Just like making lasagna, a top-notch biryani is all about those layers — fluffy rice, spicy masala, and aromatic onions topped with golden saffron and green coriander. Get each individual component as close to perfect as possible, and you'll reach culinary nirvana once they're layered up in your pan, ready for their final steam. And here's an easy tip to make your onion layer even better: fry them in batches instead of adding them all to the pan in a giant heap and cooking them in one sitting.
This simple technique gives the onions plenty of room to cook down, allowing them to caramelize at the perfect rate until they become golden and crisp. While frying the amount you need in more manageable batches means more work and time, overcrowding the pan will only result in a wet blob of stewed onions that will meld together into a lump. You're looking for onions with a distinct texture for a depth of flavor characteristic of a South Asian biryani. Trying to fast-track this step won't do justice to your dish, so slow your roll for a better, bolder biryani, baby.
How To Fry Onions For Biryani
To avoid making jammy onions, slice them thinly so they brown evenly as they fry. Then, once the oil in your pan is hot, add them in, making sure that they cover the base of the pot in a single layer. Allow them to brown slowly while stirring regularly so their natural sugars are released, resulting in a golden, soft exterior. Don't be tempted to whack up the heat to quicken the process, or they'll burn and char. The key is to be patient and give the onions the space and time they need to sweeten before they become soggy and almost disintegrate. Once done, set them aside on some kitchen towel and continue with your next batch until you've fried them all.
As the onions fry, they'll impart their flavor into the oil, resulting in a fragrantly infused fat perfect for blooming spices, so don't discard it! Instead, use it as a cooking oil to fry the meat, chicken, or vegetables that make up the rest of your dish (this biryani recipe is outstanding and features lamb and dried cranberries). Once you've prepped all the various elements of your biryani, it's time to scatter some of your golden onions onto the layers of rice so they can steam and become tender and soft. Save the crispier ones as a garnish at the end, along with fresh coriander, cashew nuts, and slices of lemon.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.