Hyderabadi egg biryani recipe is a splendid coming together of fragrant long-grain rice and spiced and sautéed boiled eggs. Basmati rice is cooked in whole spices, layered with some biryani masala and eggs, and topped with fried onions, herbs, and saffron milk. The pot is then sealed and put on gentle heat to make a deliciously spicy egg dum biryani.
Use a pressure cooker like an instant pot if you have one to hard boil the eggs. If using an instant pot, pour 1 cup water in the steel insert, lower a trivet in the insert, and keep the eggs on it. Pressure cook for 4 minutes and release steam 5 minutes after the timer beeps.
Make the ginger and garlic paste
Put equal quantities of peeled ginger and garlic in a blender along with a few tablespoons water and whizz to get a smooth paste.
Fry the onions
Finely slice one big red onion. Heat 3 tablespoon cooking oil in a fry pan and add the onion to the hot oil. Fry until reddish-brown and divide into two small bowls along with the oil.
Chop the tomatoes, mint and cilantro leaves
Wash and soak the rice
Rinse the rice until the water runs clear and soak it in 4 cups water. Keep aside.
Soak the saffron in warm milk
Crush the saffron slightly between your fingers and add it to warm milk. Keep this saffron milk aside.
Fry the eggs
Place a frying pan on the stovetop and add the ghee. Melt it on gentle heat and add the powdered spices and salt. Let the spices sizzle in the hot ghee for a few seconds.
Add the boiled eggs and toss with a spoon to coat them well with the masala. Fry the eggs until slightly crisp on the outside. Transfer the eggs to a platter and keep aside.
Make the curry masala
In the same frypan that you fried the whole eggs, add the ghee and heat it on medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic paste.
Add the powdered spices, salt and a tablespoon of water to keep the spices from burning. Cook for 1 minute.
Add the fried onions and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cashews and cook until the tomatoes break down and the masala becomes thick and shiny. Add a few tablespoons of water if it is too thick.
Add the yogurt and cook until the masala again thickens and becomes shiny. The ghee will separate and float on the top.
Finally, add the chopped mint and cilantro and mix them in well.
Cook the rice
Take a large pot, fill it with 10 cups water, and set it on the stovetop. Add the whole garam masala and salt and bring the water to a roiling boil on high heat.
Drain the rice and add it to the boiling water. Cook uncovered until the rice is 80% done. To check for doneness, press a few rice grains between your fingers. They should yield but still have a slightly hard centre.
Very carefully, tip the pot of rice into a colander placed in the sink so that most of the liquid drains away. Reserve about half a cup to add back to the pot. This is so the rice you add back to the pot remains moist and the bottom layer does not burn. Return half the rice to the pot. Let the other half remain in the colander for the time being.
Assemble the biryani
Keep the pot on the stovetop again. Spoon out the curry masala you prepared earlier and spread it evenly on the rice.
Take the remaining rice (which you had left in the colander) and spread it on top of the curry masala.
Sprinkle the remaining fried onions (under 'other ingredients') on top of the rice. Also pour the saffron milk evenly on top of the rice. Finally place the fried eggs on top.
Take a large dish cloth or tea towel and wet it. Squeeze out the excess moisture and cover the pot of biryani with it. Finally cover the pot with a close-fitting lid.
Switch on the gas to low-medium heat and let the biryani cook on dum for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, take off the lid and remove the dish cloth. Taking a large spoon, turn around the rice in the pot several times so that the layers of rice and curry masala get mixed. Egg biryani is now ready to be served.
If you want to save time, you can use store-bought ginger and garlic paste instead of making your own. Similarly, pre-fried onions are easily available in any Indian or Pakistani grocery store.
Use good quality saffron. A little goes a long way, so don't be tempted to add too much.
Use the biryani masala powder of your choice. I like using Pakistani brands like Shan or National, but it is really up to your taste and preference.
Make sure the rice is only 80% done and not fully cooked as it will cook further when you put it on dum for 15 minutes after assembling the biryani.