W ho doesn’t like cooking with good friends, talking about Indian food and other things and enjoying a great meal after all the effort. But way more special is cooking a typical Indian dish with a real local. It’s fun, a new experience and you can learn something new – maybe for your lifetime.
I had this unique chance to meet Akshatha from India and to cook with her a popular Indian recipe: Dum Biryani. You might know Akshatha from my interview with her. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do. You will not just learn more about the Indian culture, but also how it feels to come in a completely new country – especially if you have never been out of India.
But back to Indian food: do you want to cook something new for your friends or family? And do you want to cook like a real pro? Then this post is for you. Here you will learn what ingredients are important for Indian meals on the example of Dum Biryani, what spices make it authentic and tasty as well as how you cook it the right way. So let’s start!
The essential ingredients of Indian food
Indian food is intensive and makes you want to have more. But above all, it’s one thing: A taste explosion in your mouth. This is due to the different ingredients for which the Indian cuisine is known for. Together with exotic spices, the taste experience will take you to a new level. So what are the essentials you need for cooking a typical Indian meal?
First of all, Akshatha explained to me that you need the basics. Those are oil, mustard, jeera, onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes. For the special taste Indians add spices like cardamom, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, whole pepper and bay leaves. For the actual spice they use chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric and garam masala powder. So with all these basics you can mix and match various dishes and create awesome Indian meals.
“In my country each dish is cooked differently due to the different parts of India,
because every part has local additions. But the basic recipe remains the same.”
Most of the ingredients mentioned above you can get in the supermarket, at the Turkish shop or – if in the vicinity – in an Indian supermarket. But if you already plan to go to India, you have the chance to buy the local spices directly on the spot which I would do in your position. After you bought the basic foods and spices, you just need to add rice and chicken. Then you will be ready for cooking a typical Indian dish.
Dum Biryani: The recipe
So for our cooking session, Akshatha has recommended cooking Dum Biryani as it is a typical Indian meal that she cooks often, too. It’s a non-vegetarian delicacy with basmati rice and chicken. The other ingredients are just a mixture of spices and vegetables.
The recipe is for about six people and has a medium level of difficulty. The preparation and cooking time takes 1 hour which is quite long – especially if you cook it in the evening after work. But if you like cooking and if you do it for someone else, it’s always much more fun to try out something new. And in the end 1 hour feels like 30 minutes. At least that’s how it felt to me. So find here now the whole recipe with easy step-by-step instructions.
- First of all, clean the chicken in a bowl and add chili powder, coriander powder, ginger garlic paste, salt, turmeric powder, chicken masala and curd.
- Keep the bowl with the chicken aside for about 30 minutes.
- Add some oil in a little part of a pan and fry finely chopped onions until they have a golden brown color.
- Afterwards thrust the onions aside, so they are not in the oil anymore.
- Now drop the marinated chicken in that oil and keep it aside.
- Take rice in another vessel, add whole garam masala, biryani leaves, salt and allow it to cook.
- When the rice is half-cooked, strain it.
- Cook the chicken and add mint and coriander leaves.
- Add half the boiled rice to the chicken and mix it with the fried onions.
- Add remaining rice and onions layer by layer and cover the vessel with a lid (don’t allow pressure to go out).
- Reduce flame and cook for 40 min.
- Finally, add lime juice mixed with turmeric powder through small holes made in the rice.
Ét voila, the Indian court is done. If you want to add a little source, try out a gravy of your choice or raita! Raita is a side dish made with yoghurt and herbs and acts like a delicious dip to the Dum Biryani.
So if you enjoy Indian food and can’t wait to try out the recipe for your next guests, let me know how it has worked for you. I would love to read your experiences. Anyway, have you ever done Dum Biryani or any other Indian dish before? Let me know in the comments below!