Biryani rice is common in much of Indian cuisine, both as a side and as a mixed side that is often tossed with the main protein of a dish. It’s flavorful, diverse, and a great recipe to have handy if you feel like getting creative in the kitchen!
1 tablespoon ghee or butter
½“ cinnamon stick
1 small bay leaf
4 curry leaves (you can buy them at any Indian grocery store)
¾ cup basmati rice, rinsed and drained
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 whole clove
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
4 strands saffron
½ teaspoon salt (more, if desired)
2 tablespoons (approximately) red onion, sliced thinly lengthwise
¼ cup roasted cashew pieces
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved (for garnishing the plates)
Melt ghee in a wide-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and curry leaves. Add rinsed basmati rice. Stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes, until rice becomes slightly toasted.
Add turmeric, clove, cardamom, and ginger. Stir well.
Immediately add garam masala powder, saffron threads and salt; stir well. Add 1½ cups of warm water to rice. Heat, uncovered, until mixture reaches the boiling point.
Cover saucepan and continue cooking over low heat for 15 minutes (do not uncover the pan while the rice cooks for the 15 minutes).
When rice is cooked, fluff gently, remove cinnamon and bay leaf; cover to keep warm. Top with red onions and cashews.
Check and adjust seasoning, and serve hot. You can also serve this dish with the hardboiled egg halves around the edges of plates sprinkled with black pepper, which is the traditional way to serve Chicken Biriyani.
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