Mushroom Biryani Recipe
This recipe was on my mind for a long long time. Then there was that age-old debate to either call it a pulav (rice mixed with freshly ground masala) vs biryani which is rice layered with a thick slow-cooked gravy along with meat. None the less I am calling it Biryani because the process and ingredients followed here is pretty much similar to its non-veg cousin.
I've used button mushrooms to make this, so do not know how it would taste if any other variant is used. However, you can try this recipe with a medley of veggies as well, preferably beans, carrots, peas and cauliflower florets.
A good biryani as per me always makes use of excellent quality Basmati rice. Parboiling it with a bouquet of whole spices, without overcooking and avoiding that urge to constantly stir is the key to long-grained, non-sticky biryani rice. I personally prefer Daawat Brand.
I will be making a separate post with details around how a homemade, super fragrant Biryani masala can be made at your home. Trust me its a super-strong blend of spices and you will forget to ever use a store-bought variant :) But if you are in a hurry, do feel free to use any Biryani masala powder available in your nearby grocery store.
Also, like any Biryani recipe, this dish calls out a for a decent amount of prep work. Golden fry your onions in oil/ghee until slightly crispy. Marination of your chopped mushrooms and parboiling rice are some of the critical steps.
2 cups - Basmati Rice
400 g - Button Mushroom, cut in two halves
4 large Onions - sliced
2 large tomatoes - chopped & pureed
2 Bay leaves
1 tsp - Caraway seeds
1 tbsp - Biryani masala
1/2 tsp - Garam masala
1 tbsp - red chilli powder (adjust as per preference)
1/4 tsp - turmeric powder
1 tsp - coriander powder
5 Green Cardamom
1 tbsp - ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp - Saffron strands, soaked in 2 tbsp milk
4 tbsp - butter, unsalted
3 tbsp - ghee
2 tbsp - refined oil
Few mint & coriander leaves for garnish, during the layering process
For the marinade:
2 tbsp - Biryani masala
1 cup - thick yoghurt
4 tbsp - coriander leaves
1 tbsp - mint leaves
salt to taste
Soak basmati rice for 20mins and parboil (half cook) with sufficient water, a tbsp oil and 1/2 tsp salt with a bouquet/potli of 2 Cardamom, 1-star anise & 4 cloves. Drain the excess water and set aside for later use.
In a bowl add in chopped mushroom, mint & coriander leaves, biryani masala, yoghurt. Mix well and let this marinate for 30mins.
Heat oil in a wok and fry the sliced onions until golden brown and crispy, ensure not to burn them. Drain on a tissue/absorbent paper. Set aside.
Heat oil & ghee in a deep bottom vessel, add whole spices - caraway seeds, cardamom & bay leaves - let them splutter.
Add 2 thinly sliced raw onions, ginger garlic paste and cook until they are translucent. Next, add in the pureed tomato, along with spice powders; coriander, turmeric & chilli. Cook until the oil separates from this mixture with intermittent stirring.
Add salt to taste, biryani masala & the marinated mushrooms and cook until it releases its water & is reduced to a nice thick semi gravy with a closed lid on a medium simmer.
Take out 3/4 of this quantity for layering.
With the bottom layer as mushroom mix, top up with a layer of parboiled basmati rice, sprinkle golden crispy onions and a tsp of saffron milk. Continue this layering until all of the gravy and parboiled rice layers are done.
Finally, sprinkle coriander and mint leaves. Seal the vessel with a lid and roti dough around its circumference or you can keep something heavy to avoid the steam from escaping to give it a "Dum Biryani" effect. Cook on a low flame for 6-8mins.
Turn off flame & let it sit, undisturbed for another 10mins before you remove the lid.
Serve hot with raita