Hyderabadi Qubooli or Qabooli – Chana Dal Biryani

Hyderabadi Qubooli or Qabooli Chana Dal Pulao or Biryani

This week, I was looking for a one-dish meal and came upon this recipe for Hyderabadi Qubooli or Qabooli. This is an easy-to-make and delicious Chana Dal Biryani uses very few spices and is superb to taste. All that Qubooli needs as accompaniment is papad, dahi or then Mirchi ka Salan. What I loved about this Chana Dal Biryani was its mild taste and use of minimal spices.

This Hyderabadi Qubooli or Qabooli is going to become a regular in my home.

Yesterday was the 169th Thyagaraja Aradhana and my music school celebrates it traditionally with the rendering of Pancharatnas. They have been doing this for over 80 years without a break. For the past five years or so, I have had the privilege of organizing this festival with a couple of fellow students or their parents. It is quite a bit of work, but greatly satisfying. So this past month, blogging has taken a back seat.

Do not let the length of the recipe deter you from trying this wonderful dish. The Hyderabadi Qubooli is really easy to make; I have just given very detailed steps for layering.

How to Make Hyderabadi Qubooli (aka Qabooli) or Chana Dal Biryani

Hyderabadi Qubooli or Qabooli Chana Dal Pulao or Biryani
Print
Hyderbadi Qubooli or Qabooli - Chana Dal Biryani or Pulao
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 10 mins
 
Hyderabadi Qubooli or Qabooli is a mildly spiced and delicious Biryani made with Chana Dal. All it uses as a spice is some saffron, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom.
Course: Main
Cuisine: Hyderabadi, Indian
Servings: 4
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 1/2 Cup Chana Dal
  • 1.5 Cups Basmati Rice
  • 3 Large Onions
  • 1/2 Cup Curd
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 3 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/3 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 1 Handful Mint Leaves
  • 1 Handful Fresh Coriander Leaves
  • 1 Large Pinch Saffron Strands
  • Salt to Taste
Whole Spices
  • 6 Cloves
  • 2" piece Cinnamon
  • 4 Green Cardamom
  • 1.5 tsp Shah Jeera
Instructions
Brown the Onions
  1. Peel and cut the onions into fine slices.
  2. In a wide-bottomed kadhai or pan, heat 1.5 tbsp ghee.
  3. Add the onion slices and about 1/4 tsp salt.
  4. On medium flame, fray the onions till golden brown.
  5. Remove and set aside.
Soak the Chana Dal
  1. Soak the Chana Dal in 1 cup water for 30 Minutes.
  2. Drain all the water and set aside.
Soak the Saffron
  1. Ensure that milk is lukewarm.
  2. Add the saffron to it and set aside for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Mix well and set aside.
Other Preparations
  1. Chop the mint and coriander leaves into fine pieces.
  2. Beat the dahi till it is smooth.
Method to Make the Basmati Rice
  1. Soak the rice for 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the water.
  3. Cook the rice in 2.5 cups water along with 1/2 tsp salt, 2 cloves and 1" piece of cinnamon till just 3/4 done.
  4. Drain any excess water, if any.
  5. Spread on a plate to cool and dry a bit.
Method to Make the Masala for Hyderabadi Qubooli
  1. In a pan, heat the remaining ghee. I used the same pan that I used for browning the onions.
  2. Add the 4 cloves, 1" piece of cinnamon, and green cardamom.
  3. Stir-fry for a few seconds till the spices release the aroma.
  4. Add the ginger-garlic paste and slit green chillies.
  5. Stir-fry for a few seconds.
  6. Add the soaked chana dal, red chilli powder, turmeric, and 1/3 tsp salt.
  7. Mix well.
  8. Add 2/3 cup water and cook the chana dal till it is just cooked. It should not be squishy. Cook till the dal just breaks when pressed with a spoon.
  9. Turn off the heat.
  10. Add the dahi and mix well.
  11. Set aside.
Layering the Hyderabadi Qubooli Biryani
  1. Divide the rice into 3 equal portions.
  2. Divide the cooked chana dal masala into 2 equal portions.
  3. Layer the bottom of a heavy-bottomed vessel, spread one portion of the rice.
  4. Spread a layer of the chana dal masala.
  5. Sprinkle half the browned onions.
  6. Sprinkle half the mint and coriander.
  7. Sprinkle half the saffron milk.
  8. Sprinkle half the lemon juice.
  9. Spread another layer of rice.
  10. Spread a layer of the chana dal masala.
  11. Sprinkle half the browned onions.
  12. Sprinkle half the mint and coriander.
  13. Sprinkle half the saffron milk.
  14. Sprinkle half the lemon juice.
  15. Spread another layer of rice.
Cooking the Hyderabadi Qubooli in Dum
  1. Cover the vessel with the biryani layers with a well-fitting lid.
  2. If required, place a heavy object on the lid to hold it down.
  3. Heat a tava or a griddle.
  4. Place the covered vessel on the heated tava.
  5. Using a medium flame, continue to heat the tava for about 10 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and let the vessel sit on the hot tava for 10 minutes.
  7. Just before serving, mix the Qubooli with a gentle hand.
  8. Serve warm with Dahi, Papad, or Mirchi ka Salan
Recipe Notes

I used a pressure cooker as the vessel in which I layered the Qubooli.

