4 Keys to Making Incredible Biryani

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Good biryani is everywhere, but great biryani can be very tough to
come by. Most chefs don’t realize that there are a couple simple keys to
creating incredible biryani.
Here is what you need to know:

photo credit: bigapplecurry.com

1)
Layering – Great biryani should always be layered. Too many people
create their biryani in one pot. Unfortunately, by doing this, you
inhibit the proper contrast of flavors that allows biryani to really
shine. When cooking biryani you should always cook the rice separately
from the masala and then combine these ingredients in layers toward the
end of the cooking process. By layering your biryani with white rice
& masala you make sure that every bite gives you various flavors and
textures that can be intense, mellow, surprising, and always unique.

2)
Removing and Distributing the Oil – Once the masala and meat are cooked
there’s typically a large amount of oil remaining that rises to the top
of the pot. This oil has been imparted with some very rich flavors as
it has usually been simmering for upwards of an hour with a range of
spices (e.g., cardamom, cinnamon, clove). The oil however should be
removed from the masala for two reasons: a) if it’s not removed the meat
can taste too oily when served, and b) by removing the oil and
re-distributing it on top of the rice you’re instilling the rice with
the rich flavor of the oil and allowing the flavor of the masala to
really penetrate the entire dish.

3) Proper Use of the Bones –
Unfortunately, all too often the meat bones from the lamb are not used
properly to flavor the biryani. First, if you’re not cooking with the
bones, you have to start. Bones can be used to impart deep flavor from
the meat into the entire dish. The bones should always be used to flavor
the masala. They should be cooked in the oil where they will release
their flavor into the oil and then they should be removed. If the bones
are kept in the oil too long they will soak up too much of the masala
and spice flavors which should be imparted onto the meat.

photo credit: spicesandaroma.in

4)
Rounding out the Flavor – Most biryani contains core ingredients like
garlic, ginger, onion, chili powder, but many forget to balance these
flavors in the end with something to offset their spice. A combination
of yogurt, coconut, and herbs need to be added to the masala toward the
end of its cooking in order to balance the spicy flavors. These
ingredients will make sure that the spice from the biryani is not too
hot or harsh. If added too early however these ingredients can over
cook, so they must be added toward the end of the preparation just as
the masala is coming together.

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