The onions give a lot of flavor, but be light handed with them in layering with the biryani rice. You don't want an overpowering fried onion flavor hiding the delicious yet delicate qorma flavor. Traditionally, only the highest quality Dehra Doon basmati rice would be used, so you must use the best basmati rice you can find. I like Tilda as well as India Gate brand.
*If you are not familiar with white poppy seed, here is how to use it. Purchase it at your local Indo-Pak market. Black poppy seed is NOT an acceptable substitute. Heat a pan to medium-high, pour in white poppy seeds and toast until they become a darker color and you can smell their roasted nutty fragrance. Once toasted, set on a plate and allow to cool. When cool, grind to a smooth paste (it will be very slightly gritty) in your spice grinder. Store in the freezer, as it goes rancid like nuts. I grind in small amounts and keep mine in a ziplock baggy in the freezer.
¼ cup oil
1/4 tsp freshly ground green cardamom powder
Have the uncrushed fried onions on-hand for layering.
To see a more detailed explanation of how to layer biryani, look here at my Sindhi biryani recipe.
Serve with lime wedges and plain yoghurt, not a raita.