This is my favourite comfort food. It is really a special meal. But you can have it daily basis. Yes, I am talking about egg biryani, more particularly Kolkata style aloo dim biriyani. No, I did not write biriyani by mistake. In West Bengal, we call it Biriyani instead of biryani. Particularly in Kolkata, here potato and biryani are inseparable. In West Bengal, many people will raise their eyebrows if you serve biryani without potatoes. People may think that the cook can not make biryani properly. So whether it is chicken biryani or mutton biryani, eggs & potatoes are common in biriyani. Nowadays even people prefer egg biryani with potatoes. Yes, there are people who can imagine biryani without chicken & mutton.
In the Western world, many people have meat for dinner almost every night. But in India, people do not eat meat every day. In India, there are many people who are pure vegetarian. There are also many people who do not consume meat or fish but eat eggs. So they are actually eggetarians. There are many non-vegetarians who eat non-veg items outside. But when they are at home they prefer to avoid meat & fish. So things are complicated. Even people who eat meat at home but they do not eat it regularly. They eat meat once or twice a week. But there are people who can have eggs, fish etc almost every day.
Bengali people can eat fish almost every day. There are many people who eat eggs almost every day. In such a situation, many biriyani lovers prefer to have egg biryani. It helps to make the daily meal very special.
But why potato is added in Kolkata style biriyani?
The potato was introduced in biriyani by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah who came from Lucknow, now in Uttar Pradesh. During British rule, he came to Kolkata from Lucknow. He used to live a lavish life. But British rulers seized everything and he was forced to live life with a tight budget. After he came to Calcutta, he built a big palace at Metiabruz, outskirts of Calcutta, now Kolkata. Then he started living there. He loves exotic animals, Indian music & dance and definitely Lucknow style food.
Nawab used to love biryani. But making such food every day for so many people was not possible because he was on tight annual budget. The British government approved only approximately 12 lac rupees per year. So to reduce the amount of costly meat, he introduced potato and eggs in biriyani. During that period even potato was not so cheap, because the potato was introduced by Portuguese people a few decades ago. So potato was something new in vegetables. It was expensive but not as expensive as the meat was. Then the rest was history.
Till now aloo dim biriyani is famous in Kolkata. Whether it is chicken or mutton biriyani, without potatoes & eggs it is a flop.
Advantages of aloo dim biriyani
- COST EFFECTIVE: Meat is expensive. Nowadays mutton is Rs 700-800 per kg whereas chicken is Rs 150-200 per kg. There are people who eat only mutton biryani. Now many people can not even afford such costly meat. Chicken is many times costlier than eggs. So egg biryani with potatoes is such a food that almost everybody can afford.
- HEATHIER THAN OTHER BIRYANIS: You can have egg biryani daily. Many people eat eggs almost daily. It is not as rich as meat. Meat contains more protein & caloreific value than eggs. So if you want to eat aloo dim biryani 4-5 times a week, then also it won’t affect your health. You can easily digest it. So it is healthier among the other non-veg biryani.
- GROWING EGG LOVERS: Nowadays even vegetarians started eating eggs. I mean if somebody avoids meat or fish then also they may eat egg. There are a big number of people who are neither vegetarian nor nonvegetarian. They are pure eggetarian.
- TIME SAVER COMPLETE MEAL : You can not make meat biryani within a hour. Actually mutton & chicken takes longer duration for cooking. Eggs are something what you can cook within a few minutes. So egg biryani takes less time than others. t is a complete meal. You can have it without raita or any other side dish. Yes, it is that much delicious.
Aloo (potato) plays an important role in Kolkata style biryani
Potato in Biryani is the USP of Kolkata style biryani. In most of the places, you have definitely noticed people need a side dish for biryani. People need at least raita for this. In fact, most restaurants serve raita along with biryani. Is it not true? But, if you visit any biryani stall or restaurant you will see normally biryani without raita. Raita is not even popular in Kolkata. Kolkata style biryani in fact self-sufficient. Potato, eggs are already added there. So you normally do not need anything else.