I have been told that we can place the vessel in which the dum is done directly on a low flame, but I was not too sure and so used the Tava method.

 

Pudina Pulao (Minty Rice with Loads of Vegetables)

Mint Pulav | Pudina Pulao | Mint Pilaf
Mint Pulav | Pudina Pulao | Mint Pilaf

I love one-dish meals. The other day, I had loads of winter vegetables at home and was wondering what to make when I thought of Pudina Pulao. It is very easy to make and delicious.

Like Pulaos and Biryanis? You can find many more recipes in this Collection of Pulao and Biryani Recipes.

How to Make Mint Pulav | Pudina Pulao

Time: 45 Minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  1. Rice (preferable Basmati) – 1.5 Cups
  2. Fresh Pudina or Mint Leaves – 1/2 Packed Cup
  3. Coriander Leaves – 1 Packed Cup
  4. Fresh Ginger – 1” piece
  5. Green Chillies – 2 or 3
  6. Oil – 2 Tbsp
  7. Chopped mixed veggies (carrots, french beans, cauliflower, peas, potatoes) – 1.5 Cups
  8. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  9. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Pressure cook rice with about 3 cups of water till done. Spread out on a large plate to cool and dry.
  2. Grind Pudina, Coriander Leaves, Green Chillies, and Ginger to a smooth thick paste.
  3. In a kadai, heat oil and add the mixed veggies. Stir fry for 5 mins.
  4. Add a enough water to just cover the vegetables.
  5. Cover the kadai and cook over medium heat till veggies are parboiled.
  6. Add the Mint-Coriander paste and sauté till the water evapourates.
  7. Add rice, turmeric, and salt.
  8. Mix well, but with a light hand.
  9. Cover and let it rest for about 10 mins.
  10. Serve Pudina Pulao warm with papad and/or raita.

Tips

  • I add about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp oil to the basmati rice before cooking it. I find that this prevents the rice from becoming sticky.

 

Tava Pulao – Mumbai Street Food

Tava Pulao
Tava Pulao

Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) is India’s great melting pot. Since time immemorial, Mumbai has been home to people from all across India and indeed, the world. Mumbai has also been home to every type of migrant worker. Anyone who wanted to make a living would come to Mumbai and would find some work. Many left their families behind to live in shared accommodation and shanty towns while they eked out a living in this great metropolis.

One thing common to most migrant workers was that they needed food and so all kinds of affordable fare became available in this city. It also gave rise to an entire range of dishes that are peculiar to Mumbai that are popularly called Mumbai Street Food.

A generic umbrella term that covers food available at small street-side stalls, Mumbai Street Food encompasses a wide range of dishes from the filling Vada-Pav to the fun ones like Pani Puri.

One of the most popular Mumbai Street Food items is Pav Bhaji. Literally meaning bread (Pav) and vegetable (Bhaji), Pav Bhaji consists of a spicy vegetable mix served up with a local bread called Pav. I guess, many people who did not like Pav or then craved rice mixed up rice with the Bhaji and thus was born Tava Pulao.

Tava Pulao is essentially Bhaji of Pav Bhaji mixed with rice. It is called Tava Pulao because it is made on the same Tava or griddle that Pav Bhaji is made on. Whatever its origins, Tava Pulao is now a popular dish in India and has moved from being street food to a listed item on many a restaurant menu.

I love Tava Pulao because it combines two of my favourite foods; rice and Pav Bhaji!

The simplest way to make Tava Pulao is to mix leftover bhaji of Pav Bhaji with some rice! However, if the urge strikes and you have no Bhaji, here is the recipe for Tava Pulao.

