisins and cashew nuts till they turn golden brown. Set aside. Melt remaining butter in the skillet and add basmati rice and fry till well coated and rice grains don’t stick together. Add all the spices and mix well. Preheat the oven to 375F .Empty the basmati rice into a baking pan, add salt and 1 1/2 cup of water. Cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is done. Add the still-warm vegetables, raisins and cashew nuts to rice. Mix well and offer.

Rice Tips

  • To separate every grain of rice and add flavour, add a spoonful of ghee when you bring the rice to a boil. Adding a teaspoon of lime juice also makes the grains separate, and makes rice look pure white. If you forget to add ghee or lime, you can also separate the grains after cooking by spreading a wet cloth over the cooked rice vessel and covering it with a plate for 10 minutes.

  • To refresh rice that’s been stored for long while, and to remove dust, wash the rice and drain off the water, then add two tablespoons of lemon juice and mix well. Leave it for an hour, then rinse thoroughly with water. The same process can be used for cereals and dal.

  • If your rice burns on the bottom bottom, lay a slice of bread over top of it and let it sit for a few minutes. This will help take away the burnt smell. If badly burned, scoop out the good portion of rice and run it under fresh water for few minutes, then put in a clean vessel and reheat.

  • When rice becomes too soft, allow it to cool and grind it in the mixer. Add minced green coriander, green chillies, salt, black pepper and juice of half a lemon to it. Make tikkis of this mixture by rolling rice in bread crumbs and frying in ghee.

  • If you first coat the rim of the vessel with butter or oil when cooking rice, the boiling water will not boil over.

  • Put a few red chillies, neem leaves or turmeric bits in with your stored rice to keep insects at bay.

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