You know, sometimes I lose sight of the bigger picture. I’ve been trying to make perfect biriyani for years- every time, I make it with a different combination of spices, different type of oil, with vegetables, with chicken, with herbs- I’ve tried everything. Everything except using different rice. See, when I was little, my mom exclusively used basmati rice. Then, ingrate that I am, I started wanting sticky rice all the time. So my mom stopped buying 10-pound bags of Basmati, and started buying regular, short grain rice. Fast forward 10 or so years, I’m a food snob (and a closet Shake Shack fan. They have good cheese fries, okay?), and I demand basmati. While carrying previously mentioned 10 pound bag of rice to the checkout, I had a breakthrough- I wasn’t using the wrong ratio of turmeric to cumin, I was using the wrong type of rice! Ok, so that’s a lie. I was on the ground in the fetal position, scrolling through recipes on Pinterest (I spend several hours in a day doing this. And I spend my several other waking hours complaining about how much work I have to do), and I saw a picture of biriyani- made with basmati. Then I ferreted out the one, tiny bag of basmati we had, and I made biriyani. And it was worth it.
1/2 cup basmati rice (you can certainly use more, this was just all I had on hand)
2 inch piece of ginger
6 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin (ground or whole)
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
2 teaspoons red chili flakes (use 1 teaspoon if you’re a wimp)
2 black cardamom pods (biting into a whole cardamom pod- and subsequently gagging and spitting it out- is part of the biriyani experience)
2 tablespoons oil
Start by cooking the rice. I should mention, this kind of makes the whole 10 minute thing moot. I just like clickbait titles. While the rice is cooking, peel the ginger and garlic, and crush them up together in a mortar and pestle. You could certainly use ginger-garlic paste from the store, but I personally consider it beneath me. I won’t judge you if you use it, though*. Saute the ginger and garlic with 1 tablespoon oil,
and then throw in the spices. Let that cook til the cardamom gets puffy, and then fluff the rice with a fork
and toss that in. IMPORTANT: Let the rice cool slightly before throwing it in, otherwise the rice will break, the biriyani will be mushy, and it’ll all be for naught. We can’t have that. Once the rice has cooled, add in 1 tablespoon more oil, and some salt. Stir it all around on high heat for 2 minutes,
and serve it hot!