Saturday, April 27, 2013

the magic of the biryani of the dubai

Honestly, we all know the biryani isn't precisely local here, but really what actually is? This is by no means an ultra traditional number and I'm not here to divide nations and have battle lines drawn up, I just kind of know what I like. I think it would be proper to have it cooked under a pastry crust, which I'm not going to, so there's my first group offended. Here is simply my take on what has long been a downtown Satwa favourite. If you can do anything which might offer some authenticity to your buryani, do marinate the meat overnight as this helps massively to tenderise it
 
A Mutton Biryani
 
Serves 4-6
 
500g mutton, diced into bite-sized pieces
15g Greek or natural yoghurt
1 tblsp freshly grated root ginger, plus a 2cm knob of fresh root ginger, peeled
1 crushed garlic clove, plus 2 cloves, peeled
1 tsp mild chilli powder
1/2 green chilli, seeded and roughly chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds
Pinch of ground turmeric
2 tblsp olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
100ml single cream
Squeeze of lemon juice
Few drops of rosewater
Handful of coriander leaves
 
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
250g basmati rice, rinsed
2 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise
4-5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
Peel of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon
600ml hot lamb or chicken stock
Knob of butter
 
Marinate the mutton in the yoghurt, grated ginger and crushed garlic for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
 
Place the remaining ginger, garlic, chilli powder, chilli, coriander seeds and turmeric in a food processor and whiz to a fine paste. If necessary, add a little olive oil or water to get the paste moving in the processor.
 
Heat a large heavy-bottomed pan or a cast-iron casserole with a little olive oil. Tip in the onion and cook over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes until softened. Stir in the spice paste and cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add the mutton and yoghurt to the pan and season well. Stir in the cream and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook over a low heat for 11/2-2 hours until the mutton is tender. Stir the mixture occasionally and add a splash of water if the mixture looks too dry.
 
Now start preparing the rice: preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Sauté the onion in the oil in an ovenproof pan for 4-5 minutes until soft. Tip in the rice, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom and peel. Season and stir over a medium-to-high heat for 30 seconds. Add the stock, bring to the boil and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Transfer the pan to the oven for 20 minutes.
 
Remove the rice from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Mix through a knob of butter and season, fluffing the grains of rice with a fork to separate them.
 
Pile the rice on top of the mutton and sprinkle over the lemon juice and rosewater. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes to warm through.
 
Bring the pot to the table to serve. Stir through the coriander leaves and mix the rice and mutton together before piling on to individual plates.