Keema Biriyani


 

Keema is nothing but minced meat. Keema biriyani or lamb mince biriyani is a flavourful rice dish that is made with lamb mince and aromatic whole spices. The lamb biriyani is prepared in three main steps – cooking the rice with whole spices, cooking the lamb mince gravy, and layering them all and slow cooking on steam or dum. It sounds complicated, but trust me it is not.

I have earlier shared the recipe of making vegetable biriyani. The process is similar, with subtle changes.

There are two pressure points in the cooking process – taking care the rice doesn’t overcook while boiling and taking care the onion is golden and caramelised but not burnt. The texture of rice must be just done but still have a good bite to it (similar to al dente in pasta). The onions takes time to get golden brown, but can burn in seconds once it reaches that stage. So it is important to keep an eye on it and take care not to burn it. Also it is important to use a thick bottom pot with a tight fitting lid for cooking the biriyani.

Cooking the biriyani on dum makes this dish very aromatic and flavourful.

 

Ingredients:

For the rice:

Basmati rice – 3 cups
Green cardamom – 4-5
Black cardamom – 1
Cloves – 4-5
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
Bay leaf – 2-3
Water – 6-7 cups
Salt to taste

For the gravy:

Lamb mince or keema – 500 grams
Peas – ½ cup
Onion – 1 large, thinly sliced
Ginger – 2 inch piece, grated or 1 tbsp ginger paste
Garlic – 2-3 cloves, grated or ½ tbsp garlic paste
Oil or ghee – 3 tbsp
Black cumin or shahi jeera – 1 tsp
Cloves – 2-3
Green cardamom – 4
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
Bay leaf – 2-3
Yogurt – 1 cup, whisked
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp or as per taste
Salt to taste

To assemble:

Coriander leaves – ½ cup, chopped
Mint leaves – ½ cup, chopped
Milk – 2-3 tbsp
Saffron – a few strands

 

 

Method:

To make the rice:

  1. Wash the rice thoroughly and soak in sufficient water for 30 minutes
  2. In a large sauce pan, pour water and add the whole spices and salt. Bring to a boil
  3. Once the rice is soaked, drain all the water. Add the drained rice to boiling water
  4. Let the rice cook on high flame. Once the rice is almost cooked but still has a nice bite to it, turn off the heat and drain on a muslin cloth
  5. Spread the rice on a wide plate and set aside. Take care not to cook the rice completely at this stage

To make the gravy:

  1. In a fry pan or kadhai, heat ghee. Add whole spices and fry for a few seconds until it is aromatic
  2. Add onions and fry until golden brown. Take care the onion becomes golden and crispy but doesn’t burn
  3. Add ginger, garlic and fry for few more minutes until the raw smell goes off
  4. Add salt, turmeric and chilli powder and mix well
  5. Add lamb mice and saute for 1-2 minutes
  6. Add whisked yogurt and ¾ cup warm water. Mix well
  7. Cover and cook on medium flame until the lamb is almost cooked
  8. Add peas and mix well. Cook until
  9. Remove the cover and increase the flame to dry out any excess moisture

To assemble:

  1. Soak the saffron strands in warm milk for a few minutes
  2. Take a thick bottom pan and smear the bottom with some oil or melted ghee.
  3. Add half the lamb gravy and spread
  4. Add half of the rice on top and spread evenly
  5. Add the saffron milk, coriander leaves and mint leaves
  6. Add remaining lamb gravy on top and spread evenly. Add rest of the rice
  7. Put the lid on and seal the with aluminum foil
  8. Heat a griddle/tava on medium flame. Once it is hot enough, place the biriyani pot on top of the tava and reduce the flame to the lowest setting
  9. Let the biriyani cook on low flame for 20-25 minutes
  10. Turn off the heat. Serve hot

 

 

Cook rice with whole spices and spread on a wide plate

Cook rice with whole spices and spread on a wide plate

 

Heat ghee and saute whole spices

Heat ghee and saute whole spices

 

Fry onion, ginger, garlic, and spice powders

Fry onion, ginger, garlic, and spice powders

 

Add lamb mince and fry for few minutes

Add lamb mince and fry for few minutes

 

Add yogurt, water and cook

Add yogurt, water and cook

 

Add peas and cook completely

Add peas and cook completely

 

Spread half the lamb gravy in a thick bottom pan

Spread half the lamb gravy in a thick bottom pan

 

Spread half the rice on top

Spread half the rice on top

 

Spread coriander leaves, mint leaves, and saffron infused milk

Spread coriander leaves, mint leaves, and saffron infused milk

 

Spread remaining lamb

Spread remaining lamb

 

Spread remaining rice

Spread remaining rice

 

Seal completely and simmer on 'dum'

Seal completely and simmer on ‘dum’

 

Biriyani ready after 'dum'

Biriyani ready after ‘dum’

Mix the biriyani gently

Mix the biriyani gently

 

 

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