. . .and it is called qabooli, derived from the word qabool meaning ‘to accept’!
This is how it is made.
As most of you will remember, we made the vegetable stock last week and this week we’re using it in this wonderful biryani. There were 3 litres of vegetable stock (ganga jal) made.
So, now that we’ve got our vegetable stock ready, let’s get cracking with making the dish.
1. 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2. 2 medium-sized red (Spanish) onions, finely chopped
3. 2 tablespoons salt
4. 1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
5. 1 1/2 tablespoons ground garlic
6. 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
7. 1 1/2 tablespoons ground dried red chillies
8. 2 cups yoghurt
9. garam masala for biryani
10. saffron threads soaked in warm milk
11. 1 bunch coriander leaves, chopped
12. 1 bunch fresh mint, chopped
13. 4-5 fresh green chillies, sliced
14. 1 medium-sized red onion, sliced and caramelised
15. 1 cup chana dal, or chick pea lentils, soaked in half the vegetable stock.
16. 3 cups Basmati rice soaked in 12 cups of water
1. Soak the rice in cold water till the rice touches the surface of the water (approx. 15 minutes).
2. Soak the chick pea lentils in half the vegetable stock for about 15 minutes. Then cook on high heat till the lentils are soft but not mashed. Drain and set aside. Set the strained liquid aside.
3. Heat oil in a pot till it smokes, add the chopped onions and reduce the heat to moderate.
4. Add 1 tablespoon salt and fold the onions. Cook till onions are almost caramelised.
5. Add the ground ginger and fold. Cook till the ginger is caramelised.
6. Add the ground garlic and cook till caramelised.
7. Add the turmeric, followed by the chilli and gradually fold till the oil leaves the sides of the pot.
8. Add the yoghurt and cook till the yoghurt has completely cooked and the oil appears on the sides of the pot.
9. Add the cooked and strained chana dal, fold and cook till oil leaves the sides of the pot.
10. Sprinkle the garam masala on top.
11. Add the chopped mint, chopped coriander and the sliced chillies to the lentils. cover and keep aside.
12. In a pot bring the remaining stock and the drained liquid (kept aside after cooking the lentils) to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt.
13. Add the drained rice to the boiling stock and cook till the rice is al dente, strain and add to the cooked lentils.
14. Sprinkle the soaked saffron threads on top of the rice. Cover rice with a moist cloth/ tea towel and place the pot in a pre-heated, fan forced oven, temp. 150 C, for about 20 mins.
15. Remove qabooli (biryani) from oven, top with caramelised onions and fresh herbs and serve with bhoorani and roasted pappads!!
This is a superb vegetarian dish and I hope you enjoy making it. It’s often the simplest, and most straightforward things, that can often be the best.
Anah Daata Sukhi Bhava