This legendary Keema biryani is from city of pearl, Hyderabad. Keema biryani is a fabulous dish made with fragrant minced lamb or goat cooked in aromatic spices and then cooked once more with scented basmati rice in dum preparation.
In early 2000 when I moved to Hyderabad for work, I was introduced to completely different set of flavor combo, an explosion of flavours unknown to me before and I was completely charmed by the city food and culture. Hyderabad is a unique blend of Nizami and Daccani-Telengana cuisine and it is very much evident by some of city’s legendary food dishes that has acquired almost a cult status. Hyerabadi biryani, arguably the mother of all biryani but equally legendary are its khubani ka meetha, mirchi ka salan and the bomb – Hyderabadi baghare baingan.
Keema biryani , also known as keema pulao is essentially a one pot rice dish, worthy of special occasions, subtly spiced and made with minced lamb or mutton and fragrant basmati rice. Birista or crispy fried onions always brings a huge difference to any biryani dish, but here unlike the other biryani variants, handful of finely chopped cilantro and mint leaves infuse it with fresh flavours.
This is one of my favorite biryani, try this and am sure you will too fall in love with it.
- Basmati Rice: 250gm
- Minced Lamb (Keema): 300 grams
- Caramelized onion : 1 cup
- Onion (sliced): 1 large
- Cinnamon stick: 1" piece
- Black Cardamom: 3
- Cloves: 4-5
- Green Cardamom: 3-4
- Black pepper: 3-4
- Bay leaf: 1-2
- A few strands of Saffron
- Red Chilli Powder: 1 tsp
- Cumin powder: 1tsp
- Nutmeg powder: 1tsp
- Whipped Yogurt : 3 tbsp
- Ginger – Garlic Paste: 1tbsp
- Milk (warm): ¼ cup
- Rose water and keora water: few drops
- Clarified butter (ghee) or cooking oil: 100gm
- Salt to taste
- Wash the rice thoroughly with few changes of water and soak it for at least 30 minutes. Cook the rice with one teaspoon of salt and three black cardamoms until it is just half done. Drain out the water and set aside in a large colander until last drop of the water drained out.
- Then spread the rice evenly on a large dish. Each grain of the rice should be moisture free.
- Meanwhile mix the saffron in warm milk and set aside till the color appears.
- Heat the clarified butter or ghee in a skillet or deep pan; add the sliced onions and fry until it is translucent. Add the bay leaf and whole spices and allow spluttering.
- Mix in the minced meat, ginger-garlic paste and fry for 10 minutes over medium heat.
- Once the lamb is fried to golden brown in color and leaves its aroma, turn off the hat and wiat for couple of minutes before adding the yoghurt.
- Mix in the whipped yogurt along with the red chilli powder and cumin powder; continue to cook over low heat for another 10 minutes. Turn off the flame and set aside.
- Prepare a bed of rice in dekchi or any heavy bottom pan with half of the cooked rice. Spread the cooked keema or minced meat over the rice along with the saffron milk, a few drops of keora and rose-water and sprinkle the nutmeg powder over it. Cover it with the rest of the rice.
- Finish it off with the caramelized onions.
- Seal the lid of the pan with dough so that the steam can not escape from it. Cook it in dum on slow heat for another 15 minutes or till done.
- Serve the hot keema biryani with your choice of accompaniments.
Some of the other unique biryani flavours are here –