Kaadai Biriyani. Peasant bird & spicy rice dish.
Food and culture go hand in hand and leaves its own print in history. India has layers of history still not erased. The country has witnessed more than a dozen of invaders and with every invader came a different culture and a new cuisine!!
Arab travelers and invaders introduced strong spices and several recipes to India, the most popular of which is the Biriyani. The fusion of different cultures and different food habits has refined the Biriyani recipe as to what it is today.
The word ‘Biryani’ comes from the Parsi word ‘Birian’ meaning ‘Fried Before Cooked’. Based on the cooking style, rice is fried before cooking. The original recipe can be traced back to Persia or modern day Iran. This was a royal dish for the Indian Kings and rulers. The Royal kitchen used to boast itself with varieties of meat – deer, hare, duck and quail!!!
Since the Mughal empire was widely spread, their Biriyani recipe can be still be found in places where the Mughals had a foothold even after they are long gone. The local and outside influences fused to create a few unique styles of biriyani.
Nawaab of Arcot, a small time south Indian ruler introduced several meat recipes to Tamilians. Arcot biriyani gets its unique flavour from strong south Indian chilies and short grain rice(Seeraga Samba). Duck, Turkey and Quail biriyani is still common in the country side.
For Meat Marination:
Quail/any mid sized bird 2
Ginger-garlic paste 1 spoon(freshly prepared)
Green chili 2 minced
Scallion 1 grated
Country Tomato 1 grated
Mint 6-8 leaves bruised
Cilantro leaves bruised few
Lemon 1 fruit freshly squeezed
Chili Powder 1/4 spoon
Yogurts 1/4 cup.
Short Grained Rice 2 cups
Green chilies 6 slitted
Onions 2 sliced
Tomatoes 6 chopped
Chili powder (optional…its not used generally)
Mint 10 leaves
Cilantro few leaves
Ghee 1 cup.
Cinnamon 2 sticks
Cardamom 6 crushed
Bay leaves 3 crumbled
Star anise 2
Marati Mokku 3
Rose petal few(dried)
Birinji flower 1
Saffron few strands – tapped
In a wide crock pot, heat ghee. Throw in all the spices. Let them crackle up.
Then add chilies, wait till it splutters and turns white.
Followed by onions…fry real good till golden. Maybe add salt o hasten your process.
Now tomatoes….cover and cook. When tomatoes turn pulpy, add chili powder.
Stir-in marinated meat. Cover and cook till meat is tender!
When the meat is tender and oil shows up on top, make sure there is no extra moisture. Then stir-in rice.
Let the rice get well fried for brief period. Then measure your water and add the same.
Cover and cook in a least possible heat. I always slow cook under sim, the no-1 knob here. Again it takes 1- 11/2 on stove top. Well one could set these in oven over 350 degrees for 3 whole hours. Choice is yours!
Enjoy with accompany of Vellore Serva, Spanish Onion raita and Hard boiled egg!