Friday, June 17, 2016

Mince Beef and Veggie Biryani


A spicy mince beef and veggie rice casserole makes this biryani a perfect dish that is easy to make, but still gets rave reviews from guests.

I love experimenting with dishes and that's exactly what I did with this version of biryani.  I decided to use mince beef as the star ingredient.  I love mince beef, chicken, pork, etc.. because there is no need to cut anything before you cook it, simply brown your ground meat and you can do so much with it.  

I also experimented when it came to the dairy I used in this dish.  I usually would use buttermilk or yogurt in my biryani dishes, but I did not have any on hand when I made this dish.  I did have a container or sour cream in the fridge and since it's tangy and creamy... why not!  It worked out great. 

I served the biryani with a creamy cucumber and onion salad and some boiled eggs.  It was a great weekend lunch that did not take me long to make and I had a happy family that came running to the table because it was so deliciously aromatic while it was cooking.  

The family loved it so much that they asked for the leftovers for the next days lunch and dinner as well.  I was so happy because that kept me out of the kitchen and I was able to just relax and cross kitchen duty off my list for the weekend.  

Mince Beef and Veggie Biryani
Recipe by Ramona from Kitchen Simmer


The Beef Biryani Curry
21/2 pounds lean mince beef

16oz sliced white button mushrooms
1 large onion (red or yellow) sliced or chopped
2-3 jalapeno peppers sliced 
2-3 small sweet peppers or one red/orange bell pepper
2 Tbs grated ginger
4-6 cloves finely chopped or grated garlic 
small handful fresh mint leaves finely chopped
red chili flakes (to taste)
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes
1 package Biryani powder
salt and black pepper to season
canola oil if needed 
1 cup water
11/2 cups sour cream (low fat preferred, not nonfat)
The Rice :
31/2 cups uncooked basmati rice
2 dry bay leaves
3-4 cardamom pods
3-4 cloves
2 star anise 1 stick (2 inches) cinnamon stick
1 Tbs chicken bullion powder 5-6 cups cold water


Cooking the Biryani Rice and Curry:

Wash rice well until water runs clear. Into a large pot add rice, cold water, bay leaves, star anise, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick and bullion powder.  Place on medium heat and cook until rice is 3/4 of the way cooked.  If necessary drain any extra water out.  My rice absorbed all the water.  Turn stove off and set rice aside until later.

Cooking the Beef Biryani Curry:

In another pot, on high heat, add ground beef and brown well then season with salt and black pepper.  If there is no oil in the pan rendered from the beef, then add 2 Tbs canola oil here.  Next add the sliced mushrooms and brown them well.  Then add the onion and jalapeno peppers, cook 2 minutes.
Next add the grated ginger and garlic to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.  Then add the mint, carrots and sweet peppers, cook two minutes.  

Next add the Biryani powder mix and red chili flakes fry for 1 minutes with the beef and veggies.  Then add the can of diced tomatoes and water, stir well. 
 Finally lower the heat to low and stir in the sour cream. Taste for salt and seasoning.  The curry should be spicy with a tangy flavor.  Take curry off stove and prepare all ingredients to layer the biryani.

Layering the Biryani Casserole:
Start with 1/3 of the meat mixture on the bottom of the casserole dish.  Then a little more than 1/3 of the rice follows.  Repeat.  Finally finish with the final 1/3 of the meat and the last bit of rice on top. 

Sprinkle top with biryani coloring powder if desired (optional).    Cover casserole with foil and place in a 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes.  Serve hot with salad, chutney, and other curries or eat plain. 

 Note:  Remember when you eat curry or biryani, the cardamom pods, cloves, curry leaves, pandan leaves are meant to be removed as you eat.  They are only there to enhance the flavors of the dish and are not meant to be eaten.  Eating them does no harm, but the flavors are very strong and not pleasant on their own.


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