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Egg Biryani – Bangladesh National Dish – Day 26/Dish 13

February 1, 2010

Our small ship has departed from Bahrain and is bound for Bangladesh.  By sailing around the Indian Sub-Continent we are leaving the Arabian Sea and entering the Bay of Bengal, where our destination country  shares a small border with Burma(Myanmar) and the remainder borders India.

Bangladesh means “the Country of Bengal”, land of the Bengal Tiger.  It is primarily Muslim with a population of about 144 million people.  By comparison, Russia has nearly the same population but a landmass 120 times the size of Bangladesh.  It is the 7th most populated nation on Earth.

Bangladesh came into existence in pieces and parts.  Originally a part of India, Bangladesh was first partitioned in 1947 with the Partition of India.  It was a part of Pakistan at that time and was divided from the rest of the nation by over 1600 kilometers.  This alienation led to dissent, and economic neglect and eventually a war for independence in 1971.  This marked the establishment of Bangladesh as we know it today.

Bloody coups and political violence has marked the relatively short history of Bangladesh, although improvements have been seen in recent years.  Despite being densely populated and poverty ridden, Bangladesh has seen great improvements in its economy and is moving to improve educational standards, gender equality, and standards of living.

The National Dish of Bangladesh is Egg Biryani.  This dish is similar to many rice based dishes we have sampled but has the noticeable difference of being a Vegetarian Entrée.  This Indian inspired dish is made in many forms throughout this region of the world and can include meat.

I will give this dish a 2 for difficulty.  It is simple to prepare, but involves many ingredients.  Preparation involves 21 different ingredients.  The end result was very satisfying and I had the pleasure of converting my extended family, who were hesitant to eat this for dinner and who ended up clearing their plates down to the last grain of rice.


The first step is preparing the Ghee.  Ghee is a traditional ingredient in Indian Cuisine and is simply clarified butter that has been lightly toasted to improve the flavor.  Follow the directions below exactly and watch out for boil over in the first step.  I made the mistake of turning my head for a minute and had to clean burners while they smoked with butter fat.  Ghee can also be made using yogurt, but I have chosen to use the butter method here.  Here is a link to more information about Ghee.

This Ghee has cooled and solidified.  When warm it is clear liquid and golden yellow.

Directions for Ghee:

Place butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring butter to boil. This takes approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium. The butter will form foam which will disappear. Ghee is done when a second foam forms on top of butter, and the butter turns golden. Approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Brown milk solids will be in bottom of pan. Gently pour into heatproof container through fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.  Store the Ghee in an airtight container being sure to keep it free from moisture.  Ghee does not need refrigeration and will keep in airtight container for up to 1 month.


Bangladesh Egg Biryani


Appearance: 3 out of 5

Aroma: 4 out of 5

Flavor: 4 out of 5

Total: 11 out of 15


3 cups Basmati Rice

4 cups Water

½ cup Plain Yogurt

Eggs 6-12 hard boiled and peeled

3 Eggs beaten then lightly salted beat again

2 medium Onions (thin-sliced)

1 tbsp Ginger Paste (blend the Garlic and the Ginger with 1 tsp water in a food processor till it forms a paste)

1 tbsp Garlic Paste  (see food processor instructions next to ginger)

2 Green Chili (thin-sliced)  

3-5 each Whole Cloves 

10 each Black Peppercorns

3 Bay Leaves

1 tsp Brown Cardamom or Cardamom Powder

2 each Green Cardamom Pods

1 tbsp Red Chili Powder  

1 tbsp Coriander Powder  

1 tbsp Garam Masala Powder    

3-4 Cinnamon Sticks (thin 1/2 inch each)

1 tbsp Cumin Seeds   

Ghee (See recipe) 6 tbsp.

Salt to taste  

1 cup Chopped Coriander Leaves


1. Heat Ghee (4 tbsp.) in a pan.  Add Cumin seeds, Green and Brown Cardamom, Cinnamon Sticks, Cloves, Black Pepper and the Bay Leaves.  Fry for a minute.  Reduce the heat

2. Add Sliced Onion, Green Chili, Ginger Garlic Paste and fry until light golden brown.

3. Add Red Chili Powder, Coriander Powder, Garam Masala and Salt. Mix well. 

4. Add Rice and Water. Stir well. Cover it and cook for 12 minutes on medium heat. Slowly turn the rice upside down once, while it cooks. 

 5. Take the remaining three Eggs and beat in a bowl.  Add Salt to it and beat again.

6. Heat Oil (1 tbsp.) in a pan. Pour the beaten Eggs. Continuously stir it and cook until golden brown.

7.  Add the Scrambled Eggs and Yogurt to the rice and stir slowly.

8.  Put the rice in the centre of the dish plate.

9. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with eggs on top.  You can slice the Eggs if you prefer for service.

Serves 8

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2010 8:23 am

    Egg Biryani is a tasty meal. I am very enjoy reading your post. This is very easy and delicious. I will try to make it.


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