Now a days, mushroom biryani has become a part of our weekly menu since it is very tasty and easy to make. My son also likes it for his lunch box. He is a picky eater and has a lot of limitations on his lunch-pack menus. He strictly avoids some items like curd, vegetables in sambar, kara kuzhambu, anything related with garlic, kootu and anything which would be sticky. He likes all the variety rice but when compared to lemon rice, tamarind rice etc., mushroom biryani is far better in all nutritional aspects. Rich in protein and is palatable for all ages. For parties, the richness in taste equals that of non-veg biryani.
- Basmathi rice – 1 cup
- Onion (Big) – 1 (chopped)
- Tomato – 2 Nos.(Medium)(chopped)
- Green chilli – 1 No.
- Mushroom – 1 packet
- Curd – 1 tbs
- Ginger, garlic, fennel & kuskus paste – 1 tbs
- Chilli powder – 1tbs
- Garam masala / Biryani powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – ½ tsp
- Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp
- Coriander leaves (finely chopped) – 1tbsp
- Mint leaves (finely chopped) – 2 tbsp
- Bay leaf – 1 No.
- Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
- Cloves – 2 No
- Cardamom - 1 No.
- Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
- Oil -2 tbs
- Ghee – 1 tsp
Wash the basmathi rice and leave it as such after draining the water. I usually avoid soaking in water because the basmathi rice will get broken very easily.
Take a pressure cooker, pour the oil, wait till the oil gets heated. Add the items given under “seasoning” one by one and wait until all these get cracked to get the aroma from the seasoning.
Then add onion and Green chilli (slice this into 2 or 3) and sauté well until the onion becomes translucent.
Then add the paste mentioned above (ginger+garlic+fennel+kuskus) and sauté till the raw smell of ginger garlic goes off.
Add finely chopped tomato and add some salt so that the tomato will get cooked easily and sauté till the tomato gets smashed well.
Then add all the masala powders and sauté till the oil oozes out from the masala. This is an important part.
Next, add curd and make sure it gets mixed with the masala and the mixture should get the glossy appearance.
Now, add cleaned, cut mushrooms , sauté well, add half portion of coriander & mint leaves , make the mushroom get coated with the masala.
Finally add rice and mix it gently with the mushroom masala without breaking the rice , add the remaining coriander, mint leaves. Sauté till the rice absorbs the moisture , then pour water in 1:2 ratio. Add the required salt. Check for salt and spice at this stage so that they can be added now. Stir well and close the lid. Wait for 1 whistle, then simmer the flame for 3 minutes. Open the cooker after releasing the pressure slowly. Don’t get panicked because the biryani seems to be slightly watery but it will be ok in next 5 minutes. Just mix the rice gently so that the masala will get mixed up evenly with rice. Then again, close the lid without weight. In next 5 mins, the biryani will be ready to serve and can be served with any raita, chips or chicken chettinad masala.
- The rice:water ratio 1:2 will give soft, well cooked rice. If you want the rice to get well separated and don't want to take the risk of biryani getting mushy, you can reduce the water measure to 11/2 cups, wait for 1 whistle, simmer for 5 minutes. Immediately, release the pressure and follow the above procedure.
- The secret in making any biryani lies in preparing the masala. We should be patient enough to sauté everything in slow flame and the masala should get cooked well. Then any biryani will be superb!!