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.