Malabar Style Beef Biriyani
Ingredients (Serves 5 – 6)
Malabar Beef Biriyani / Thalassery Beef Biriyani Recipe
1. Beef (beef with bones or boneless) – 1 kg, cubed
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tsp
Garam masala powder – 3/4 tsp (Recipe below)
Salt – As required
Water – 1/2 cup
2. Oil – 3 tbsp + 1 tbsp ghee
3. Ginger – 1 inch
Garlic – 7 cloves
Green chilies – 5 – 7
Curry leaves – A few
4. Onion – 2.5 cups or 1 large, thinly sliced
5. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
6. Tomato – 2 small, thinly sliced or chopped
7. Garam masala powder – 1.5 – 2 tsp (Recipe below)
6. Mint leaves – 1/4 – 1/2 cup, chopped
Cilantro – 1/4 – 1/2 cup, chopped
7. Salt – To taste
For the rice
8. Jeerakashala rice / kaima rice – 3.5 cups
Ghee – 3 – 4 tbsp
Whole spices – Fennel seeds – 1/4 tsp, Cardamom – 5 – 6, cinnamon stick – 1 inch, cloves – 8, whole black pepper corns – 1/4 tsp
Hot water – 7 cups (For 1 cup rice, use 2 cups of water. Some varieties of biriyani/ kaima rice may need only 1.5 cup water)
Salt – To taste
9. Fried onion – 1/2 – 3/4 cup
Fried cashews – 1/4 cup
Fried raisins – 1/4 cup
Mint leaves – 1/4 cup, chopped
Cilantro – 1/4 cup, chopped
Ghee – 1 – 2 tbsp
For the garam masala powder
Fennel seeds – 1.5 – 2 tsp
Cloves – 5
Cardamom – 5
Whole black pepper corn – 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon stick – 1/2 inch
Kus kus – 1 tsp
Grind all the above ingredients to a fine powder.
1. Marinate the beef pieces with turmeric powder, garam masala powder, ginger-garlic paste and salt for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator. Transfer it to a pressure cooker. Add 1/2 cup water and pressure cook for 4 – 5 whistles until soft. Reserve 1/2 – 1 cup of the beef stock (you can use this while cooking rice, it gives a nice color and a little extra flavor to the rice).
2. Coarsely grind ginger, garlic and green chilies in the small jar of a mixie.
3. Heat 3 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp ghee in a heavy-bottomed vessel. Add ground ginger-garlic-green chilly mixture. Saute 1 minute and then add thinly sliced onion and 1/4 tsp salt. Saute for 8 – 10 minutes until the onion begins to change color. Add turmeric powder and cook for a few seconds. Add tomatoes and mix well. Cook covered for a few minutes until they turn mushy and oil separates. Add 1.5 tsp garam masala powder, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and mint. Mix well. Add salt, to taste. Next add the cooked beef pieces, the remaining gravy (reserve 1 cup gravy for cooking rice) and mix well. Cover and cook stirring occasionally for about 8 – 10 minutes until thick. Open the lid and add chopped mint and cilantro. Taste-check and add more salt and garam masala powder, if required. Mix well. Switch off the flame and set aside.
3. To cook biriyani rice – Rinse and soak rice in enough water for 30 minutes. Drain well. Heat 3 tbsp ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan or a large pressure cooker. Add the whole spices and stir until fragrant. Add drained rice and fry for a minute. Add 6 cups of hot water and 1 cup beef stock/gravy. Bring to a boil and taste-check for salt. The water should be slightly salty. Cover with lid and cook until steam starts coming out profusely (if you are using a cooker). Put the cooker weight and cook for 2 – 3 minutes at low heat. Switch off. Open the lid after 10 – 15 minutes. The rice will be perfectly done. Fluff the rice gently using a fork.
4. To layer – In a heavy-bottomed vessel, spread half of the cooked beef masala at the bottom. Top it with 1/4 cup chopped mint and cilantro. Top it with half of the cooked ghee rice. Sprinkle fried onion, cashews, raisins, chopped mint, cilantro, a pinch of garam masala powder and a tsp of ghee. Spread the remaining beef masala on top followed by remaining ghee rice. Sprinkle fried onion, a pinch of garam masala powder or biriyani masala powder, fried cashews, raisins, chopped mint, cilantro and 2-3 tsp melted ghee. Cover tightly with an aluminium foil. Bake at 400 F for 15 – 20 minutes. OR Heat a large tawa at medium heat. Once hot, bring down the heat to low. Place the biriyani pot on top of the tawa and cook for 10 – 15 minutes. Switch off. Let it rest unopened for another 10 – 15 minutes in the biriyani pot. Serve hot with raita, biriyani chammanthi, pappadam and lemon pickle.