7 March, 2016
Mahi in farsi means fish and Mahi Pulao is a dish which is originally Persian .But Mahi biriyani is a delicacy which originated in the Murshidabad province of Bengal where fish is a staple food and its presence in food is considered auspicious and enjoyed by all .Murshidabad was the capital of independent Bengal before the British took over and was under the Nawabs of the Mughal dynasty .Nawab Murshid Quli Khan who was working as the divan, got the attention of Aurangzeb, who sent him to Bengal as the Divan in 1700. In 1717, he was appointed as the Nawab of Murshidabad.The cuisine of Murshidabad is hence a combination of Mughalai and Bengal cuisines ..a delicious and aromatic amalgamation of flavors.it inherits the richness from the Persian and Mughal cuisine and the simplicity of flavors from the Bengali cuisine with its emphasis on fish and rice .
- Fish 1 kg
- Rice 1/2 kg
- Oil 1cup
- Onion finely sliced 3-4
- Yoghurt 1 cup
- Ginger paste 1 teaspoon
- Garlic paste 1 teaspoon
- Lemon juice 1 tablespoon
- Green Chilies whole 5-6 nos.
- Ginger 1 inch
- Salt to taste
- Red Chilies powder
- 1 teaspoon Black pepper whole
- Mace 2 to 3
- nutmeg (1/2 tsp)
- Cinnamon stick 3-4 nos.
- Cardamom green whole 5 to 6
- Cloves whole 5 to 6
- Coriander powder(1 tsp)
- Cumin powder(1 tsp)
- Tomatoes(2 chopped fine)
- Saffron (1 tsp soaked in 1/2 cup thick milk)
- Indian all spice powder(1 tsp)
- Marinate the fishes with salt ,ginger garlic paste,red chilly powder and lemon juice for 4 to 5 hrs
- Fry the fishes in oil till brown on all the sides (this is necessary so that the fishes don’t break)
- Soak basmati rice for at least two hours in water.
- Heat water with little salt and some whole spices(1 cinnamon stick ,3 to 4 cloves,4 to 5 crushed cardamom and 2 to 3 bay leaves).When it boils vigorously add rice.
- Cook rice till fluffy but it should be little crunchy in the middle ie only parboiled.
- Drain the rice immediately.
- Add 1/4 th cup of clarified butter or ghee in the pan and add the roughly crushed whole spices.
- Add chopped tomatoes and chilly powder,coriander powder and cumin powder.
- Add a tsp of ginger and green chillies paste.
- cook till tomatoes are tender and melts completely add unsweetened yoghurt and continue to fry .
- Add the fried onions.
- When the mixture starts leaving oil and looks greasy add the fishes and cook for 5 minutes.do not stir too much as the fishes may break.
- the gravy should not be too dry
- Add the rice on top of the gravy and drizzle saffron along with the milk in which it was soaked.
- Seal the pan with a lid with a flour dough and slow cook for 30 minutes.
- When the steam starts coming out of the pan vigorously despite the seal.switch of the fire.
- Open directly before serving
- The flavor is better when cooked on charcoal rather than gas.