Yes, if it is a special day then you can order a side dish separately. But normally people enjoy biryani without anything else because potatoes and eggs play an important role.
Taste of egg biryani with potatoes
There are many people who say that Kolkata biriyani is nothing but a modified version of Lucknow biryani. It is not so spicy and not even oil-rich. Many foodies also claimed that it is not actually a biriyani rather a pulao. Yes, the taste of Kolkata biriyani is different from others. It is being very popular not just in the city but also across the country.
How many of you tried this type of egg biryani with potatoes? How was your experience? Please do not forget to share your experience by leaving a comment below.
Special egg biryani masala (spices)
- 2 tablespoons whole cumin
- 3 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
- 1/2 tablespoon whole black pepper
- 10 pieces whole cardamoms
- 10 pieces 1/2 inch size cinnamon
- 15 cloves, laung
- 4 bay leaves / tej patta
- 3-4 star anise /tara phool
- 1 teaspoon mace or javitri
- 1.5 teaspoon nutmeg / jaiphal
Recipe for biryani masala (Spices mixture)
Take everything (except mace/javitri and nutmeg / jaiphal) in a frying pan and then dry roast all those whole ingredients. If you have time then you can roast those ingredients one by one. Otherwise, you can roast those all at a time. When you will get a strong mouthwatering aroma, switch off fire and rest it to reach room temperature. Now take all dry roasted whole spices in a grinder, add javitri (mace) and jaiphal (nutmeg) too. Grind those to make the perfect spices mixture for egg biryani with potatoes. You can use it to make any other type of biryani.
Egg biryani with potatoes (aloo dim biriyani) recipe
- 250 gm basmati rice
- 3 whole cardamoms, 4 cloves, 2 bay leaves
- Salt to taste
- Water as needed
- 2 bay leaves /tej patta; 2 whole black cardamoms/badi ilaichi
- 2 teaspoons ginger paste
- 1.5 teaspoons garlic paste
- 2 large size onions, finely chopped or paste
- 2 large size tomato, finely chopped or paste
- 2 teaspoons turmeric powder/ haldi
- 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
- Salt to taste
- 1.5 tablespoons biryani masala (see above for recipe)
- Important ingredients
- 4 medium-size potatoes
- 4 eggs (duck or poultry)
- 2.5 tablespoons refined oil
- 2 tablespoons saffron milk
- 2.5 teaspoons rose water
- 2 teaspoons kewra water
- 4 teaspoons ghee
- Heat a handi or any other cooking pot
- Then add one teaspoon ghee and add all whole spices, and saute for next one minutes ove medium flame
- Now pour water and boil
- Now add rice (soaked in warm water for 30 mins) in boiling water and cook
- When rice is almost cooked but not perfectly cooked, then switch off the fire and strain the water and keep almost cooked rice aside
- Heat oil in a cooking pot and fry boiled eggs and potatoes, keep aside for further use
- Heat oil in a kadai and add bay leaves / tej patta & badi ilaichi or black cardamoms
- add ginger & garlic paste and cook for next 1 minute
- Now add finely chopped onion, salt and cook till it releases oil
- Then add tomato puree (or finely chopped) and cook for another 3-4 minutes
- Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, biriyani masala and stir to mix all
- Add fried potatoes and eggs and cook all for the next 2-3 minutes
- Add a thin layer of rice and then spread half of the gravy over the rice
- Now apply a layer of rice (half of the total) and then spread saffron mil, rose water, kewra water and ghee over the rice
- Then again spread gravy, fried potatoes, eggs and then apply the final layer of rice
- Spread saffron milk, kewra water and rose water
- Now cover the biryani pot with aluminium foil or a heavy utensil
- Place a heavy cast iron pan over the oven and switch on fire, once the pan is hot then reduce the flame to low
- Now place the biriyani pot over the hot pan for the next 15 minutes
- Then switch off the fire and aloo dim biriyani is ready to serve