Mo takes Roshan’s Istanburyani for a taste drive.

Warning: Not a 140 second recipe. Very uncomplicated though.

Roshan shared his recipe for a Biryani Mashup with me a while back, and I refused to post it because I don’t trust the PhD’s.

I tried it yesterday, and it turned out surprisingly good. More importantly, it was surprisingly easy. Bold, italics, underlined. Why did I always assume it was complicated?

The only screw-up is that this really can’t be made in small quantities. Must be made for a whole bunch of starving gatecrashers who should have  skipped breakfast and lunch to have dinner. And you may still have leftovers. Not quite the thing for a romantic dinner for two.

Anyway, without further ado, over to Roshan..


Istanbuli” or Stamboli as Rose* insists is a Persian flavored rice dish. I figure the etymology of it due to perhaps Turkish influences. But perhaps Rose is right and Stamboli is just a Persian word for this dish.
Biryani is a flavoured rice dish popular in the Indian subcontinent.

Common elements of both:
Flavorful cooking of meat in a thick sauce as a precursor.
“Dumming” of half-cooked rice along with the meaty-sauce.

Distinguishing elements.

Istanbuli uses onions and garlic with spices in tomato sauce for the gravy. Biryani gets it gravy from onion-garlic too but the gravy materializes out of cooking yoghurt.
Lentils and Garbanzo beans (chickpeas/chhole) are added to Istanbuli along with the meat.

In any case.. here’s the recipe for Istanburyani as I call it.

0. Make sure you have some softened lentils/garbanzo beans (I used black beans soaked overnight and a can of garbanzo beans)**

1. Marinate some meat of your in masala and yoghurt with spices. I used lamb***, in mango chilli powder, turmeric, salt, and garam masala. I recommend at least one hour.

2. Start off sauteing well chopped onions with green chillies and dried spices like cardamom, cinnamon, etc on slow heat.

3. Add in chopped tomatoes when onions are glassy and look super-tender.

4. Add marinated meat and pour in the tomato sauce.

5. Slow cook. Really, low flame. Some 40 mins or so. Check every 20 mins, stir, adjust etc.

6. The meat has released all its fat? And the gravy looks good ?

7. Add in the lentils, beans. whatever u planned. Drop in some more yoghurt, maybe some coconut cream (I also added coconut flakes for the sake of south India) and some chopped coriander.

8. Another 20 mins, slow cook.

9. Half cook basmati rice. means cook it as u normally do but for lesser time and with lesser water.

10. Get huge vessel or baking tray. Layer up the curry/meat sauce thingy.. and the rice in alternate  layers.  Bake in oven or slow cook on SUPER LOW flame. if on flame. put some oil in vessel first and use the first layer as rice.   Then you get what the persians call “TahDiq” .. the crusty crispy rice at the bottom.

11. Dum it****. Mix. Serve with raita or some cooling salad.

Spices/ proportions / etc..  use creativity and brains with prior cooking experience.

Mo’s footnotes:

* Name Changed to protect privacy. Hhhehhe.

** I skipped this.  No beans for me.

***I used chicken and  added mint leaves (Pudina). Kickass, I tell you.

****Put a tightfitting lid on top, and let it steam. Go for a walk, check your email, tweet..

Having said all of that, this recipe is a total oppositesexmagnet. Thanks Roshan, if it wasn’t this near-namesake problem, I would be writing louu-letters on pink paper with red ink, dotting my i’s with hearts, and burping  sweet-nothings in morse code.

Okay, the last part was a bit disgusting, but marriage proposals, and other suggestions, to be mailed to – will forward to the concerned party.


8 responses to “Mo takes Roshan’s Istanburyani for a taste drive.

  1. ahhhhh….you know i read a biryani post day before yesterday and was wondering how cool it would be to have a wife who cooks biryani. now i can just elope with you mo.

  2. Oh, this recipe is a samesexmagnet too.
    Where do I meet you, cyn?


  3. get a room, you two!

  4. Shub,

    Dang! just when we were trying to perfect our desperate housewives act.


  5. this looks great thanks. i love food like this its a full meal in one dish. yum!

  6. Recipe Man, did you try any?


  7. yep many times. this is the way to live. easier and healthier.. where are you from?

  8. Recipe Man,

    Ah, the three of us are from different towns. shub and I live in Singapura.


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