Especially for Mr. Mazhar!

As is my love for pasta, so is Mr. Mazhar’s love for biryani. And even though the idea of cooking biryani always seem daunting to me, I gave it a shot since Mazhar had been such a nice sport about trying out pasta with me. As it turns out it’s not that difficult after all!

I’ll be honest it is a bit more time consuming. Two separate dishes have to be prepared – the gravy and the rice – which then have to be assembled together and devoured 🙂 so one does need a bit of planning to get this dish ready and make it appealing to the high standards of Mr. Mazhar’s tastebuds. I guess I say this more so because I’m an amateur cook. I’m sure that to many a Pakistani cooks getting biryani ready may be as easy as pie! (Which is another thing I don’t find very easy but that’s going to be a separate blog).

I started out with chicken biryani as chicken is the most forgiving meat, I find, and it takes on flavours quite quickly. Then I dabbled my hand in the “other white meat”, seafood. Mostly prawns and it went quite well. Mr. Mazhar now insists that I get it on with red meat! My only concern in using red meat is that I might undercook it leaving it chewy or I might overlook it and make it hard as rubber… For now, though, my challenge is resting peacefully in my freezer. All of 1kg of it! I’ll let you know how I get on with it some time in the not so near future!

Recipes for all types of biryani can be found all over the Internet so I’m not going to pretend that I have my own special version. I don’t! Mostly, I have tried the recipe found on the biryani spice mix packets. Time for another confession – part of the reason biryanis are so difficult is that they use a lot of spices in the gravy. So I skip this mind boggling step and just buy the readymade spice mixes and I haven’t heard any complaints yet. I buy the Pakistani brands, usually from a Pakistani specialty store, to keep it as authentic as possible. Like I said before, no complaints, Alhamdulillah.

The one good thing about biryani is that it is a complete meal. Meat, gravy and rice. Most enthusiasts will not want for anything more if they can have biryani to fill their hearts desire. So I hope I have encouraged you to try your hand at cooking biryani. Serve it with some pickled onions, tomatoes and mint salad and some good raita and you will have a winning dish on your menu.

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