Tuna Biryani

Tuna Biryani with Churri

Tuna biryani is my pescatarian take on the more traditional Indian classic, lamb biryani. Tuna has great flavour, but a tendency to dry out quickly, so it’s best cooked in large chunks. At the table, encourage diners to flake the tuna through their rice so they aren’t eating whole chunks of it, and serve plenty of Churri on the side (see video).

Serves 2–4

Ingredients
  • 300g tuna steak, cut into large chunks
  • 2 brown onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt flakes, to taste
  • 1½ tablespoons ghee
  • 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 200g basmati rice
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • ½ cup thick natural yoghurt
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander
  • ¼ cup chopped mint
  • 1 long green chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • 1½ teaspoons garam masala
  • 1½ teaspoons Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1½ teaspoons ground turmeric
  • Churri, for serving (see video)
Method
  1. Remove tuna from fridge 30-60 minutes before cooking so it can come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 240°C.
  3. In a large lidded flameproof dish, heat ghee and oil over low-medium heat. Add onion with a good pinch of salt and cook uncovered, stirring often, for 20-25 minutes, until light golden brown.
  4. Strain onion, reserving the oil, and set onion and oil aside separately to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, wash rice under cold water until it runs clear, place in a bowl, cover with cold water and set aside for about 20 minutes.
  6. Soak saffron in 2 teaspoons of warm water for about 10 minutes.
  7. Combine yoghurt, coriander, mint, green chilli, ginger, garlic, garam masala, chilli powder, turmeric, salt, onion and saffron mixture and mix well. Stir through tuna.
  8. Spread in the base of the dish, gently compressing it.
  9. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Drain rice, add to the water and boil for 10 minutes.
  10. Drain rice and spread evenly over the tuna.
  11. Pour reserved oil evenly over the rice.
  12. Cover tightly with the lid, sealing the edges with crushed foil if it’s not a tight fit so that steam can’t escape. Place in oven, reduce temperature to 200°C and cook for 15 minutes.
  13. Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes.
  14. Turn tuna biryani out onto a large platter and serve with Churri on the side.

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