Wednesday 20 June 2012

Biryani Bemisal

From being a tribute to Pronob da, this post decides to follow its heart and get my friends into it instead. When the big hullaballoo about the right Presidential candidate happened, there were speculations, conjectures & communal insinuations. M&M were together one day and walked their paths the next. Who betrayed whom, who ends up eating the humble pie, how can one Bong not support the other etc were on all channels & dailies. Just the kind of fodder that increases TRPs. And the nation lapped it all up. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One leading newspaper interviewed Mr Mukherjee's daughter about, with other things, how helpful is the future Prez around the house. The reply was one that resonates with many an Indian male. 'Baba is old- school. He cannot so much as pour a glass of water for himself. If my mother doesn't feed him, he'll be famished.' What is it with these men, one wonders. In an era when we are thinking of holidaying on the moon, there are still people who think cooking is a woman's domain! Is it not enough that she has broken the glass ceiling and is holding positions of power? And this is across classes. The fairer gender has penetrated into the male bastion. They are at the filling stations, behind the wheels, controlling traffic, bringing criminals to book, investing in property and running nations. And she plays home-maker and cook. What else do Ma Durga's ten hands personify! By the same token, shouldn't the man get off that pedestal and help her around the house ? Gone is that format of society with strict demarcations of gender-defined roles. This is the 21st century bhai log!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And it is not just older men who take pride in not knowing. There are youngsters too. They post sad messages on Fb to get some sympathy votes because mommy dearest has gone to her mayka for ten days. So what happens to the pampered boys? They butter their bread and feel that's some feat accomplished, ask for suggestions on how to scramble eggs and not burn the dal, and generally feel sorry for themselves till mother returns. A word of caution, young men. Your mother, being a mother, will put up with this clinging. Please do not expect the other important woman in your life to be half as tolerant. She will, in all probability, be a modern, educated girl, earning as you do, fighting the odds in an urban setup, coming home late from work, exhausted as you are and will, in no way, be in a position to cater to your chauvinistic demands of pani le ke aao and pair daba do.
                                                                                                        As you make a mental note of investing in a body massager and a long pipe that goes from the filter to your mouth, how about learning this simplest biryani on earth? No jhanjhat in making this one. No need to make four other things. Just Biryani Bemisal & raita and you are good to go. Delicious to eat & deliciously simple to make. And just think, if your jam & bread pic could invite so many 'likes' & comments, what will this dish do! Get ready for stardom, mumma's boy. And let go of her apron-strings.  
                                                                                                        Ingredients:[serves 3-4]
1. 1/2 kg chicken- medium sized pieces
2. 1 large onion chopped
3. 1 large potato- quartered
4. 1 - 1 1/2 cup long-grained rice- washed and strained
5. 3-4 tsp biryani masala
6. A handful of cashew nut & raisins
7. 1-2 tsp sugar
8. 2- 2 1/2 cups water
9. Salt to taste
10. Ghee/Refined Oil to cook.
1. In 1tbsp oil, add 1 tsp sugar, let caramalize and fry the potatoes. Keep aside.
2. In the same oil, fry chopped onion, add the chicken, biryani masala, sugar & salt and fry for 7-8 minutes till oil leaves the pan.

3. Add the fried potatoes and water, close the cooker and give the chicken 2 whistles on medium flame.
When Step 2 is happening, parallely,

4. In 1-1 1/2 tbsp of ghee, fry the washed rice with 1 tsp biryani masala and the dry fruit, on medium flame.

4.  After 2 whistles, when the chicken is cooked, let the cooker open naturally. Do not force open. 

Add the fried rice, more water (water level should be one-inch above the rice level), check for salt and close the lid.

One whistle and take off the flame. Let cooker open naturally.
Mast biryani tayyar. 

Even a Kolkata boy, who eats the best biryani in his town, will compliment you on this tasty, non-oily version. Having served this to one, I know! Thank you, Nishant. Now can you stop cribbing about the sultry Kolkata weather!
                                                                                              Pronob da is gone past the stage where he can learn this. Anyway he has to head the nation. Charti khani kotha naki?! Kshitij, you are still young. And mom may plan her next vacation soon :) Happy cooking, dude!

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