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
- 3 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)
- 1 tablespoon oil