Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chicken Biriyani

Biriyani is a very famous traditional one pot Indian dish served with Salad, pickle and pappad.  In my childhood it had been a food of the special days.On a vacation,  It is actually my brother  Biju (with his Gulf experience with friends) who taught me to make the so called "Dhum-Biriyani" which is the real and ethnic biriyani.  He is an expert in putting -dhum- and cooking rice to the right point together with chicken. The impatient- inexpert me tried to make the exact version and i always ended up adding more water or cooking chicken more. Over time I changed a little bit of here and there and I ended up with this  easy oven baked biriyani which is as tasty as my brothers Dhum-biriyani. Okay- u caught me. its not as tasty as his, may be a little less tastier but I am impressed. Seriously!!
I had almost forgotten about my blog, when Inda My colleague asked me the recipe for Biriyani. so this I am writing for you. Hope this helps you Inda and wish you good luck with Indian cooking.   (Since I know you like it less spicy and less hot, ignore the Green chilly, kashmiri chilli and Biriyani masala powder)

For Rice
1 Basmati Rice  1 kg
Whole cloves,cardamom and cinnamon stick- 2 each
1 Tbsp Oil
1 tsp Turmeric powder soaked in water- to colour the rice. (Saffron substitute)

For the Chicken
Whole Chicken (medium sized pieces) – 1 kg
Chicken Masala Powder – 2 tbsp
Biriyani masala powder- 1 tsp
Kashmiri Chilly Powder – 1 tbsp 
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste

Onion Thinly sliced  and fried
Cashew nuts and Raisins

Chicken 1 kg Cleaned and cut into medium pieces
 Medium Sized Red Onions  5-6  
Chopped Tomatoes 3- 4 
Green Chillies 3 or 4 Slit
Ginger – Garlic Paste 1 Tbsp

Preparation of Chicken Biriyani
Cut the chicken into pieces. Marinate the chicken pieces with a paste of Red chilly powder, coriander powder, garam masala, salt and 1/4 cup curd. (or Chicken masala).Keep it aside for at least 30 minutes.
Pour some oil into a hard bottomed wide pan (Kadai) and fry these chicken pieces half and keep it aside. 

Into that oil, fry part of the onion (may be 1 onion) until Golden Brown. This can be used for Garnishing at the end. fry some cashew nuts and Raisins too.  Keep them aside. 
(@ Inda: or use store bought fried onions)

To the kadai, add the rest of the  finely sliced onions. When it turns transparent ,add chopped tomatoes, ginger - garlic paste, slit green chillies  Mix well and saute on a medium heat until the onion-tomato mix is light brown (not burnt).This will take at least 20 minutes. Keep on stirring occasionally so that the onions are not burnt. Adding a pinch of salt while frying the onions speed up the frying part. Reduce heat and add biriyani masala powder, chicken masala powder,  kashmiri chilly powder,  turmeric and salt to taste. Saute the powders for a minute.
Add the half-fried chicken pieces to these onion tomato masala and cook it for the chicken and masala to blend. take a cup of the gravy before it thickens and keep it separately. Remember not to overcook. 

In a big pot boil water  and add whole cloves,cardamom, cinnamon stick and salt. Adding a teaspoon of oil to this water helps rice not to stick together. cook it 3/4 and drain  excess water and keep the rice aside

To the baking tray Spread cooked rice as bottom layer and gravy , add a layer of fried chicken masala and top with another layer of Rice. Add chopped Cilantro/corainder leaf in the chicken layer if you prefer. Sprinkle Turmeric solution on top of the rice carefully.  Garnish with fried onions,cilantro,  cashews and raisins. Cover with an aluminium foil 

 Preheat oven to 350 degree F and bake for 30 minutes.