A fragrant biryani from ” Dishoom:from Bombay with Love” by Shamil Thakrar and Naved Nasir.
First, soak the rice. Put the rice into a large bowl and cover generously with water. Using your fingers, gently move the rice around in the water to remove the starch, being careful not to break up the grains.
Let the rice settle, then pour off the water. Repeat twice more, each time with fresh water, then cover again with fresh water and leave to soak for 45 minutes.
To prepare the jackfruit, pat dry with kitchen paper and cut the larger pieces in half.
In a large bowl, combine the garlic and ginger pastes with the salt, turmeric, chilli powder and a tablespoon of water, then coat the jackfruit in this mixture and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces, add to a pan of boiling, salted water and cook until almost tender. Drain and pat dry, then set aside.
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/gas 6. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or other suitable deep, heavy-based pan to 170C/335F. Deep-fry the marinated jackfruit in the hot oil, in two batches, if necessary, until golden brown and crisp all over – this will take about 10 minutes – then drain on kitchen paper.
Add the drained potatoes to the hot oil, fry for five minutes, then drain on kitchen paper.
Combine all of the biryani base ingredients, including the fried potatoes, in a biryani cooking pot, add the jackfruit and stir to combine. Set aside.
Drain the rice when the soaking time is up. Pour two litres of boiling water into a large pan and add the two teaspoons of salt and the lime juice. Tip the rice into the pan and stir well.
Boil until it is three-quarters cooked, which should take four minutes from the time the rice went into the pan – you can tell that it’s at this stage by taking a grain between your forefinger and thumb, and pressing down on it with your nail: it should still be slightly firm and break into five or six pieces.
Drain the rice; you don’t need to shake it completely dry, because a little extra moisture helps during cooking.Add the rice to the biryani, spreading it out on top of the jackfruit, and scatter with sultanas.
In a small pan, or very quickly in the microwave, warm the butter and cream until the butter melts, then trickle this and the saffron water on to the rice.
Cover tightly with two layers of foil and a lid, put on a high heat for two to three minutes, until you hear the marinade start to sizzle, then transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Leave the biryani to stand, still covered, for 10 minutes before serving.