Yesterday was Eid al-Adha. We celebrated this day with prayers, good thoughts and a beautiful feast. The house infused with herbs and spices. The house was clean and everyone expected the wonderful things to keep coming. For us Eid cannot be perfect without big pot of homemade chicken biryani.
Biryani is an aromatic rice dish cooked with meat and dried fruits. Many people finds cooking biryani intimidating and difficult, but trust me it is easy and actually really fun process… and I am gal from Thailand saying this 🙂
There are many versions of biryani in India. In the south, is the biryani is milder and more balance while in the North, biryani is more intense and colorful.
Today I am going to show the Malabar style Biryani. It is less spicy, perfectly herbs up and the texture and the flavour are so well blended. It is not only simple to make but the result are so wonderful and very delicious.
Ingredients: (servings: 6+ leftovers)
1 1/2 kg chicken- skin removed, cut into big pieces
5 cups basmati rice or any long grain rice
5-8 cardamom pods- roughly bruised
2 bay leaves
2 tsp salt for chicken
1 1/2 tbsp salt for rice
1/2 cup raisin
3/4 cup cashew nut
1 cup ghee (clarified butter)
3 large onion- sliced
1 large tomato- sliced
50 gm garlic
50 gm fresh ginger
50 gm shallots
2-4 green chili
6-10 curry leaves
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp tumeric powder
2 tsp coriander seed powder
1 tsp garam masala (available in Indian grocers)
2 tbsp biryani masala- recipe below
A handful of fresh coriander- chopped
A handful of fresh mint- chopped
1 cup plain yoghurt
What I did:
Heat 1/2 cup of ghee in the large pan over the medium heat.
Add cashew nuts and stir until golden brown. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
Add raisins and stir until they are popped. Remove form the pan and keep aside along with the cashew nuts.
Add sliced onion in the same pan and sauté until golden brown.
Remove half of the onion from the pan and keep aside.
Grind garlic, ginger, shallots and green chili until smooth paste.
Add this paste in the other half onion in the pan along with some curry leaves and stir until fragranced.
Add tomato, chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander seed powder, garam masala and biryani masala. Stir for few minutes.
Add chicken, plain yoghurt and salt.
Stir for few minutes until the spices sealed the chicken well.
Add about 1 1/2 cup of water, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is done and tender. (I transfer the chicken to another pot as the pan is too small for simmering the chicken)
While the chicken is simmering away, clean, pick and wash rice.
Cook rice in the large pot with 2 1/2 litter of water, 1 1/2 tbsp of salt, few bay leaves and 5-8 cardamom pods.
Check your rice regularly as it is cooked really fast and we don’t want the grain to break.
When the rice is cooked, ideally the chicken should be cooked and tender at the same time.
Add fresh coriander, mint, and lime juice in the chicken and check the seasoning.
Remove from the heat and keep aside.
When the rice is cooked, drain the excess water and transfer 3/4 rice to another vessel.
Dump the aromatic chicken in the remaining rice layer in the pot.
Add half of the rice back in. Sprinkle half of the reserved deep fried onion, half of deep fried cashew nuts and raisin in.
Add the remaining rice over the top.
Sprinkle with the remaining fried onion, cashew nuts and raisin again.
Drizzle about 1/2 cup of ghee over the rice and let it melt through and infused in the rice.
Cover the lid and let it cook in the very low heat for 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and it is ready to serve.
I would say the whole process didn’t take longer than 1 1/2 hours and it was fun to play with fresh ingredients and immerged myself in the exotic spices.
The biryani was wonderful. The rice was fluffy, glossy and soft. The chicken was tender and delicious. We also cooked some deep fried fish, spicy fried chicken, simple beans, cucumber salad with yoghurt. And of course, nice strawberry ice-cream at the end!
It was a beautiful meal perfect for the beautiful day! 🙂 I can’t wait to try more things in my next holiday.
What’s difficult recipe you tried lately and find out that it was much simple and fun to cook?