Serves: 4

Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Basmati or Any Long Grained Rice – 1 Cup
  2. Tomato – 1 Large
  3. Capsicum – 1 Large
  4. Onion – 1 Large
  5. Potato – 1 Large
  6. Peas – 1/2 Cup
  7. Kashmiri Red Chilli – 3
  8. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  9. Pav Bhaji Masala – 1 tsp
  10. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
  11. Oil – 2 tbsp
  12. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Soak the kashmiri red chillies in 1/2 cup water for 10 minutes.
  2. Drain the water and grind the red chillies into a fine paste.
  3. Pressure cook the basmati rice with 2.5 cups of water and 1/2 tsp salt.
  4. Let the pressure cooker cool and speard the rice in a large plate or on a cotton cloth so that the moisture dries out.
  5. Chop the tomato into fine pieces.
  6. Chop the onion to 1/4″ pieces.
  7. Chop the capsicum into 1/4″ pieces.
  8. Peel and cut the potato pieces into 1/2″ cubes.
  9. In a large wok or kadai, heat the oil.
  10. Add the potato pieces and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  11. Add the onion pieces and stir fry till transparent.
  12. Add the capsicum pieces and stir fry for 5 minutes.
  13. Add the peas.
  14. Add the kashmiri chilly paste, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, and pav bhaji masala.
  15. Stir fry for about 2 minutes.
  16. Add 1/4 cup water.
  17. Over medium heat, cook covered till the water evapourates and the potato pieces are cooked.
  18. Add the rice and salt, and mix well.
  19. Serve warm with papad, and Kakdi Raita or Boondi Raita.

Tips

  • If you do not have Kashmiri Chillies, omit them. All they lend is the red color. You could try adding 2 or 3 tbsp of tomato puree and about 1/4 tsp turmeric to get some color.

Vegetable Pulao – 1

Vegetable Pulao
Vegetable Pulao

Vegetable Pulao is a one-dish meal that my father often makes. The way Daddy makes it is quite spicy and that is very welcome as dinner on a cold winter night. The pulao is also chock full of vegetables which makes it quite healthy.

Serves: 4

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  1. Basmati or any long-grained rice – 1.5 Cups
  2. Carrot – 1 Medium
  3. Peas – 1/2 cup
  4. French Beans – 12 or 14
  5. Cauliflower Florets – 1 cup
  6. Potato – 1 small
  7. Ghee – 1 tbsp
  8. Salt to Taste

Whole Spices

  1. Cinnamon – 1″ piece
  2. Cloves – 2
  3. Aniseed – 1
  4. Mace or Javitri – 2 petals/blades
  5. Bay Leaf – 1

Ground Spices

  1. Garam Masala – 1 tsp
  2. Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  3. Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp

Method

  1. Wash the basmati rice and drain it.
  2. Peel and dice the carrot into 1/4″ cubes.
  3. Peel and dice the potato into 1/4″ cubes.
  4. Chop the ends off the green beans and cut them into 1/4″ pieces.
  5. In a heavy-bottomed vessel, heat the ghee.
  6. Add the whole spices and stir fry for 10 seconds.
  7. Add the potato pieces and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  8. Add cauliflower florets and french beans.
  9. Stir fry for a minute.
  10. Add the peas, garam masala, red chilli powder, and turmeric.
  11. Stir fry for a minute.
  12. Add the basmati rice and stir fry for a minute.
  13. Add 2.5 cups of water and 1/2 tsp of salt.
  14. Mix well.
  15. Cover and cook over medium heat.
  16. Stir occasionally.
  17. When the water has evapourated completely and the rice is cooked, turn the heat off.
  18. Add more salt if required.
  19. Serve warm with papad and raita.
Vegetable Pulao
Vegetable Pulao

Tips

  • You could pressure cook the dish as well.
  • I use any rice that is available. In the picture, I have used short-grained rice (Surti Kolam).

Palak Pulao (Spinach Pulao)

Palak Pulav or Spinach Pulao
Palak Pulav or Spinach Pulao

This is a “one dish meal” I learnt from Amma. It is very easy to make and delicious. I love this simple Pulao and so do many for whom I make this. Enjoy!

If you have children, do try this. You will have them eating a whole lot of veggies and Palak, all in one sitting!

Ingredients

  1. Rice (preferable Basmati) – 2 Cups
  2. Palak or Spinach Leaves – 1 Large Bunch
  3. Coriander Leaves – 1 Small Bunch
  4. Fresh Ginger – 2” piece
  5. Green Chillies – 4 to 5
  6. Oil – 3 Tbsp
  7. Chopped mixed veggies (carrots, french beans, cauliflower, peas) – 1.5 Cups
  8. Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  9. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Pressure cook rice with about 3 cups of water till done. Spread out on a large plate to cool and dry.
  2. Grind Palak, Coriander Leaves, Green Chillies, and Ginger to a smooth thick paste.
  3. In a kadai, heat oil and add the mixed veggies. Stir fry for 5 mins.
  4. Add a enough water to just cover the vegetables.
  5. Cover the kadai and cook over medium heat till veggies are parboiled.
  6. Add the Palak-Coriander paste and sauté till the water evapourates.
  7. Add rice, turmeric, and salt.
  8. Mix well, but with a light hand.
  9. Cover and let it rest for about 10 mins.
  10. Serve warm with papad and/or raita.