Brief list of ingredients I used:
- white basmati rice
- cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, whole cloves, garam masala, turmeric
- jalapeno, garlic, onion, carrots, yukon gold potato, peas, chicken thigh meat, asparagus, corn (these last two were my own additions to use up what was left in my refrigerator)
- I did not use ghee. Ghee is clarified butter and essential to much of Indian cooking. It is simple to make at home, I just haven't ever done it for some reason - I need to get on that!
- The recipe called for whole spices - cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, peppercorns - and only 1/4 teaspoon each of turmeric and garam masala. Something told me that wouldn't be enough to flavor two cups of rice, ESPECIALLY since I am so fond of intense flavors, but I ignored my instinct with bad results. While the biryani was yellow, it was very mildly flavored - leading me to believe I found an "Americanized" recipe. We doused our bowls with hot sauce - not the flavor we were looking for, but just to spice it up. Next time I will use ground spices and triple the amounts!
- I never cook rice on the stove except for risotto - I always use a rice cooker. However with the biryani you cook the rice in the pot with the vegetables and spices. Even though I had read the recipe through a couple of times, when it came to the rice, instinct took over and rather than letting the water boil first, then adding the rice (as the recipe said), I threw in the rice and then added the water. This resulted in the rice grains being a little pasty and not separate. It didn't ruin the dish, but it was not the texture I was looking for. Next time I will be sure to let the water boil first, then add the rice!
- The potato was very mushy. According to the recipe I added it in before boiling the rice. Perhaps I used a super soft potato (yukon golds), or maybe it was cooked too long.
I will continue my search for a delicious biryani that I can make at home. If you have a recipe, please let me know!