Dum Biryani


  3/4th cups black channa(Bengal Gram) soaked overnight
  2 cups Basmati rice
  3 tb sps chopped onions
  1t sp ginger paste
  11/2 t sp garlic paste
  2 tomatoes chopped or 2tb sps tomato puree

  Whole masalas for the rice
  5-7 green cardmoms
  5 cloves
  3 1" sticks of cinamon
  11 pepper corns
  3 bay leaves

  Dry masalas for the channa
  1 tb sp dhania(coriander) powder
  1/2 t sp chilli powder
  1/2 t sp haldi (turmeric) powder
  1 t sp garam masala made with coarsely ground (3green cardmoms, 1" stick cinamon, 3 cloves 5 peppercorns)

  Msalas for the layers
  1 large onion sliced fine and fried crisp.
  1 cup fresh chopped mint  and coriander leaves and 3 green chillies

  2 tb sps cooking oil
  2 tb sps pure ghee (clarified butter)
  a good pinch of saffron strands soaked in 1 tb sp milk
  1/2 - 1 t sp kewra essence for the aroma

  • Wash and soak the rice for 1/2 an hour.
  • Boil 8 cups of water in a large saucepan with 2 t sps of salt and all the whole masalas. Add the washed rice and boil till its almost cooked.
  • Drain the excess water and spread the rice in a platter so that the grains stay separate.
  • Heat the oil in a pressure cooker, fry the chopped onions till golden brown.
  • Add the ginger garlic pastes and fry till the raw smell goes.
  • Add the dry masalas with a little bit of water and fry for 3 minutes.
  • Now add the channa that has been soaked over night.
  • Add the tomatoes/tomato puree and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Add the coarsely ground garam masala and mix well.
  • Add 21/2 cups of water, close the lid and pressure cook on high heat till high pressure is reached.Lower heat and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Let the cooker cool down , open the lid and dry out the excess water if any.It should be moist with thick masala but no curry.
  • Now you are ready to put the biryani together.
  • Take an over proof dish and spread the ghee at the bottom.
  • Divide the rice into 3 portions and spread 1 part in the dish.
  • Layer the rice with the fried onion, green mint , coriander and green chillies.
  • Add a layer of 1/2 the cooked channa and top with a layer of rice.
  • Repeat another layer similarly and top with the 3rd portion of rice.You are ready to add the flavours.
  • With your finger ,make holes in the layers of rice . Pour a few drops of the saffron milk into each hole along with a few drops of Kewra essence (optinal).
  • Cover and seal with aluminium foil .Cook in a pre heated oven for about 20 minutes.Alternately cook on an indirect low flame (on dum).
  • Open the foil just before serving.
  • Serve with raita of your choice.