Boil meat in water along with all the ingredients for yakhni. When meat is tender, remove from the liquid and keep aside. Strain the liquid through a muslin, squeezing spices well to extract minimum flavour. The quantity of the liquid should be 6 cups. Cook extra if more, add water if less.
Heat the ghee and boiled meat along with the salt, red chillies, yoghurt and ginger, and brown it lightly. Add coriander seeds, Punjabi badi, and garam masala powder, and stir. Add a tablespoonful of water and allow it to simmer on low heat till the water dries up. Wash and soak rice in deep water for half an hour.
In a separate pan, put yakhni. When it starts boiling, add rice along with salt and ghee. Cover and cook on medium heat. When three-fourths cooked, put on hot ashes and some live charcoals on top of the lid and allow it to simmer till the liquid dries up.
In a separate pan, boil minced meat in about 4 cups of water along with split grams. When tender, dry water completely. Add salt, red chillies and khoya. Grind the meat finely. Divide into 20 equal parts. Flatten, wetting hands with a little water to give kebabs a smooth and even shape. Deep fry them in ghee to a golden brown. Cool a bit. Wrap them with silver varakh. Keep aside. Grease a heavy-bottomed pan with a little ghee. Put half of the meat spreading evenly. Spread one-fourth of rice over the meat. Mix together almonds, pistachios, charoli, raisins and coconut, and spread half of this mixture over the rice. Then sprinkle half of the sugar and half of the lime juice. Cover with one-fourth rice. Repeat this process.
After final layer of rice, sprinkle saffron. Add kewda water to the milk and sprinkle over rice. Heat the ghee and fry sliced onions to a golden brown. Add ghee along with the fried onions to the rice. Put a wet cloth over the rice covering it completely. Put on dum for half an hour. When serving, decorate rice with kebabs.
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Kamala Swaminathan is a food enthusiast who loves to attempt traditional South Indian Vegetarian recipes.