This is in response to Daily Prompt – Three Perfect Shots. Take a subject you’re familiar with and imagine it as three photos in a sequence. Tackle the subject by describing those three shots.
Biryani, the flavorful rice and meat dish needs no introduction. A regal dish enjoyed by the Mughal Emperors and Nawabs. If you can prepare this sumptuous indulgence at home, you are the ‘Kitchen Queen’ !!!
It’s Thursday. Life is boring. Everyone at home seems to be trapped in routines. I decide to spice it up. ‘Biryani for lunch on Saturday ?’ I casually ask my cheerless family. Junior drops his spoon in his cereal bowl, the milk splashes out on the table. Husband puts down the paper and smiles sheepishly.
I call my brother-in-law and invite him for lunch on Saturday. ‘ Biryani’, I say nonchalantly. Without hesitation he says he’ll be there. He does not make any excuses this time – no ‘need to catch up with my old buddies’ or ‘ girlfriend’s complaining, need to spend time with her’.
Anticipation built, mood set, I go ahead with the preparation.
Whatever the style of Biryani – Hydrabadi or Lucknowi, it calls for details. I check my spice counter. Cinnamon, big black cardamom, small green cardamom,cloves, star anise, saffron,shah jeera, rose water, kewra….. I realize, I have to visit the spice store on my way back from the meat shop. For that perfect aroma you cannot miss or substitute any of the spices.
With my shopping bag in hand, I walk to the local market. Once in the meat shop, I head straight to Babu my trusted butcher. ‘ Biryani cut’ is all I say, Babu handles the rest.
Preparing Briyani is a long arduous process. I marinate the meat on Friday night. The meat needs to marinate for at least 10-12 hours, so that it gets tender and juicy.
I’m busy in the kitchen soaking the basmati, frying the onions, preparing the spice ‘potli’ or packet. The house is quite. Junior is suspiciously-well -behaved. Husband is not lazying in front of the TV today. Vacuuming done, he is now busy with the laundry. I need not bother about house cleaning today.All I need to do is concentrate on the Biryani.
Finally, I layer the rice and the meat in my Biryani handi( special couldron for this preparation) adding generous sprinkles of crispy fried onions on the top and put it on Dum ( slow cooking). I set the timer and decide to take a shower.
Beep -beep-beep! it’s the timer. Suddenly, there is a rush of footsteps. Husband, brother-in-law and Junior stop whatever they are doing and take their seat in the dining room. The table has already been neatly laid by one of them while I was away.
I carry the handi to the table and crack open the seal. The aroma fills up the room. It’s heavenly.I give a generous helping of Biryani and Raita to all. Everyone eats in silence. No Saturday lunch time chit chat today.
In no time, the handi is empty.
Three Perfect Shots