I have some weird connection to bengali cuisine. I wish I knew the reason. They just so easily attract me and I literally crave to try them. The funniest part is that I am not a fan of Bengali sweets, that actually has the world going crazy. I am a fan of their Biryani, egg rolls, fish curries, fish fry and the chicken curries. You can search this site for more recipes from the east region.
Coming back to this Biryani. Once during my search for a new recipe, I came across the fact that Bangladesh has a unique flavors during Ramadan, specially for Biryani. This particular Biryani is only served during Ramadan in Bangladesh. Ramadan is a wonderful time for Muslims, actually let me rephrase it, Ramadan is a beautiful time for every food lover. As much as some people think that fasting is tough for Muslims, the fact is that most Muslims gain weight during Ramadan. I India, most foods like samosas, kebabs, Haleem etc are made specially during Ramadan and street foods are sold all night with every food you can think of. From crispy pastries to Turkey legs, fried fish to Tandoori Raan, different kinds of Mithai to Icecreams…Ramadan is a month of feasting….
This Biryani recipe is simple and delicious. The steps are easy to follow and pics and recipes show things in complete detail. It can be made in Fish as well with few changes to the recipe. You can always contact me to get the details.
Bangladeshi Ramadan Biryani
A dish from the Ramadan celebration in Bangladesh.
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Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and fry till they turn golden brown. Add the bay leaves, cinnamom, cardamom, cloves and crushed mace to the onions and saute. Cook till the onions turn golden brown. Take out 2 TBLSP of the fried onions for garnishing later.
Add the ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes away, usually 2-3 mins.
Add the tomatoes and cook till tomatoes turn mushy. It takes anywhere between 8-10 minutes.
Add the red chili powder and turmeric powder.
Add the chicken and 1 cup water. Add salt. Let it all come to a boil.
Add the coriander leaves, mint leaves and green chilies. Saute for 4-5 mins.
Add the yoghurt. Keep cooking till the oil separates and the chicken is cooked.
Now in another pan, prepare the Rice. Add oil, followed by shahi zeera, star anise and cardamom powder. Add water and salt.
Let water come to a boil. Add the soaked rice. In around 5-7 mins, the rice would start boiling. Cook it till its 70% cooked. You can tell that by taking a rice grain and breaking it. It should be soft from the middle and a little hard from the sides. Drain the rice in a colander.
Turn the oven to 350 F and start layering the Biryani. To layer the Biryani, add a little oil from the yakhni to the bottom of the pan. Add one third of the rice followed by half of the yakhni, again 1/3 of the rice and other half of the yakhni. Add the remaining 1/3 on top.
Add color to the kewra water. Add this water at different places on the rice. Add the fried onion we kept separate for garnishing. Cover with a cotton cloth followed by a lid or you could also seal the lid with dough. Let it dumm in the oven for 30-40 mins.
Serve with raita, dalcha or khatte baingan.