childhood days · eid · saffron · sarifa aunty

Eid Mubarak

Those days are so vivid in my memory.. As a child I remember I used to so look forward to Eid.. The one and only reason for this was Sharifa Aunty’s Biriyani and kabab…
Sharifa Aunty was one of my Mum’s closest friends and a wonderful cook… Incidentally my Life Science teacher as well.. Since her pretty little house was right next to our school so, often i would hop skip and jump across the fence to find myself on her table.. What a wonderful cook she was..

During Eid.. there was no question of going else where, It had to had to be her house… I had my share + more reserved.. Well years went by, i grew up, we moved out of Tripura, but you know the taste bud has a very strong memory…

This year, when eid was approaching all I could think of was aunty’s Briyani. Though I have cooked Biriyani a fair bit , but this time it had to be Sharifa aunty’s recipe..   But she had moved back to kerala and I had no way of contacting her.. This is when facebook came to my rescue… Located her.. Called her up had the best possible gossip after ages.. She is the best story teller I have ever known and then I asked her for the recipe.. to which her answer was “are you that grown up that you can cook on your own?? Won’t you like to come and have Aunty’s cooking.” We started laughing and finally she gave me the recipe..

To be honest I was almost there with the taste.. But Sharifa aunty.. ‘sThere was something about her cooking… Magical is all I can say….

so here goes:

Sharifa Aunty’s Biriyani Recreated:

  • Mutton cubed 1.5 kgs
  • Yogurt- 250 gms
  • Yellow food colour- a pinch
  • Whole Garam masala (10 cloves, 10 pepper corns, 6 cardamoms, 2 sticks of cinnamon, 3 star aniseeds, 3 big black caramoms, 4 bay leaves.)
  • Red Chilli poweder- 1 tble spoon
  • Ginger paste -1 table spoon
  • Garlic paste -2 table spoon
  • Rice (basmati) -500 gm
  • Mutton stock -1.5 liters
  • saffron (a pinch) soaked in a cup of warm milk
  • Clarified Butter (ghee)- you would need a fair bit.
  • Salt to taste
Was the mutton and keep it aside.  I a large heave bottom cooking vessel The aluminium pans with lid are ideal. take about 3 table spoons of ghee and add the ginger garlic paste. Fry it till the oil starts to separate. Add the whole spices and as soon as it begins to give out flavour, add the meat and the salt… Fry the meat for about 10 mins and to it add the yogurt mixed with yellow colour and 4 cups of mutton stock. Let it cook on slow fire till the meat is tender and the juices have dried to about a cup.
Meanwhile was the rice and keep it immersed in about 3 cups of water.. The take about 5 cups of mutton stock and put it to boil. Add the rice and let it cook.. If you feel the water is drying up then add a cup or so to it.. When the rice is 60% done.. Should take about 15 mins or so.. (depends on rice to rice as well). Now add rice to the meat and then dollops of clarified butter and the saffron mixed in hot milk… Take care not to mix the meat with the rice then. Now seal the pan with a foil paper and then cover it with a lid.. You can further seal it with flour dough by rolling them around the pan. This prevents heat from escaping…  Let it cook for about 40 mins on slow heat.. Give it one or two shake and finally it should be ready to serve..  Biriyani is ready……

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