Sadia Hussain

Mini Kofta Biryani Recipe

This mini kofta biryani is a pleasant change from meat or chicken biryani. The koftas are soft and succulent and go so well with fluffy, fragrant basmati rice.

I think this biryani is especially good for kids as there are no bones and the koftas are soft and easy for little mouths.


I make this every now then, especially when I'm strapped for time as the meatballs cook much faster than pieces of meat or chicken. I also keep a batch of this curry frozen so I can defrost and assemble this biryani in no time.


I love having leftovers because I think this tastes even better the next day!

Mini Kofta Biryani Recipe

Sadia Hussain

SERVES

6

TOTAL TIME

2 Hours

INGREDIENTS

For the Kofta

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped and fried golden brown

  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste

  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon  garam masala

  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

  • A handful of fresh coriander, chopped

  • 2 green chilies, chopped

  • 1/2 kg/1lb ground beef


For the Curry

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped and fried golden brown

  • 3 tablespoons full fat yogurt

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1 cup water


For the Rice

  • 3 cups basmati rice washed and soaked for 30 minutes

  • 6-7 fresh mint leaves

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 3 cloves

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tablespoon salt


For the Assembly

  • A handful of fresh coriander, chopped

  • 2 green chilies

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads pounded to powder in mortar and pestle

  • 1/2 cup full fat milk

  • 3 cardamom pods pounded to powder in mortar and pestle

  • 2 tablespoons ghee

  • 1/4 cup water

  • Damp paper towels or tea towel

METHOD

Directions for Kofta

  1. In a blender mix fried onions, garlic paste, ginger paste, turmeric powder, salt and garam masala to a paste.

  2. In a bowl add paste, cream, coriander, chilies and ground beef and mix until combined.

  3. Form small balls and chill in fridge.


Directions for Curry 

  1. In a blender mix fried onions, yogurt, turmeric powder, salt and garam masala to a paste.

  2. In a large pot, heat oil and cook curry paste for 5 minutes until the oil rises to the top.

  3. Add water and carefully drop the koftas in the curry. Cook on medium heat covered, for 10 minutes.

  4. Curry should be thick and oil should rise to the top.


Directions for Rice 

  1. In a large pot, boil at least 8-10 cups of water with mint leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaf and salt.

  2. Drain the soaked rice and add to the boiling water.

  3. Cook until almost done about 5-7 minutes, keep checking after 5 minutes.

  4. Drain and allow the rice to sit in a colander for 5 minutes.


Assembly 

  1. Soak the powdered saffron and the powdered cardamom in milk.

  2. In a large flat pan, add half the rice.

  3. Put ghee on top. Add the kofta curry.

  4. Add fresh coriander, chilies, salt and lemon juice.

  5. Add the remaining rice and pour the milk on top.

  6. Evenly drizzle 1/4 cup water.

  7. Cover with damp paper towel or tea towel.

  8. Cover tightly with lid or heavy duty foil.

  9. Cook on low heat for 45 minutes until steam comes out and there is a fragrance filling your kitchen.

  10. Uncover and gently mix with a fork.

Tips and Bits

I always have fried onions in my freezer for recipes like this as it cuts time in half.


The saffron is expensive but lasts awhile because you use a small amount in any dish. It's not a necessity for this recipe, but it surely gives an exotic fragrance and flavor.


I make my koftas small for biryani but you can make them larger, if you like.

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