Tuesday, November 2, 2010

#14 Chicken Biryani

My younger daughter V loves anything made with meat-- most often chicken, fish or beef. My personal preference is either chicken or fish.  V and R love beef curry. I have made many versions of Biryani but this is one of my simple recipes for Chicken Biryani. If I am motivated enough, I may even opt to make some real fried onions by slicing up a large Spanish onion thinly into cross sections, seperating the rings and tossing them in some maida and then deep frying in a little oil until they are golden brown. These I layer along with the chicken and rice and garnish with what is remaining. This time, as you can see I cheated and used the French Fried onions available in the Supermarket especially at this time of the year.......
Chicken- 2 lb thighs or breast cut up in large pieces
Red Onion(big) - 3 nos sliced thin
1 Large Spanish Onion sliced into rounds and 2 Tblspn Flour
Ginger - 1" piece
Garlic pods - 6 pods
Mint leaves(Pudhina) - 1/2 a bunch
Coriander/cilantro leaves - 1/2 a bunch
Curry leaves - 3 sprigs
green chillies-3
Yoghurt/Curd - 1 cups
Tomato-1 cut up
Chilli powder- 1 tspn
Salt - As reqd
Garam masala - 3 tsp
Lime juice - 1/2 a lime
Basmati rice - 3 cups
1-2 Tablespns Butter
Cinnamon stick, Cloves, cardamom and star anise,
1 Hard bolied egg, Cashew nuts and raisins - As reqd for garnish
Oil or ghee- As needed
Saffron threads- a pinch
Milk - 4 - 5 tbsp


1)Soak basmati rice for 10 mins. Drain well and keep aside.
2)Grind together garlic, ginger and green chilli into a coarse paste.
3)Marinate the chicken in above paste along with salt, chilli powder and curds/yogurt. You can marinate overnight or for at least 6 hours.
4) Take the milk and warm in microwave, add the saffron threads and let it soak.
4)If you prefer to use freshly made fried onions, thinly slice the Spanish onion into rings. Toss them quickly in the flour and fry them in oil, until they are golden brown. Drain well and keep aside.
Instead, you may choose to use the French fried onions for garnish.
5) Saute the sliced up red onions in oil until they brown well. Add tomatoes and stir, mix well on low fire until smooth and saucy. Add the garam masala powder, the marinated chicken and just enough
water to cook it.
NOTE:If there is too much water, the chicken will get overcooked.
6) Cook the chicken until it is almost done but does not break up easily. There should be very little gravy by now. Remove from fire and keep aside.
7)Heat a Tblspn Butter, add the cashews and toast, remove and keep aside. Do the same with the raisins. To the butter in the pan add cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom and star anise maybe 2 each.When
the aroma rises from the pan, add the drained basmati rice. Add about 4-5 cups water and salt to taste.
8)Cook the rice until almost cooked but not well done.
9) Chop the mint, cilantro and curry leaves fine and keep aside.
10)Take a big casserole and place one layer of rice followed by chicken, chopped herbs and onions. Keep layering until the chicken is completely used and top with a layer of rice.
11)Sprinkle the saffron milk and the rest of the melted butter over the top of the rice. Ghee can be substituted for the butter, to get a very rich flavor. Sprinkle with 4-5 Tblspns of water or additional milk.
Add lime juice. Cover the casserole with Aluminum Foil until sealed well, to allow the steam that is produced while baking to cook the chicken and rice to perfection.
12)Heat oven to about 325 degrees and place the casserole dish into the oven for 20 mins. Remove the Foil carefully and check that the chicken is well cooked inside. Garnish with the prepared fried Onions,
cashews, sliced eggs and raisins
:- Biryani is ready.

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