Biryani is a rice based food made with spices, Basmati rice, and meat or vegetables. The dish originated from Persia (modern Iran) and has variations through out India, Arabia, and southeast Asia. You can use chicken, lamb, beef, and even eggs as your protein in this dish, but I just happened to have some goat meat in my freezer that I decided to use.

First the meat is marinated overnight in a mixture of yogurt, fresh mint and cilantro, garlic and ginger paste, and garam masala spice mix. The yogurt and spices will tenderize the meat so you want to start this dish the night before.

The goat is slowly braised in a pot for about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the cut. The meat should be very tender and can be pierced easily with a fork when it’s done.

The meat can be deboned at this point and set aside. The rest of the dish consists of semi cooked rice in Indian spices, caramelized onions, and saffron strands soaked in milk. The bright orange/yellow color of random areas of rice in the completed dish comes from the saffron strands.

The Basmati rice is first soaked in water for 30 minutes, then cooked for 7 or 8 minutes in simmering water until it’s almost done. I only used half of the rice that the recipe called for, and I think if you followed the recipe there would be too much rice. The rice is cooked with cloves, bay leaf, cardamom, and cumin, and it’s a good idea to slight toast the spices before cooking with the rice. This rice will cook faster than regular rice so you want to test it at 7 minutes to make sure it’s slightly undercooked. The rice is then drained and set aside.

To assemble the Biryani, a layer of rice is spread on the bottom of a baking dish and caramelized onions and some saffron strands and milk are dotted on the rice.

Then all of the cooked goat meat is spread on top of the layer of rice.

Finally a second layer of rice is spread on top of the goat, along with the remaining onions and saffron milk.

The entire dish is then wrapped in foil and popped into a hot oven for 30 minutes. You can sprinkle some chopped cilantro on top if you’d like.

I also decided to make Tidali Dal to go with the Biryani. Tidali just refers to the 3 different type of Dal beans, or split lentil beans. The beans are first cooked in some water until tender. Depending on what type of Dal you use, some may need to be soaked over night before hand, and would take longer to cook. The Dal I used only took about 30 minutes to cook until tender, so you want to check the cooking instructions that comes with your Dal.

Then some onions are cooked until they are starting to brown, and some chopped tomatoes and spice mix are added to the onions.

Once the onion and tomato mixture starts to dry out, about half of the cooked lentils is stirred into the pan.

Eventually, all of the lentils will be added to the pan and simmered for about 5 minutes. You can adjust the seasoning at this point. The Dal recipe is completely vegan.

To finish up the menu, I bought some local Indian grocery made Chipati bread, along with some microwavable Pappadums. Pappadums are these thin, crispy wafers flavored with spices that is ubiquitous in Indian cuisine. I always thought it would be really hard to make and fry up these paper thin wafers, but apparently you can buy premade ones and cook them in the microwave. There were many brands at the Indian grocery, so I just randomly picked one.

The instructions say that you should put it in the microwave for 50-60 seconds. I find that for my microwave, it only takes about 30 seconds, so it would be a good idea to try different cooking times.

The pappadum before looks like a piece of hard flour with spices laminate into it, and afterwards it looks exactly like the pappadums served at Indian restaurants.

you can see that after 50 seconds, my pappadum is a bit brown. It still tasted good but I will only do 30 seconds next time.

Goat Biryani Recipe: http://www.myspicykitchen.net/2008/08/07/hyderabadi-mutton-biryani/

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