My best friend and I have been on a quest for the past 2 months to make the ultimate biriyani. After making at least 12 batches, this is the recipe that we finally figured works well. This is based on the recipe from Kanammacooks.com. Ambur Star is a famous biriyani restaurant outside Chennai, in India. Having made this for my cousin who grew up eating that biriyani, she said that this was the closest to the biriyani she remembered from her childhood. Yes, this recipe takes time, but the end result is totally worth it.
Dagod phool, stone flower, or kalpasi is a type of lichen that is sometimes used in Indian food. Flavor-wise, it seems like the umami of South Indian food. You can find it on Amazon. One jar will last a lifetime. As for the goat meat, try to get goat leg meat. It has far fewer bones and makes for a much more enjoyable eating experience. —George Philips
cloves of garlic, smashed
Thai green chilies
dagad phool, also goes by stone flower or kalpasi
green cardamom pods
small pieces of mace
Kashmiri red chilies or bydagi red chilies
thinly sliced shallots
tomatoes, small to medium size
salt (not kosher)
loosely packed mint
loosely packed coriander
Juice from 1/2 a lime
bone-in goat meat, leg preferable
In This Recipe
Wash rice until water runs clear and soak for 30 minutes.
Grind all the dry spices for the masala paste together (mace, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, star anise, stone flower)
Grind all the remaining ingredients for masala paste separately (ginger, green chilies, garlic). Add water as needed to help make a smooth paste
Pour the dry spice powder into the ginger-garlic-chili paste and grind until well combined
Roughly chop the tomatoes, coriander, and mint.
Stem and deseed red chilies. Soak them in boiling water for 20 minutes, then grind into a paste.
Whisk together the water, yogurt, lime juice, 1 tsp salt, and Kashmiri chili paste
Heat peanut oil and ghee together in a pressure cooker. Slice shallots and fry with 1/4 teaspoon salt until deeply caramelized.
Add the masala paste and fry for 5 minutes
Add the chopped tomatoes, coriander, mint, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes
Add the water-yogurt mixture and goat to the pressure cooker
If using an Instant Pot, pressure cook on high for 26 minutes and quick release the pressure
After the pressure has finished releasing, remove the goat pieces from the pressure cooker. Pour all the liquid and remaining solids (but not the goat) into a dutch oven, and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt.
Bring liquid to a boil. Add the rice and goat, and cook on medium for 4 minutes
Uncover and mix well. Cover it again and cook on low for 10 minutes.
Move dutch oven off the burner and let steam, covered, for 20 minutes.
Fluff and let cool for 5 minutes uncovered before serving