Soak poppy seeds and cashew nuts in water for ½ an hour. Use very little water.
Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a vessel with a heavy lid and is big enough to hold rice and meat.
Toss in whole spices and let the aroma come out.
Add onion and salt. Cook till onion is transparent and moisture is reduced. Reduce flame to medium low.
Add freshly ground ginger and garlic and sauté till the onion is well done (at the verge of turning golden).
In goes the tomato and green chilli. Now let the mixture cook till tomato gets mushy.
Next toss in chopped mint and coriander leaves. Cover lid and cook for ten minutes.
Add meat pieces and mix well into gravy, covering pieces in gravy generously. Adjust salt to taste.
Mix in 2tbsps of yogurt.
Now put the lid on and cook on medium heat till water content from meat comes out.
Grind the poppy seeds and other ingredients listed into a fine thick paste. Take care not to add excess water.
Add it to the meat and mix well. Let it cook on medium low heat with lid on till meat is partially cooked.
The remove lid and simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally for it to cook well. Don’t add any extra water. Let the water content reduce
Add lime juice and garam masala powder a few minutes before switching off the gravy.
Rice for biryani:
Soak rice in water for 3 hours. Drain completely of water.
Boil seven cups of water and keep read before the following step.
Heat 2tbsp ghee in a vessel and add whole spices (indicated in ingredients).
Once aroma starts lingering, add rice and stir fry till almost transparent.
Add water and salt. When you taste the salt content of water should be a little more than required. Only then will the rice be perfectly
Cover with lid and cook on medium low heat till water is almost evaporated. Switch off and leave with lid for few mins.
Remove the meat and gravy into a bowl.
Spread a thin layer of rice at the bottom of cooking vessel.
Add a layer of meat generously covered in gravy.
Layer the rice and meat alternately into equal layers finishing with a layer of rice.
Sprinkle milk all over the last layer.
Put the lid on. If it’s loose, spread a kitchen towel on the mouth of the vessel before putting the lid on. This will make it air tight and
moisture wont escape.
Heat on a low flame for 30mins.
Meanwhile, heat oil to deep fry items for garnish.
Deep fry onions till brown.
Next fry cashews till golden.
And last raisins for just a minute.
When the biryani is ready, mix the rice and meat slowly from one side into a serving dish.
Garnish and serve steaming hot. Accompaniments of choice would be a raita or yogurt salad. In the picture, I have served yogurt with
chopped green chillies and pomegranate seeds garnished with a whole star anise.