If you are from Bengaluru or lived here donne biryani(the speciality of Bengaluru) must have fell on your radar, and you might have been lucky enough to have sampled these delicacy. For those who are wondering what donne is, ‘Donne’ translates to big cups made from eco friendly palm leaves(some are made out of papaya leaves too). This special type of biryani is name donne biryani as the vendors serve piping hot biryani’s in donne(palm leaf cups). It is truly a special type of biryani, the intoxicating blend of spices, coriander and mint leaves and ghee gives out a quintessential aroma that would hit you nostrils and the taste buds would start salivating. If you ever come to Bangalore, never miss the chance to taste these delicacy. It’s one of the kind of biryani that you won’t find any where else.
A few years back I used to follow a television program named “highway on my plate” hosted by 2 foodies Rocky and Mayur. These guys were so entertaining, funny and one of the best guys to host a food show. When they visited Bangalore they were told by a lot of fans that they have to visit this place called ‘Shivaji military hotel’ which is special for it’s donne biryani. That was my first introduction to the word donne biryani. But my hubby had been to this hotel and had donne biryani quite a few times before our marriage. When I revealed my interest to visit the hotel, hubby was so happy and he gave me a full story of the place, the biryani and it’s specialty. After listening to him I was wondering why hadn’t he taken me to this place all this while…! :X. Finally we decided on a date and visited the hotel. It’s such a humble place and heavily crowded. You don’t get a table for yourself, nor can you reserve. People just walk in and if they find a empty chair they just occupy it even if he has the share the table with other people. Getting a place to sit is itself difficult, it’s that crowded and the place serves 1000’s of biryani in an hour or 2. The piping hot biryani paired with some onion cucumber salad and piping hot spicy rasam is simply delicious. The hotel guys also specialize in sides like pepper chicken, mutton roast and lot more. On I’m drooling right now!
So one of the Sunday I decided to give a try making donne biryani. Shivaji millitary hotel guys have a secret recipe which is kept secret for many years and the 2 brothers who are the owners are the only cooks who knows the secret and they are the ones who cook. So without the actual recipe I just went ahead and tried it out, this is my interpretation of donne biryani which I must say is 95% close to the one I tasted in this military hotel. If you are a biryani lover, you must try this recipe, and if you ever get a chance to visit Bangalore, never ever miss to go to Shivaji military hotel.
Here’s my interpretation of donne biryani-
Chicken – 500 gms
Jeeraga Samba Rice – 2 cups
Onions – 2 large, sliced
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 1/2 tbspn
Biryani Masala – 2 tbspn(I used store bought masala powder)
Cloves – 3 nos
Cinnamon sticks – 1 inch piece
Cardomom – 2 nos
Bay leaf – 1 small
Salt to taste
Oil – 3 tbspn
For Marination –
Thick curd – 2 tbspn
Salt – 1 tspn
For Green Paste-
Coriander leaves – 1 bunch
Mint Leaves – 1 bunch
Green chilies – 10 nos(Adjust as per requirment. I chilies I used had medium heat)
Water – 1 to 2 tbspns
Method of Preparation:-
1. Clean and wash the chicken pieces. Marinate the chicken pieces with ingredients mentioned under ‘for marination’ list. Let the chicken marinate for minimum 45 minutes.
2. Pick coriander and mint leaves. Wash them thoroughly. Add mint coriander leaves and green chilies into a blender. Add 1 tbspn of water and blend into a smooth paste. Keep aside.
3. Wash and soak jeeraga samba rice in water for 20 minutes. This biryani is prepared only with jeeraga samba rice, basmati rice won’t give the same flavor and taste to the dish. If you do not have jeeraga samba rice, use the normal cooking rice, I highly recommend not to use basmati rice for this biryani preparation.
4. In a heavy bottom pan(I used cooker) heat oil. Add cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and cardamom.
5. Next add sliced onions and saute for a minute until onions turns soft. Next add ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell of the paste is gone.
6. Add the green paste prepared in step 2 and mix well. Cook until the raw smell of the paste is gone.
8. Add biryani masala powder, salt to taste and mix well.
9. Add 3 cups of hot water and mix. Adding hot water speeds up the cooking time.
10. Next add jeeraga samba rice, mix well until all ingredients are well combined.
11. Put the biryani on dum for about 20 min on low flame. OR alternatively you can pressure cook it for 15 minutes on low flame.
12. Biryani is ready. Open the lid and let the biryani sit for about 10 minutes before you start mixing the rice, If you mix while immediately, rice will break easily. So make sure you let the biryani sit for some time.
13. Squeeze juice from half lime into the biryani. Mix with very gentle hands and serve them immediately, in a donne if you have it. This biryani is best when paired with onion cucumber raita along with boiled eggs or pepper chicken, mutton pepper roast. OH heaven!
1. This biryani is prepared only with jeeraga samba rice, basmati rice won’t give the same flavor and taste to the dish. If you do not have jeeraga samba rice, use the normal cooking rice, I highly recommend not to use basmati rice for this biryani preparation.
2. Chilie powder is not used in this recipe. The spice that is imparted to the biryani is from green chilies. If you like a bit more spicy donne biryani(which is the best way to eat this biryani) add more chilies. Remember each green chilie has different spice levels.