About Biryani Pot
There is Biryani – and there is Hyderabad Biryani
Biryani has become a familiar dish of layers of savoury meat – usually chicken or goat – steamed together with basmati rice and spices. The bottom layer of rice absorbs the meat juices as it cooks, so giving that rice a tender texture and a rich flavour, while the top layer of rice remains white and fluffy. (Sometimes the meat is replaced by vegetables.)
While there are so many versions of Biryani, the most famous and the best are from Hyderabad. Even here there are around 40 different recipes but all of them share two characteristics:
The rich sauce gains its texture from fried onions.
The dish is prepared in and served from traditional clay pots.
Biryani Clay Pots
I have imported these pots directly from India.
Earthenware pots like these have been used in Indian kitchens for generations because they improve the cooking of the food in two ways:
They reduce the level of acidity and impart nutrients, so making the food healthier to eat.
They allow the heat and moisture to circulate, so allowing the entire dish to cook evenly.
(Of course, nowadays, they are also seen as being more protective of the environment than some other ’packaging’.)
How I Cook Biryani
I marinate the meat in a home-made ‘masala’ blend of twenty different spices and herbs.
After 12 hours, I place all the ingredients inside the clay pots, seal the lids with dough and cook the food over a low heat for a few hours.
How I Present Biryani
I bring my Biryani to you in the clay pot in which it has been cooked; and I bring in clay glasses as accompaniments:
'Mirchi ka Salan' - a traditional gravy made with peanuts, sesame seeds, tamarind and coconut
'Raita' - a cucumber and pomegranate yoghurt sauce