This dish is from the era of Nawabs and Mughal rule in India.It is said that Biryani came to India along with the Persian invaders .In Lukhnow ,the Biryani at first was not at all a Royal or Shahi dish.The construction workers who worked for the palace used to prepare this wholesome meal by cooking meat and rice will all the spices together and smelling its beautiful aroma the Nawab ordered his Royal chefs to make this recipe a part of the Royal kitchen .
The Shahi Moti biryani is a creative endeavour of the Nawab Wajid Ali Shah who was the fifth King of Oudh.The original Moti biryani consisted of edible pearls made of eggs and gold and silver foils.They looked like gold and silver balls stuffed inside the chicken grilled and cooked with rice.But this has become a lost recipe and a later version consisted of meat koftas cooked with rice.
The recipe which I am sharing today is more like my own version and is healthier.My 9 year old daughter Arunima helped me to prepare the meatballs and it was her idea to make the meatballs sweet ,sour and lemony.The biryani was delicious.
For meatballs or koftas
- Minced chicken (400 gms)
- Chopped onions (1 cups)
- Ginger garlic paste (2 tsp)
- Green chilies 2 to 4 finely chopped
- Mint leaves (2 tbsp)finely chopped
- Lemon zest (1/2 tsp)
- Lemon juice (1 lemon)
- Sugar (1 tsp)
- Rice flour (1/4th cup)
- Mix everything together and form small balls.
- Roll each ball in rice flour .
- Steam them for 10 to 15 minutes
Gravy or sauce
- Onions chopped(1 cup)
- Tomatoes chopped (2)
- Ginger garlic and green chilly paste (2 tbsp)
- Red chilly powder(1 tbsp)
- Oil (1/4th cup)
- All spice powder( cinnamon stick (3 to 4 inch),2 to 3 cardamom,1 tsp black pepper, 3 to 4 clove,1 star anise,1 mace flower,1/2 nutmeg) grounded into fine powder
- Fry chopped onions in oil till brown
- Add chopped totatoes and cook till they melt.
- Add ginger garlic paste and cook till oil separate
- Add red chilly powder and all spice powder and cook
- If the gravy is too thick add 1/2 cup of water and desired salt.
- Then add the meat balls and cook in slow heat,till oil float on top.
- Basmati rice (2cup)
- Soak rice in water for at least half an hour .
- Heat water in a broad vessel till it boils.
- Add soaked and strained rice .
- Add little salt.
- When the rice is cooked but not soggy ,take it off from the oven and strain.
Assembling the biryani
- caramellized brown onions.
- Food color(green,yellow and orange)
- Mint leaves (a fist full of)
- In the same wok where the meat balls are cooked continue to cook them on slow heat
- Add rice over the meat balls
- Add some of the whole spices,mint leaves,caramellized onions and food color.
- Cover cook for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
- take it off just before serving.
- Serve with curd or raita.