First clean and wash mushrooms and pat dry them chop them to thin slices of in quarters as you prefer. Chop the onions and tomatoes into fine slices.
Mean while, wash and soak the basmati rice until the water runs clear and soak it for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes drain it and keep aside.( set a timer, this is very important to get fluffy biriyani.)
Next, Add oil to a heavy bottom large pot which has a lid on it (I use a pressure cooker itself as I don’t have a big pot).
Once the oil is hot, add In the half the aromatics as mentioned in the ingredients list, that is the cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom pods. Once it begins to sizzle, add in the onions and cook until the onions turn soft, Once it turns soft, add in the tomatoes, Green chillies ( cut in halves), ginger garlic paste and cook on medium flame until it all softens to become one gravy base.
Next add the mushroom into the gravy base. Add in yoghurt, Biriyani Masala, coriander powder, garam masala and cook in medium flame until the mushrooms is cooked to tender. As the mushroom cooks it will leave some water so keep stirring and mixing in between. Cook until you start seeing some oil around the sides in the biriyani masala prepared.
Next add in Half of the fried onions that is prepared. Check my recipe to make fried onions for the biriyani.
While the mushroom is cooking, to a large pot, add in water and the remaining aromatics cloves, bay leaf, cardamom pods, pepper cons, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and a few drops of oil. Bring it to a rolling boil. Once it boils, add in the soaked basmati rice. Cook the rice until it is 90% cooked. You may have to test a grain of rice and see to ensure its almost cooked but still has a bit of grain in the middle.
Once it is done, carefully strain the liquid off the basmati rice, reserve a cup of the cooked water for later use. Keep the rice spread on a large plate to prevent it from sticking to each other. You may remove the whole spices that is peaking out such as bay leaf and cinnamon sticks.
Now check if the mushroom biriyani base is ready. It will be a thicker gravy consistency and the color would have become richer with traces of oil on its sides. Now turn off the flame.
Now to the fun part, where all your hard work pays.
You can use the same pot or a separate one. I used the same pot. Remove 3/4 of the mushroom gravy prepared in to a separate bowl.
Mix the orange food coloring to milk or left over water from cooking the basmati rice. And keep aside.
We will be making layers of rice and gravy and add in aromatics from now. So, Remember we may have enough to do 3 layers with the quantity I have given. So split the rice into 3 parts and use one part for the first layer and so on. Do the same for the mint, coriander leaves and fried onions and keep aside.
Now to make the first layer, to the gravy that is in the pot, add a layer of rice on top followed by a sprinkle of coriander leaves, mint leaves and fried onions, and a drizzle of the orange food coloring. Repeat for 3 layers and on the final layer, add in a generous dollop of ghee and some garam masala and cover the lid so no aroma escapes.
Put the pot with biriyani layered on top of a pan and heat it on low flame. This is called dum. It will take about 40 minutes on Dum for the rice to continue cooking in the chicken gravy.
Once done, open the lid and check if all the moisture is absorbed by the rice and if the rice is cooked through. You can gently mix the rice to check if all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through and is soft as sponge.
Gently serve it on a plate , spooning the biriyani from the bottom of the pot. Showing all the marvelous layers. Enjoy with Raita or a nice gravy.
In India we used to cover the rims with whole wheat dough. It helps in sealing the aroma inside the pot. I used a pressure cooker and its almost as good as sealed. You can use any a regular heavy lid which seals the pot tight.Or you can also leave it on low flame for 25 minutes without a pan.
Keyword biriyani, dinner ideas, mushroom, mushroom biriyani, party recipes