So this is the first in the series of Blogging Indian States where we are blogging non-stop on Indian States.
So let us begin with the first state Andhra Pradesh!
It has been in the news these days with the partitioning of the state and both the opposers and supporters making headlines.
My father was posted to set up the Zonal Office there in Hyderabad and this was in the year 1988, the year I got married! I visited the places around but could not move around much as it was the time when the Babri masjid was broken and there were riots. Hubby, I and my sister were unaware about the riots, we were visiting Golconda Fort! Wow it was an adventure when we finally managed to reach home!
Food in Andhra Pradesh is amazing …. It’s called Telugu cuisine after the language spoken in Andhra Pradesh!
According to Wikipedia,
” Telugu cuisine is a cuisine of South India native to the Telugu people from the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is also the cuisine of the Telugu speaking population of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, but with slight variations due to local influences. Generally known for its tangy, hot and spicy taste, the cooking is very diverse due to the vast spread of the people and varied topological regions.
All three regions Telangana, Coastal Andhra, and Rayalaseema have distinctive cuisines, where in semi-arid Telangana region Millet based Breads Rotiis predominant staple food , while Rice is predominant in irrigated Andhra and Rayalaseema regions and Ragi is popular in Rayalaseema regions which is again predominantly semi-arid. Many of the curries (knows as ```Kora’’’), snacks and sweets vary in the method of preparation and differs in name too.
The state being the leading producer of Red chilli, Rice and Millets in India, these factors influence the liberal use of spices making the food one of the richest and spiciest foods in the world. Both vegetarian as well as meat and sea food (coastal areas) feature prominently in their menus. Dal (Lentils), Tomato and Tamarind is largely used for cooking curries. Various spicy and hot varieties of Pickles form an important part of Telugu cuisine.
Various sauces and ancient bread making techniques that use a very diverse and rich variety of pulses are a testament to ancient Telugu culinary innovation. It is rumoured that Roman king Nero lamented Romans paying more to the Chilli farmers of Andhra Pradesh than to Roman treasury as taxes during the effort to rebuild Rome after the great fire. It is documented that he banned all imports from Andhra Pradesh during Rome rebuilding era. Andhra Pradesh spice traders and their ancient global trading traditions are considered the precursors to modern option-and-derivatives pricing models for commodities. Rich wine making traditions are evident in the Taati kallu and Etha Kallu produced by the region to this day. Modern innovations to Telugu cuisine happened as a fusion of the spicy culture of Telugus and oven/hearth traditions of Persian cooking to form the modern Hyderabadi Biryani tradition. “
Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani
Indian State: Andhra Pradesh
Recipe Source: Spicing Your Life
Preparation time: 25 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Makes 5 - 6 servings
Cooking time: 30 mins
Makes 5 - 6 servings
For the Rice:
- 2 cups Basmati
- 1 tblspn Ghee
- 2 cups Water
- Salt to taste
For the Gravy:
- 1 tblspn ghee
- 1 ½ cups Onions, sliced
- 1 garlic bulb
- 1 inch piece Ginger
- 3 chillies Green chillies
- ½ tsp Red chilli powder(adjust as per taste)
- 1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
- ½ tsp shah jeera/ caraway seeds)
- 2 Cloves
- 2 inch long Dalchini/cinnamon
- 2 Cardamom
- 2 Bay leaf
- 3 kali mirchi/ pepper corns
- 1 masala elicihi/ badi elichi/cardamom/ black cardamom
- 1 Carrots
- 5 big mushrooms
- 1 Potatoes
- 1 cup peas
- 4 florets of cauliflower
- ½ cup Yogurt / curds (thick curds)
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup Coriander leaves
- Saffron Strands
- ½ cup Milk
- 2 tblspn Ghee +3 tblspn
- 1 tblspn oil (if needed)
- 1 cup fried Onions
- Almond( I did not use)
- Raisins ( I did not use this time)
- Coriander leaves
- 2 tsp Biryani Masala Powder
- Heat a steel bowl for about 4-5 minutes. Drop the saffron strands. They will scald. Now add the milk and set aside covered.
Make the Rice:
- Wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes.
- In the cooker add the water, salt, ghee. Cook in cooker with the weight/whistle on. Do switch off the gas once the cooker makes a shh sound. I know it sounds complicated but really it’s simple. It’s fast and saves gas. Keep it aside.
- Once the cooker cools naturally open it and fluff the rice with a fork. Spread on a plate set aside. (Do not wash the cooker you can use the same cooker to assemble your Biryani).
Get the garnish ready first:
- In a kadhai/wok heat the 2 tblspn ghee, fry the nuts and raisin drain and set aside.
- Fry the sliced onions till brown, remove and keep it aside.
- Apply salt to the vegetables and ½ cup of onions and curds, 1 tsp of Biryani masala and set aside.
- Grind the remaining 1 cup of onion, garlic, ginger, green chillies, red chilli powder, cumin seeds, shah jeera/cumin, cloves, dalchini, cardamom, kali miri/ pepper corns and coriander leaves to a fine paste.
- In the same kadhai in the remaining ghee, drop in the bay leaf and the badi elichi. Sauté for couple of minutes.
- Add the ground onion paste and sauté well. Add the oil in case you need it, that is in case the paste sticks to the bottom immediately. (I needed to add oil). Sauté till the oil comes out.
- Now add the vegetables and sauté for a few minutes. I did this till the water that had come from the salt vegetables and the curd thickened. Mix well and cover and set aside.
For assembling the Biryani:
- Take the vessel in which you are going to assemble the Biryani. It should be thick bottomed I generally use the same cooker but this time I used an earthen pot I had picked up. Grease the bottom with at least 2 tblspn of ghee spread well.
- Over it, add the cooked rice. Now next layer it with enough gravy, fried onions, roasted cashews, and a pinch of the Biryani masala.
- Now cover it with rice.
- Repeat with gravy layer along with onions, nuts. Finally cover it completely with rice.
- Next finish the remaining ghee over the rice and the soaked saffron along with the milk.
- Cover the top with a lid. Since I used the earthen pot I used a plate and the maida dough but in case you are using the cooker do not put the whistle.
- Place on low flame and heat for 10 minutes. In case you are using the cooker heat till you see a small stream of steam coming out of the vent. (About 5-7 minutes).
- Your Dum Biryani is now ready. Peel / crack open the dough and in case you have used the cooker open the lid and serve with raita.
- My family loves theirs to be garnished with fried onion.
- In biryanis, raisins are added I did not as you know my family does not like them. But they taste amazing when fried. I had them once when we had cooked for our office potluck.
- Before serving you can fluff the rice for the masala to be mixed up with rice. But that cools down the rice difficult to serve up at my place. So I go straight down with a narrow spoon ( actually I will prefer to serve with a tablespoon but the noise levels when I am doing that are so much that I do not ).
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 39