Of Food walks and Egg Biryani ..deliciously Andhra Style

I have been asked a number of times by many ; what I am missing the most during the lockdown. While I am taking each day as it comes , learning to enjoy the present , I do think of the times when I would drag my little sister to most of my food walks in India. Last time I was there, I had persuaded her (though she doesn't need much of that !) to visit Hyderabad with me . She loves Andhra style food and she had taken me to Andhra Bhavan in Delhi that serves food you cannot get bored of and can keep coming back for more. Both of us love eggs and never miss an opportunity to try out any dish that has it as an ingredient.

So today when the weather here is beautiful , I never miss a chance to cook some of my favourite foods during these rainy days....thinking of the various food walks that have taken me to different parts of my home country giving me a glimpse of a Taste of India.

I have tried this style of cooking for the first time , it is not a difficult recipe. The Biryani masala recipe is taken from Whisk Affair.

Egg Biryani, Andhra Style

Ingredients :

1 ½ cup Basmati Rice –

2 nos. medium Onions , finely chopped

2 nos medium sized onions for frying

1 ½ tsp cumin seeds 10 nos. Cashew nuts 2 nos. Green chillies 1 1/2 tsp Ginger-garlic paste , freshly crushed 2 tblspns Coriander leaves , finely chopped 2 tblspns Mint leaves , finely chopped

3 tblspns Thick curd

Salt

For the Spice Powder

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder – –

1 tsp Red Chilli Powder 1 tbsp Biryani Masala Powder

1 tsp Garam Masala Powder

For the Eggs

3 nos. Eggs, full boiled

1/2 tsp Red chilli powder

Gram flour/besan 1 tsp (optional) Salt

For the Biryani Masala

1 no. Bayleaf

½ tsp fennel

2 nos. star anise

1 tsp black peppercorn

1 tblspn cloves

4 tblspn coriander seeds

2 tblspns Shahi Cumin

1 Mace

½ tsp Nutmeg

10 green cardamom

2 nos. black cardamom

5 nos.2’’ cinnamon stick

3 stone flowers, or Kaalpasi ( You will get it in an Indian store , if you don’t have it, you may omit it)

Dry Roast these , Cool and grind. You can keep this for upto a year in an airtight container.

For Garnishing

Fried Onions – 1tbsp 1 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped 1 tbsp Mint leaves, finely chopped 1 tsp Ghee/clarified butter

3-4 strands Saffron 1 tbsp Milk

To Prepare:

  1. Wash and soak the Rice for 30 minutes . Drain and Keep aside .

  2. Slice the Onions for frying . Heat Ghee or oil in a pan , add the onions and fry .Drain and keep aside.

  1. Soak saffron in milk .

  2. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat ghee and oil , cumin , chopped onions and salt.

  3. When the onions become translucent, add the cashewnuts , green chilies and sauté.

  1. Add the freshly crushed Ginger and garlic and sauté till the raw aroma goes away.

  2. Add the half of the finely chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves , red chili powder, turmeric powder, Biryani Masala (as above), garam masala and salt. Saute for 1 few minutes.

  1. Add thick yoghurt to the pan, mix well and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.

  1. Add a tablespoon of fried onions and mix well.

  2. Now add 2 cups of water and when it starts boiling , add the rice in it . Check the seasoning.

  1. Now you may place this in the rice cooker to cook or continue cooking in the pan with a lid.

  2. After a while , wherever you are cooking it , you will see some holes in the rice. Now Garnish with the rest of the fried onions, mint and coriander leaves , saffron milk and ghee .

For the Eggs.

  1. Boil the eggs and cut into half Prepare a mixture of 1 beaten egg, gram flour and red chili powder.Heat 1 tsp of ghee in a pan and add this mixture along with the eggs coated in this mixture .Scramble the whisked egg .

  1. Mix the eggs and the egg mixture with the Rice.

Enjoy with Daal Makhani, Fried Baingan or aubergines and Raita .

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