Kofta Biryani is a variation of a biryani where kofta made from paneer and bread is layered with the gravy and rice with spices and then it is cooked on a slow flame (dum) before serving. It is a one meal dish and can be enjoyed on different occasions and potluck.
I enjoy making this biryani as I like the process of making it. I like the combination that it is made of- kofta with the rice. My friend in Pune, (Jiya Karamchandani) loves this biryani and tell me that the combination of kofta and rice with the masalas and gravy tastes similar to Non veg biryani. The gravy is made using onions, tomatoes, ginger garlic and is flavored with the regular spices available at home. There is no special biryani masala or any other specific masala used, yet the flavor of the biryani is enhanced when the gravy and koftas are cooked together. Also the taste of biryani is enhanced by using the yogurt coriander and mint mixture. Take care the yogurt used in the biryani should be fresh. Do not use sour yogurt.
You can just combine the rice, gravy and kofta together and cook and serve. But I like to layer the biryani and then cook on “dum” (cover and cook oven). This way the spices are infused nicely in the biryani and the taste of biryani is enhanced.
The rice cooked in the biryani needs to be long grained and each grain needs to be separated. So try to use a good quality of basmati rice. Usually, the rice is cooked in an open pot in the water till it is 85% cooked and then drained. But I prefer to cook it in a pressure cooker. You might be thinking how can we cook rice separated in an pressure cooker. I have shared the process with you and I always have been cooking rice this way. I have learnt this process of cooking the rice from my ex-boss at IndusInd Bank Ltd, Mr Dilip Deshpande. He loves cooking and shared with me this process of cooking rice. I find it quiet easy, quick and convenient. It has been more than 12 years now that I have been cooking rice for biryani, pulao or fried rice. I am so thankful to him to teach me the process. You can see how wonderfully each grain of rice is separated, long and cooked.
You need to soak the rice for 30 minutes. Then put the rice in the pressure cooker with water along with salt, oil and any spices you need. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook the rice for 3- 4 whistles on high heat. After 3-4 whistles, remove the pressure cooker off the heat and pour the tap water over it. This will cool down the pressure cooker and the cooking process will stop further. Remove the whistle and open the lid. Immediately drain the rice in sieve. Pour cold water over the rice and keep it aside on a bowl. After 15 minutes, when the water is drained, spread the rice on a clean kitchen towel. Cover with another clean towel to avoid the rice to get dry. Now you can use rice as per use. The pressure cooker cooks the rice quickly compared to cooking the rice in a pot. You will also skip the process of stirring the rice as you do while cooking it in a pot.
Also the kofta are deep fried. But being health and calorie conscious, I have pan fried the kofta using less oil in a paniyaram pan. I have cooked this biryani when one of our good friends (Vinod, Ruchita and their son Ishaan) visited us. They were the first family whom we were introduced when we moved to Sydney. The couple is a very lovely, energetic and jovial couple. They have helped us lot and we love spending time with them. It was the Christmas holidays in Sydney. I have also prepared some kebabs, bruschetta and eggless mango mousse for lunch.
The kofta biryani goes well with black grapes raita (black grapes churned in yogurt with cumin and chili powder, and rock salt).
Friends do try this version of making biryani and your family and friends will love it.
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp ghee clarified butter
- 2 cloves laung
- 1 cinnamon
- 1 medium onion washed and sliced
- 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp cumin seeds jeera
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 2 tsp coriander cumin powder dhania jeera powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder haldi
- 1 green capsicum washed and chopped
- 4 tomato washed and chopped
- 1/2 cup yogurt it should be fresh and not sour
- 1/4 cup green peas boiled
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp kasuri methi crushed between palms
- 1 tbsp mint leaves washed and chopped
- 1 tbsp coriander leaves washed and chopped
- salt to taste
- In a mixing bowl, add bread crumbs, ginger garlic paste and salt.
- Add chopped onions, grated paneer, chopped coriander, green chilies and soda bicarbonate.
- Mix well and knead into a dough.
- Grease your palms with oil and take small portion from the dough and make small size balls. Keep them in a plate.
- You can deep fry the kofta at this stage. But I have avoided deep frying and have cooked them in a paniyaram pan using little oil. Heat the paniyaram pan. Add oil in the indent of the pan. Put the kofta in it and cook on medium heat till golden.
- Flip the kofta after 2-3 minutes and cook from all the sides in the same way till they are golden.
- Cook all the kofta in the same way.
- Remove in a dish and keep it aside.
- Wash and soak the basmati (long grained rice) for 30 minutes.
- Put the rice in the pressure cooker with 3 cups of water. Add bayleaf, cinnamon stick, cardamom pod, cloves, oil, and salt. Mix well.
- Put the pressure cooker lid with the whistle on and cook the rice for 3-4 whistles on high heat.
- Immediately take the cooker off the heat after 3-4 whistles and put it under the tap of running cold water to cool down. Remove the whistle and open the lid.
- Drain the rice in a sieve and remove water. Pour cold water over the cooked rice to stop the further process of cooking. Keep it aside on a bowl to remove excess of water. Then spread the grains of cooked rice on a cotton cloth. (The cloth will absorb excess water). Cover the rice with other cloth to prevent from drying.
- Heat oil and ghee in a pan.
- Add cumin seeds. When they crackle add cloves and cinnamon stick.
- Add the sliced onions and mix well.
- Add the chopped capsicum and cover and cook on low heat till the onions and capsicum get translucent and soft.
- Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cover and cook till the tomatoes get soften.
- Add the spices - turmeric powder, coriander cumin powder, red chili powder, and salt. Mix well.
- Lower the heat and add the fresh yogurt. Cook on low heat to prevent from curdling.
- Mix well and cook on low heat.
- Add garam masala powder and mix well.
- Add kasuri methi (crushed between palms) and Mix well.
- Simmer for a minute and then add the boiled peas.
- Simmer for 5-6 minute or till the oil floats on the top.
- Add the chopped coriander and mint leaves and mix well. The gravy is ready. Remove it in a bowl and keep aside.
- In a mixer grinder add washed and chopped coriander and mint leaves.
- Add yogurt and blend them.
- The mint coriander yogurt mixture is ready.
- Remove in a bowl.
Assembling the Biryani
- Grease a heavy bottom pan or a bowl. Put half of the prepared gravy at the bottom of the pan. ( I have used two small bowls around 9 inches).
- Add the prepared rice. Spread it evenly on the gravy. Put the koftas on the rice. Put ghee and slit green chilies. Sprinkle salt and garam masala.
- Put remaining half of the gravy on top of the rice kofta layer. Add more kofta and put ghee, slit green chilies. Sprinkle garam masala and salt.
- Top the prepared layers with the yogurt, mint and coriander mixture. (keep aside some mixture for garnishing while serving the biryani)
- Cover the bowl with aluminium foil and bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes at 200 C.
- Remove the bowl from the oven. Remove the foil and relish the delicious Kofta biryani with sliced onions and papad. Serve the biryani hot.
- Remove the biryani in a plate. Garnish with chopped coriander and yogurt coriander and mint mixture and serve. Enjoy every grain of the biryani.