Qabooli Biryani

Qabooli Biryani
Qabooli Biryani

Qabooli Biryani, is a vegetarian delight from the land of Mughlai cuisine-Andhra Pradesh. It makes good use of routine items such as rice and lentils and creates magic on your palate! This dish is hot, spicy affair layered with cool, mint undertones.
Qabooli Biryani is an ancient recipe created during the Mughal regime in India. The term ‘qabool’ means acceptance in Urdu. This dish was one of the items prepared to welcome a newly-wed bride into her new home- signifying her ‘acceptance’ (qabooli) by her new family.
Such is the charm of ancient folklore that it takes you back in time and you immediately want to recreate and experience it for yourself! The best thing about it is that this recipe is extremely easy to make with ingredients readily available. So go ahead and surprise yourself with this easy wonder! Qabool hai?! 😉

Ingredients:
Serves 4
1 cup Indian basmati rice, soaked in water for 30 minutes
1/2 cup split Bengal gram, soaked in water for 15 minutes
3 large onions, finely diced
2 medium onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 black cardamom
2-3 green cardamoms
1 small cinnamon stick
2 tomatoes, finely diced
1 cup yogurt
1 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
1 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp biryani masala powder (optional)
2 tsp salt
Oil for frying
1/2 cup rice flour

Method:
Step 1: Take half a pan of water and add 1/2 tsp salt. Allow it to boil. Add the soaked rice and boil till just done. Drain the excess water. Don’t over boil the rice.
Step 2: Take 2 glasses of water in a pressure cooker. Add the soaked split Bengal gram, 1 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tsp salt. Cover and pressure cook on medium flame for 3-4 whistles. Allow it to cool. The gram should be just cooked not mushy. Drain the excess water and set aside. Do not throw away this stock.
Step 3: Heat oil for frying in a separate wok. Roll the finely sliced onions in rice flour. Deep fry till the onions turn crispy, golden-brown. Set aside.
Step 4: Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds, black peppercorns, black cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon stick. Mix for a minute till they begin to crackle. Take care to not let the spices burn.
Step 5: Add the finely diced onions. Lower the heat and sauté till they change colour to a light golden-brown.
Step 6: Add ginger-garlic paste. Mix till the raw aroma disappears.
Step 7: Next tip in the diced tomatoes. Mix well till they become soft and mashable. Also, the oil should separate here.
Step 8: Add the yogurt. Give it a mix. Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Give all the ingredients a good mix.
Step 9: Finally, add 1/2 cup each of mint and coriander leaves. Increase the heat and add the cooked split Bengal gram from Step 2. Mix well.
Step 10: Lower the heat, cover and cook for 5-10 minutes occasionally stirring in between. Add 1 cup of the stock kept aside earlier. Mix well. Check and adjust seasoning.
Step 11: Take out 3/4 of the above mixture in a plate aside. Add a layer of the cooked rice over the 1/4 part in the pan. Sprinkle some mint leaves, coriander leaves, and biryani masala powder. Next layer, add 1/4 of the mixture, a layer of cooked rice and repeat the process till all ingredients are used up.
Step 12: Finally, spread the crispy fried onions, add a dollop of ghee over the top and cover the pan with a lid. Seal apparatus with wheat dough and cook on low flame for 15-20 minutes. Your qabooli biryani is ready. Serve hot with spiced yogurt!

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