Kushka is a kind of biriyani popular in Madras / Chennai. It is served without the meat / chicken pieces .It is something different from the ghee rice. Mainly the chicken / mutton broth will act as the the flavor enhancer here. Instead of Basmati rice , it is usually made with a rice called 'Jeeraga samba unboiled rice', which is a short grain rice with the flavor of basmati rice. This variety of rice easily absorbs the broth and makes the biriyani more juicy and aromatic. In the restaurants of Chennai, they use the chicken pieces instead of broth and retain the pieces to sell with the chicken biriyani in the end:). I used chicken broth to make this kuska biriyani.
Hubby used to buy this for me weekly once from a typical Biriyani shop. Actually it was a very small business place but famous for its authentic chef and non veg menus:)
The 'dham' style recipe I have narrated below belongs to that chef.
It is my favorite biriyani as I am not much interested in the chicken pieces in biriyani :) . Hi! Don't under-estimate my taste buds.ok. I love well marinated pieces :). So we can count this as a comfort food for people like me.
To make broth:
Chicken - 1/4 kg (with bones)
water - 2 cups
turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Wash and clean the chicken pieces. Pressure cook the chicken with water and turmeric to 5 whistles. Filter the chicken soup alone leaving behind the pieces. We can use the left over pieces to make kuruma along with some potatoes.
Otherwise use a store bought 'clear' broth (Its ok to use , if some vegetable soups are also added). But be sure that it does not contain any flour / carbohydrates in the broth, as it will make the briyani mushy.
Kushka / Kuska briyani / Plain Biriyani
Jeeraga samba raw rice - 1 1/2 cup
Chicken / mutton Broth - 2 cups
Red onion - 2 (medium size)
Tomato - 2
cilantro- 1 handful.
mint leaf -1 handful.
curry leaf - 1 brig
Ginger - 2 inch
Garlic - 5 pods
green chillis - 8 (uncut).
Briyani powder / curry masala powder - 2 tsp
Lemon - 1/4
Fennel - 1 tsp
bay leaves - 2
star aniseed - 1,
cinnamom stick - 2 inch
cardamom - 2
cloves - 4
ghee - 3 tbsp
vegetable oil - 3 tbsp
salt - to taste
pepper powder - 1 tsp
Wash the rice, drain the water. Leave it for 1/2 an hour on the sieve.
Heat 3 tbsp oil in a broad vessel.
Add fennel ,star aniseed , cinnamon stick,cardamom ,cloves, bay leaf .
And saute a little.
Then goes the chopped onion , green chillies . Fry till it becomes golden brown.
Then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes.
Now add the chopped tomato and cook till the oil oozes out of it.
Now add the rice to the masala prepared and roast it till the rice gets heated .
If it needs some more oil, add the ghee now.
Add the briyani masala / curry masal powder.
Now we can see the rice trying to get fried.
Add the broth and let it come to boil.
Now put the required salt and lemon juice.
Spread finely chopped cilantro, mint leaf, curry leaf , pepper powder and few whole green chillies over the rice.
Cover it tightly with a lid . Heat a dosa tawa and place the vessel over the tawa.
Bring to boil 10 cups of water in a vessel and place it over the lid.
(In the restaurants they add burning charcoals over the lid, to make 'dhum')
This kind of heating from top and bottom cooks the kushka evenly.
Cook it in slow fire for 90 minutes or till the biryani flavor fills the house:)
Kushka biryani is ready!
The above said quantity can be enough for 2 people.
Serve it with chicken curry and onion raitha.
Calculate and increase the broth and rice quantity simulatuosly to make for more people.
If you are making this kushka in a bulk quantity, then you cannot measure the rice in cups. So add broth to the roasted rice, so that rice gets completely immersed in the broth and masala. Then proceed as described above.