Nostalgia is always in the air when I talk about kathal/ jackfruit biryani. I always feel like I’m back where my masi used to prepare this Kathal biryani for all of us during summer vacation.
My Masi was our most favourite among all the masis, she still is. As kids we were so attached to her and used to ask her to do everything for us. She was an awesome story teller and she used to recreate awesome fairy lands for us. While we were taking our afternoon nap after listening to one of her stories, she tied all the chocolates, ladoos, and lollipops on our garden trees. That was a magical sight for us.
We always thought that since we are the favourites of the fairies that they do it for us, little did we know that our masi put all the effort in the heat outside. She still jokes with us regarding this.
Coming back to biryani, she was an amazing cook and fragrant and rich north Indian cuisine was her speciality. Down there in memory lane I can see her preparing fragrant biryani in the kitchen.
An authentic way of cooking needs everything made from scratch and needs elaborate preparation. But when she made something she made sure that she didn’t take help from others.
I was barely eight years old when I tasted this biryani and let me tell you I was speechless and awestruck by the beauty and taste of the dish. It was a visual delight and tasted amazing. I wanted to eat that for my whole life and that day for the first time I thought about replicating the dish once I grew up.
So when I was going to make dinner today I thought about making this but with a small twist. I made an Alu-Kathal ki biryani and it is mindblowing. This is one killer biryani and I am sure you all will love it.
So here I present to you my amazing ALU-KATHAL KI DUM BIRYANI.
We will make this Biryani in three steps.
Making of Rice—
Basmati or any long Rice—5 cups.
Boil water in a big vessel .
Add salt and oil.
Add all the whole garam masala.
When it starts to boil add rice to it.
You need rice to be around 70% cooked. Make sure it still has some bite.
When rice is 70% done, strain it in a big plate and spread it .
Making of Alu Kathal ki sabji
Potatoes/Alu-4 big ones
Kathal / Jackfruit.-2 cans/ 2 cups.
Onion-2 large ones,chopped finely.
Ginger Garlic paste -2 tablespoon.
Garam masala powder-1 tablespoon.
Coriander powder-2 table spoon.
Kashmiri chili powder-1 tablespoon.
Oil-4 table spoon.
Green chili-4 slit them into two parts.
Cumin seeds-1 teaspoon.
Yogurt /curd-1 cup
Oil for frying separately.
First deep fry the alu and kathal till they are golden brown. I used canned kathal so I didn’t boil them but if you are using fresh ones please boil them till they are little soft. You need to be careful here because we don’t want mushy kathal.
Take a big pan .
Add oil to it.
Add bay leaf and cumin seeds to it.
Add onions and saute on medium flame till translucent.
Add ginger garlic paste to it.
Add turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder, and garam masala powder.
Saute it on slow flame till the oil separates. Here I would like to add that term, Bhuna , which is a hindi word. Where you have to saute constantly for some time over low to medium flame. Mastering the art of bhuna masala is extremely important when you are doing traditional north indian cooking.
Now add our fried kathal/jackfruit pieces and fried potato/alu to it .
Saute for 6-7 minutes on low to medium flame .
Add around 1 cup of water to it and let it simmer. Add garam masala to it at this stage.
Now add beaten yogurt to it.
Mix loosely and add cilantro leaves and mint leaves into it.
Leave it as it is at this stage.
Switch off the gas.
Assembling the biryani in handi or big pan for dum.
Mint leaves-1/2 cup
Cilantro leaves-1/2 cup
Golden fried onion-1 cup (I have used store bought, if you want to make it at home then deep fry and use it.)
Saffron -Soaked in warm water/ milk for 20 minutes.
Desi ghee- 4 tablespoon.
Rose water-2 tablespoon.
Fried /Roasted cashews .
Take a biryani handi or big pan .
Add one tablespoon of ghee in it.
Add half of the alu kathal sabji we have prepared earlier to it.
Add half of the rice and spread it over the alu kathal gravy.
Sprinkle half of the mint and cilantro on top of it.
Sprinkle some fried onion on it.
Sprinkle some cashews and 2 tablespoon of the ghee. Sprinkle half of the saffron water and rose water on it.
Repeat the same process once again ,with rest of the ingredients.
After doing the top layer, cover with the lid and put weights on the lids so that steam can’t escape.
Alternatively you can use dough to close the lid properly.
Leave it on slowest flame for 10 minutes.
Switch off the gas now.
After 5 minutes you can open the lid and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Serve with chilled yogurt raita and salad.