Thursday, September 10, 2009

Biryani for dinner

My first attempt at making a biryani last month was such a sucess, I decided to make it again a few weeks ago when we had company for dinner. Second time around, it didn't turn out quite as well. Why does that happen when you have people over? It passed the taste test, but I made some basic mistakes. I used too much rice (and then over-cooked it), and I didn't cook down the chicken curry enough before layering it with the rice. It made for a tasty but slightly mushy feast.

A biryani is primarily a rice dish made using a lot of different spices in combination with meat or vegetables. It is different from a pulao (pilaf) in that the rice is prepared separately from the meat. The semi-cooked rice and meat are then layered in a large pot, which is then sealed tightly (with dough) and the biryani is cooked on dum (very slowly, traditionaly using hot coals) till it is ready. I used quality basmati rice, chicken, potatoes, and a gas stove! Attempt number three was perfection.

Dinner 080909

Third time lucky. I served it with a mint-cucumber raita.

Zampa Syrah 2007

The 2007 Zampa Syrah complemented the biryani nicely. It made for a memorable dinner.


  1. Oh, do you have a recipe to share? Biryani is probably one of my favorite Indian dishes. I've tried *many* times making it at home but haven't had much luck.

  2. yum. That sounds pretty involved! I recently read about a book of quick Indian dishes that I need to get my hands on, since I'm always thinking Indian food requires too much time (but I guess it IS worth the time!).