Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Playing with recipes (Chicken Briyani)

Hey friends lets go to India and eat...Even if you are not a fan of Indian recipes, this i promise you would enjoy.The Chicken Briyani is by far the most popular Indian rice recipe around the globe. Use good quality basmati rice for the best flavor and appearance. The key to making a good biryani lies in the way you par boil the rice, if that is not done right you may end up with a mushy and soggy briyani.
please don't get intimidated by the very long list of ingredients, most of them are spices used in a very small amount, its advisable to use all the ingredients. Each spice, contributes to the overall flavor. All  the spices will be easily available at any supermarket or definitely at an Indian store.
We would also be making a Raita without this, you would not enjoy your Briyani and most Indian meals. Raita is a yogurt-based condiment that can help douse the fire if a dish is just a little too hot and spicy, it helps you balance the food so your mouth don't burn with the spices, that way you get to enjoy ur meal even more.
These are the ingredients you would need to make your Chicken briyani (dont run away when you see the list believe me these things are inexpensive except for the saffron ).


  • 6 Onions (very thinly sliced and deep fried until light brown)
  • 20 Cashews (fried in a little desi ghee/clarified butter)
  • 1 Kg Chicken on the bone cut into pieces or Chicken breast cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 2 Tsp Garlic and Ginger paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 500 gm Basmati Rice (washed and soaked in salted water for at least 30 minutes )
  • 3-4 Tbsp oil
  • Oil for frying the onions
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 (1 inch) Cinnamon
  • 4 green Cardamoms
  • 4 Bay leaves
  • 4 Cardamom pods
  • 1/4 Tsp Caraway seeds (shahi jeera/black cumin seeds)
  • 4 large Tomatoes (chopped finely)
  • 1/4 Tsp of mace powder
  • 1 Tsp Coriander powder
  • 2 Tsp red Chili powder (to taste)
  • 1/2 Tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 green Chilies (to taste, chopped)
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • a few strands of Saffron (kesar) (dissolved in 1/2 cup hot milk)
  • 3-4 Tbsp Desi ghee (clarified butter) or Butter
  • 2 cups of fresh green Coriander (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 4 small potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 1 lime juice
  • 2 Tsp Cumin powder
For the marinade

  •  1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  •   tsp Ginger paste or powder
  •  1 tsp Garlic paste or powder
  •  1 tsp Garam Masala Powder 
  •  1 tsp Turmeric Powder 
  •  1 cup Yoghurt 
  •  Salt
  • 1 lime juice

For the Raita

  • One large (or two medium) cucumbers, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and seeded, then grated
  • 2 cups plain whole milk yogurt
  • 10 large mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sugar
  • 1 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped

Lets Make the Raita

1. Place grated cucumber in a sieve and press to squeeze out as much moisture as you can.
2. Stir spices and mint into yogurt in a medium bowl. Stir in the grated cucumber, tomatoes and onions. Chill until ready to serve.

Lets Prepare Chicken Briyani

1. Put all the ingredients of the marinade in a bowl and mix well. Add the chicken pieces, cover and put away in the fridge for over an hour if you have the time.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the onions (separate the thinly sliced onions using your finger tips) in the oil and reduce the heat to medium-low.Keep stirring the onions, so that they get evenly browned. The trick is to evenly and slowly brown the onions. If the flame is very high the onions will burn on the outside and remain watery on the inside. Once a uniform color is obtained, drain on thick layer of kitchen paper, so that maximum oil is soaked. Keep these aside.
3. Boil water in a very deep and wide pot, when water starts boiling add green cardamoms (2), bay leaves (1), oil (1tsp), cinnamon stick (1), cloves (3), cumin seeds (3) and a lot of salt, your briyani would be tasteless if the rice is not boiled with enough salt. Boil on very high heat for like 5 minutes but make sure the rice is not completely cooked, you know your rice is ready if you take a grain and press between your fingers, if it breaks into 3 parts, its ready to be taken off. Strain the rice and keep aside to cool off you can take out all the whole ingredients you put inside at this point or leave them, the choice is yours.
4. In a separate bowl, mix saffron and hot milk, keep aside and allow it to soak. The color is going to turn yellowish.
5. Heat a pan on medium heat, add in oil and the clarified butter (you can use normal butter).Once hot, add in the cashews fry for a couple of minutes till the cashews get a light golden color. Remove from the Pan. Make sure you drain all the Oil. Keep aside.
6. Heat oil in a deep pan, add the remaining bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon and green cardamoms. When they crackle, add the ginger, garlic and chilies. Saute for a minute and add the marinated chicken, along with the marinade.  Add your potatoes, Cook on a medium heat till all the water dries up (water from the chicken and yogurt). Add the tomatoes, 1/3 of the fried onions, and some of the cashew,  all the powdered spices, salt and cook till all the water from the tomatoes dries up. Taste and adjust the seasoning if need be.
7. Use a deep heavy bottom pan with a lid. Spread some desi ghee or butter at the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of rice, followed by a layer of chicken. Now sprinkle a generous handful of chopped coriander, fried onions and cashews. Repeat the layers with rice being the top most layer. Sprinkle the leftover onions and all the cashews. Pour the milk and saffron on the top using a spoon, evenly covering the whole area. Once all layers are set, take melted desi ghee or butter with a spoon pour it around the rim of the vessel and a little on the rice. If you lid does not close tightly use foil paper or a clean kitchen towel to cover the pot and the put the lid on it.
8. Allow to sit for like 10 minutes and serve with your chilled Raita.

Chicken Briyani

Chicken Briyani and Raita

Chicken Briyani Ingredients 

Enjoy your delicious Indian meal...

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