The number of ways in which I use eggs are truly countless, so this time I wanted to make something a little elaborate, something I do not get around to cooking very often. It is one of India's most-beloved feast dishes: a layered rice dish called biryani. Biryani is a labor of love. One does not make biryani for a quick supper. It is made at leisure, and consumed at leisure. And after a biryani meal, the proper thing to do is to flop on the sofa like a beached whale and take a nap.
Egg Biryani, in a few easy steps
(for 4-6 servings)1. The aromatic saffron rice:
- Cook 2 cups Basmati rice with about 4 peppercorns, 4 cloves, 2-3 cardamom pods and a cinnamon stick.
- Set rice aside to cool, then toss it with 1 tbsp. ghee.
- Drizzle the rice with 1/4 tsp saffron that has been soaked for a few minutes in 1/4 cup warm milk.
- 1 large onion, sliced thinly
- 1 large potato, cut into fingers
- handful of cashews
- handful of golden raisins
- Slice 2 onions. Heat oil in a saucepan and fry the onions till pink.
- As the onions are frying, make a thick paste of 1 bunch cilantro, 1 bunch mint and 1 tbsp. yogurt.
- Add ginger-garlic paste, salt, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala and the herb chutney into the onions and fry well.
- Add 1/2 cup tomato puree, simmer for several minutes and set aside.
- Hard-boil 6 eggs.
- Peel them and cut them into quarters.
Cover the Dutch oven tightly and place it on low heat till the biryani is steaming hot. The rice at the bottom may get dried out and crispy, but that only makes it tastier.
Raita is the perfect accompaniment for biryani. Dice up some onions and tomatoes, add yogurt and cilanto, season with cumin and salt and toss everything together. The raita is a cool counter-point to the spiciness of the biryani.
There you have it- an egg-sotic feast fit for royalty!