Friday, August 21, 2009

Mushroom Biryani

The one thing I want to talk about among the several that caught my eye on this trip to my hometown is the mushrooming of biryani houses. In my last trip(about 18 months ago) I hardly caught sight of any but this time around there was one in every corner and very hard to miss. Sometimes the shop is just a hole in the wall and the kitchen is in the back usually part of a household. The taste of the biryani in these places is very very good provided you are happy to contend with the copious amounts of oil and spices used. A great tasting biryani can be made at home and with a pressure cooker and with the minimum of oil.

When I started making biryanis I used the oven to create the dum effect(indirect heat by placing the cooking vessel over a hot gridle) so essential for biryanis but it seemed too much of a waste to fire up the oven just to finish the biryani and ensure that each grain of rice is separate. I wanted to stick to my efficient pressure cookers and produce the same results and arrive at a method that makes it hard to decipher the difference between dum and dumless.

While using pressure cookers it is important not to let the rice cook for too long with the whistle on. Instead close the lid and let the rice cook for 5-6 minutes with the steam coming out, now place the whistle and cook for 2-3 minutes.

For someone who loves goat biryani and would not hesitate to call it the king of biryanis I have come to accept mushroom biryani as a quick tasty alternative. DD2 loves mushrooms and wanted them cooked right away. If you are willing to make it slightly richer use chicken stock else water works as well.

Before I move on to the recipe, here is a pitch for DD's website called DoodlyGreetings where she shows off her handmade greeting cards. Please do visit the site and if there any suggestions leave them here or you can do so at her blog CherryBlossoms.

Mushroom Biryani
1. 2 1/2 cups of sliced mushrooms (I used Crimini)
2. 1 1/2 cups rice (I used seeraga samba rice:water 1:2) (Basmati rice can be used)
3. 1 Medium Red onion - sliced thin
4. 8 garlic cloves + 2 inches of garlic + 8 green chilis minced (in a food processor)
5. 1 cup of mint and coriander leaves chopped
6. 1 tomato chopped fine
7. 1-2 cups of fresh green peas (I used frozen)
8. 15 cashews broken into pieces and roasted in ghee (I forgot to add this)
9. salt to taste
10. 1-2 tsp ghee
11. 1 tsp of oil
12. seasonings - cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, star anise, fennel seeds and curry leaves

1. Wash and soak the rice for half an hour minimum.
2. In the pressure cooker heat the oil and 1 tsp of ghee and add the seasonings. When they start to turn color add the onions and saute till they start to turn brown.
3. Add the minced garlic,ginger,green chilies and saute till raw smell goes
4. Add the coriander and mint leaves and saute till they wilt
5. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute till they turn mushy
6. Now add the mushroom and peas and saute for about 3-5 minutes. Add salt
7. Drain the rice and add to the mushroom and mix well and let it sit on very low heat for about 3 minutes more.
8. Now add water, check for taste (heat,salt, if not enough heat add red chili powder) and let it come to a boil and let cook on medium for 6-8 minutes more. Now you would see what pooled on the top, give it a good mix close the lid and in low heat let it steam for another 4 minutes.
9. Now place the weight and let cook for exactly 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the cooker from the stove.
10. After 10 minutes mix it gently.

Serve with yogurt or raita of choice.


  1. A great read as always, ISG -- especially enjoyed your play on words -- biryani houses mushrooming up all over ;)

    I have made a couple biryanis in the oven and a couple dozen in the pressure cooker (these always your recipe, I might add). Mushroom biryani would be heavenly rich and looks delicious.

    Off to see some greeting cards!

  2. Dear Doodly Greetings,

    I visited your site and I love the original designs -- very clever and colorful! I am fondest of blank cards where one can write their own greeting. Also, as a travel agent, I especially loved 'Bon Voyage'. Great job! :)

  3. A new way of cooking biryani for me. I love this. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love mushroom biryanis. Looks too good.

  5. Wow thats my fav too even i too like to use jeeraga samba rice that much.. even for rice varieties.. I think now a days I am not getting it... Seeing ur i am tempted so much .. I too have posted the mushroom biriyani take a look at it when u find time

  6. Indo, you're so right! And in AP, apart from biriyani, it's 'curry points' where you can buy curries and take them home! And with these biriyani houses, it's like each village claims to have its own distinct style of biriyani.

    I knew it was jeeraga samba as soon as I saw the pic, and it looks "just like non-veg" biriyani - that's what most vegetarians I know would aspire for with paneer and mushroom :-)

  7. Had to smile at "dum vs dumless". DH is very keen on making Biryani.
    Liked the tips of making biryani in the pressure cooker, via dum method.
    Kudos to your DD for Doodly Greetings. It is a great project and good one for such a yong kid.

  8. hi...u got a nice blog with many yummy recipes...biryani looks delicious with mushrooms...

  9. Wat to go! Congrats doodly girl! You'll go far!!

    I'm going to send your biryani recipe to clueless-but-biryani loving DH. It seems real simple and VERY tasty. Maybe I'll get him to master this biryani recipe - for my own good ofcourse! :)

  10. You ae right on the biriyani front and I know a person who east biriyani 365 days for lunch! Don't know what'll happen to him ! Hey Indo the mushroom biriyani looks wonderful! The mild masala is my choice too! And DD's pics were great! Are all the pics done by her? Why no signatures found ? Good job dear little DD!

  11. Indhu i went over to your DD site! she has done a terrific job, i'll have to go back & read more. My hubby is in the process of setting up a site for my DD1 i will show your DD's to her, it will be a big inspiration for her:-)

    I am the kind who could eat biryani every meal every day:-) I make mushroom biryani with mint, but never made any in the cooker, always the dum wala.

  12. Happy ganesh chaturthi to you & your family dear :)
    Mushroom biryani looks Divine....What a lovely spread .

    Soup 'N Juice Event is going on in my blog.Please do participate in it.

  13. Nirmala, DD did draw all of the pictures, a few of them she has signed but the others she has not I guess.

  14. Kay, nice to hear from you. How is the vacation coming along and eh... the diet? Little M enjoying all the attention?

  15. Indo, The vacation is going on full swing - just did a round trip and visited all main places. Back to Bangalore now. The diet has gone haywire and the weight is plummeting - got to stop this madness soon. :) DD is loving all the attention and meeting all new faces almost every other day and has finally started speaking Tamil. :)

  16. Loved the idea of mushroom biryani and it looks inviting...Just visited DD's site, she has done a wonderful job, all the cards are so cute...

  17. I tried cooking mushroom biriyani on saturday. It came out really well and my hubby and son both loved it.
    I followed everything except the cashewnuts. I did not cook in the pressure cooker or oven either. Cooked it in a non stick base vessel with lid which I got from Madras. Once I have added the rice and water , and when it starts boiling I reduce the flame to very low, put the lid on and leave it for 12 minutes. After 12 mints I remove the vessel from the burner and leave it until ready serve. The biriyani is very nice every time. I use the basmati rice we get in UK and instead of adding water 1:2 I add 1and 3/4 cups for every cup of rice.

  18. Adapted your recipe for making vegetable biryani with Jeera samba rice, the measurements were perfect. The dish turned out very tasty. Thank you for sharing the recipe and the tips.


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