Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I studied Applied Art at Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya in Pune. If you've ever driven past it, you know it takes real courage to admit that one studied there. During my fourth year, our class was situated in the basement of the college. This was great for two reasons. If it rained, the water in class came up at least waist level and all the tables would be floating. And if there was no electricity, it would be pitch dark. In any event, classes would be cancelled for the day. When this happened, there were two options. Either place yourself among some permanent fixtures at Vaishali. Or pig out on some of the most decadent Mutton Biryani at Durga Biryani House. Durga, which is situated on Tilak Road, right outside Tilak Smarak Mandir, is in a tiny 12' X 12' shop. It has a mezzanine floor which houses three and a half tables. I can bet good money that the mezzanine is an illegal construction. However, this is a minor detail when you consider that this little restaurant churns out the best artery clogging mutton biryani in Pune. If you are to visit this fine establishment remember to have a generous supply of Gelusil® with you.
4 cups basmati rice
I lb lamb cubed 2 large onions finely chopped
3 large onion thinly sliced 2 large tomatoes finely chopped 5 cloves of garlic crushed or 1 tsp paste 1 tsp ginger paste 2 tsp chili powder 2 tsp turmeric powder 1 1/2 tsp garam masala 1 tsp salt (or according to taste) 3 cups water 1/2 cup oil
In a large pot heat oil on high and add ginger and garlic. When the garlic starts to splatter add chopped onion Once the onion browns on the edges, add tomato and stir Allow to cook for 5 min Then add chili, turmeric and garam masala Allow to cook for a few minutes and add Lamb Stir and allow to cook for a minute or two Add water and mix well Turn heat to medium and allow to boil till almost all the water is gone and the curry part looks like a lumpy paste.
In a wok deep fry the sliced onions till golden brown and crisp
In another pot cook rice till it is almost cooked. i.e. there is a tiny grain at the center of the rice
Take a thick bottomed pot and place some of the fried onions
Then add a 1 inch layer of Rice
Cover it with a layer of Mutton
Repeat layers till you have 3 sets of layers.
Place lid on the pot and seal with dough or a damp towel
Place on medium heat till all the rice appears cooked.
Serve with Raita or Dahi-Kanda