The Malay breyani (also spelt beryani) and the Indian biryani are both festival dishes, based on rice, normally prepared for special occasions, since it takes a long time to make.
There are a multitude of recipes for breyani and each one has a uniqueness about it.
A breyani is very often made in three stages.
First the rice is parboiled in salted water.
Lentils are also sometimes used and they, too, are parboiled.
Then mutton, fish or chicken is cut into serving pieces and simmered in another pot with chopped onion, root ginger and garlic and a liberal mixture of aromatic spices until the meat is nearly cooked.
Finally, the dish is assembled by layering rice and lentils alternately with the spicy meat mixture in a cast iron pot or in a suitable ovenproof casserole dish.
The pot or casserole is tightly covered and the mixture is allowed to simmer slowly until done.
The lid is not removed until the moment of serving, so as to retain the fragrant aroma.
In some instances nuts and sultanas are added just before serving.
Category: South African Cuisine
Sub Category: Cape Malay/Indian