When it comes to Biryani, I confess my knees go weak and my heart starts to pound! If it comes on the husband to impress me, he takes me out to a good restaurant and orders a biryani! Yes, that’s how much I love my biryani. And to top it all, Qubooli falls right under the category that I love to cook and eat. Why?? Because it’s delicate, flavorsome, light and can be prepared in a jiffy. It is a dish that does not take long to cook and prepare, compared to other biryani dishes. Hence take my word – once you try this recipe, Qubooli lentil biryani will be the best of your favorites!!
Hyderabad, popularly known as the “City of Nawabs” in India, is famous for its biryanis. Hyderabadi Qubooli was originated by the Nawabi style of cooking, mainly to cater to their vegetarian friends. But one might wonder – out of all lentils, why Chana dal? Chana dal has a unique meaty and nutty flavor to it, hence it forms a great combination to go with various meats in “meat curries”. Qubooli lentil biryani too has a unique meaty flavor rendered by the Chana dal, yet it’s vegetarian. From the day I learnt about this biryani dish, I never had to look back. It is a super-quick solution to satisfy my biryani cravings on a busy day. And guess what, it’s so good that you won’t even miss the meat!
I had been craving to have some home-made biryani after a long day and Qubooli was the perfect choice. It’s truly a scrumptious, rich and magnificent Hyderabadi meal for vegetarians.It is easy, simple, light, extremely delicious, royal and with every bite of it you will get an “Oh-so-good” feeling, making you jump with ecstacy and self pride! If you are an ardent biryani lover like me, you will definitely love this dish. Without any more delay I will jump on to the recipe, which I have been dying to share with you all. 😀
Chana dal – 1 cup
Basmati Rice – 2 cups
Whole black peppercorns – 1 tsp
Whole cloves – 1 tsp
Bay leaves – 4-5
Cinnamon stick – 1
Cardamom pods – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Onions – 2 large
Ginger-garlic-green chilli paste – 2 tsp
Tomato – 1 large
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Ground cumin – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
Whisked Yogurt – 2 tbsp
Cilantro leaves – finely chopped
Mint leaves -finely chopped
Spring onion greens – finely chopped
Lime juice – 1 tsp
Milk – 1 tbsp
Orange Food color – (optional)
Rose water – 1 tsp
Ghee – required for cooking
Salt – as per taste
For the rice:
Wash and soak the basmati rice in water for at least 30 mins.
Heat some water in a pot. Add some salt, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and few cardamom pods. Let the water come to a boil.
Once the water starts boiling, add the soaked rice. When the rice is done, drain and set aside.
For the Chana dal gravy:
Wash and soak the chana dal for at least 1 hour.
Boil the chana dal with some turmeric and a little water. The dal should be just cooked and not mushy at all, rather it should be able to hold its shape.
Heat some ghee in a pan. Thinly slice the onions and fry until golden brown in color. Set aside the fried onions.
In the same pan that you used to fry the onions, add some more ghee. Then add the ginger-garlic-green chilli paste. Fry until the raw smell is gone.
Then add the finely chopped tomatoes. Add red chilli powder and cumin powder. Saute until oil starts separating.
Take few cardamom seeds and run them in a blender to form a fine powder. Alternatively you can use store-bought cardamom powder.
Now add the cooked chana dal. Add salt, garam masala, some crushed cardamom powder, finely chopped cilantro, mint leaves, spring onion greens and 1 tbsp whisked yogurt. Mix everything well. Let this cook for a min, add some lime juice, mix and then turn off the flame.
Now layer the biryani for dum –
I use a rice cooker for dum process.
Layer half of the rice at the bottom of the rice cooker.
Top it up with some chopped cilantro leaves, half of the fried onions, some food color and 2-3 tsp of ghee.
Then add the cooked lentils.
Mix Greek yogurt and milk together and pour the mixture on top of the lentils.
Layer the remaining rice on top.
Add chopped coriander leaves, food color, ghee, remaining fried onions, rose water and the yogurt-milk mixture.
Now cook this on dum for 5 mins.
After 5 mins, let the the biryani stand for another 5 mins.
Mix gently with a blunt spatula.
Wallah! A magnificent, elegant and a very royal Qubooli lentil biryani will be ready for your family to relish. I garnished it with some freshly grated coconut and a few more chopped cilantro leaves.
Serve Hyderabadi Qubooli biryani with your favorite curry or raita.
We had it with some lamb curry. It was absolutely a meal to remember!