Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Egg Biryani 1.0 (With Green Gravy)

Too much of cold, lot of chills and first thing on your mind is to eat something warm and delicious. I thought of Mish-Mash's famous Egg Biryani. Her recipe is one of my favorites and a perfect way to pamper the foodie in me & for my hubby who feels Biryani is the ultimate dish on the face of earth.

I bought Mint leaves from store and made use of rest of my pantry ingredients. I am glad I could make use of many of the pantry items and many are almost close to getting over. This dish was longing and waiting to be tried and tested. Hence, I made it on time by posting it just at about 11:45 night. I am delighted that this Marathon gave me all the options to try, test, experiment and LEARN of all!

I also referred to my Mom's Biryani recipe which is one of my favorites. She makes Vegetable Biryani which has Poppy seeds, Mint, Fennel seeds and Caraway. She also separately prepares Green Masala and the Gravy, It helps a lot while planning the dish. I combined the both to create a very similar Biryani which is tasty, easy-to-make and a perfect way to celebrate the second last day of the calendar year. Luckily, I had the Indian spices handy as well. This Biryani is a regular at our place now and we enjoy it over weekends as a one-pot-dish.

Recipe Source: MishMash + My Mom's recipe

Preparation time: 60 minutes

For the Biryani Masala -
Fennel seeds (optional) - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Mace - 2
Cinnamon - 1
Cardamom - 2
Caraway seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Cloves - 3-4
Nutmeg (grated) - 1 whole - 1/2 for rice assembly + 1/2 for spice powder

For the Gravy -
Whole spice - Cinnamon - 2 sticks
Whole spice - Cardamom with pods open - 4
Whole spice - Cloves - 4
Poppy seeds (optional) - 1/2 teaspoon
Onions (sliced finely) - 2 large Onions or 4 cups finely chopped
Tomatoes (chopped finely) - 2-3 medium ones or 2 cups finely chopped

For Green Masala -
Coriander leaves - 6-8 sprigs
Mint leaves - 4-5 sprigs
Green Chillies - 2
Ginger - 1 " piece
Garlic - 5-6 pods
Grind all of the above with little water to a fine paste

Other Ingredients:
Basmati Rice - 1 and 1/2 cups
Eggs - 5-7
Ghee - 3-6 tablespoons
Salt - As per taste
Saffron - 5-8 strands
Warm Milk - 1/2 cup
Garam Masala powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon

1. Make the spice powder and keep it aside. For better taste, dry roast the spice a little bit and then grind to a powder. Set aside.
2. Hard boil 4 eggs and set aside. Allow them to cool by running cold water over it and peel, poke holes in them, add some salt and set aside.
3. Boil Rice in water in 1:1 1/2 proportion. Which means for 3 cups of rice, we need 5 1/2 cups of water. Add oil and salt while boiling. Once done and par-cooked, spread on a large plate and allow to dry.
4. Heat 3 tablespoon of Ghee and saute Cinnamon, Poppy seeds, Cloves and Cardamom. Add the Cardamom with the shell partly open. This helps in flavouring the ghee appropriately. Once they are roasted, add onions and tomatoes. Fry well till then reduce in size and wear a wilted look. Add the ground Biryani Masala and Green Gravy and adjust salt. Cut the eggs into halves, retain or discard yolk as per choice. Ensure you turn the egg pieces around and dunk them into the gravy but don't break them up. Make a gravy based curry which will eventually lose moisture and become thick.
5. Crush Saffron in 1/2 cup of milk and set aside.
6. Assembly: Now comes the main part. Take a deep dish thick bottomed vessel. Heat 3-4 tablespoons of Ghee. Allow to heat the pan, Once hot, turn to low flame. Put a layer of cooked rice. Sprinkle Garam Masala powder and grated Nutmeg together. Next, pour the egg curry gravy and then pour rest of the rice on top layer. If desired mix the Egg Gravy curry with Rice if you do not want rice to be white colored. Once done, pour the milk on top layer. Now, while pouring milk cover the maximum surface area of the rice. Saffron gives a red color tinge to the rice. This helps in retaining moisture in the rice and enables slow cooking on dum. Last but not the least, pour 2-3 tablespoon of ghee on top and cover with foil and keep on low flame for 5-7 minutes not more than that (beyond 5 minutes gives a roasted layering to the rice, so do not attempt). Turn off the flame.
7. Mix the Biryani should you want to or serve by scooping sideways; I prefer scooping side ways and serving to ensure a complete serve of all 3 layers. Serve with Mirchi Kaa Saalan on the side.

Key Notes:

1. My learning was that Nutmeg (grated), Caraway seeds and Mace offer the extra zing to the Biryani. Do not compromise on adding these.
2. Saffron Milk is the key to the Biryani flavour and richness. It also adds the rich red color.
3. I used White Onion/ Spanish Onions instead of Red, I found a profound difference in the flavour. Its more advisable to use Red Onions for Biryani.
4. Eggs added loosely on top do not soak the masala as opposed to eggs in gravy. If you like it as toppers, garnish on top else, dunk them in the gravy. Take your pick accordingly. I have toned down the spices to a great extent, increase or decrease as per choice.


  1. Dear Ashwini -- never used mace in biryani, and your idea of scooping sideways is a great one too! Thanks for sharing your mom's recipe tips as well as your own :) Looks great!

  2. I love combination recipes ... and ones that allow me to mix something familiar and loved with the unknown is always, well, comforting. This is going to be a keeper in my recipe folders too ... just wonderful!

  3. Looks yummy Ashwini.. any veggie biryani any day or night..

  4. Happy New Year Ashwini!
    (still awake,upgraded to dayquil now )

  5. oohh YUM!! lovely combination...

  6. @ Linda - Few spices add the extra zing to Biryani - Mace, Nutmeg, Badi Elaichi (Large Cardamom) are some of them.

    @ Sheetal Kiran - Yeah this recipe was born out of trails, but glad I could combine both of them.

    @ Ruchikacooks - That's next on my meny, trying vegetable biryani.

    @ Forkbookandpalette - Thanks.

  7. I prepared Egg Biryani yesterday and everyone liked it.. This is the first time I am satisfied with my biryani cooking. I haven't been able to cook biryani/ pulao as nicely till yesterday. Thanks for the receipe from me and my husband.
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  8. @ Addie - Thank you! Glad you liked it, this recipe is a keeper and has made Biryani making process very easy. Enjoy your Biryani!


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