I don't know why all of a sudden I recall one funny incident that took place while I was working in a private firm in Bangalore. It so happened that one of our colleagues was celebrating his b'day one day and we all showered him with blessings and good wishes. May be spurred by the moment, he flung himself into inviting all the members of our team, who used to sit in Bannerghata office, to join him at lunch that, we thought, he was throwing at a nearby restaurant. Now we went there, ordered meal little stingily so that less money is spent. After all, treating some 15 members of a team in a restaurant in Bangalore costs the earth and we all thought not to eat lavishly to save our b'day boy (man, rather) from burning his fingers. Now after sharing each particular order by three, when the time came to foot the bill, the man wearing a sheepish and innocent face asked all the people to chip in. It was a moment of shock for all. Especially some ladies in our group who were rather close to the b'day boy were very offended knowing that we would have to go dutch because the way the b'day boy called and gathered everyone for the lunch made everyone convinced that he wanted to treat us in celebration of his b'day.
Hmmm, it became a topic of discussion for few days during the recess and tea break. I myself felt quite amused by the whole thing with only one regret that if I knew we would go dutch, I would have preferred to eat more.
Back to the recipe, the below recipe of biriyani is a gift to one of my friends who has been asking for a long time to upload a recipe of biriyani. Very few of my friends are actually aware that I have a cooking blog and she is one of the few.
Ingredients: Cooking time: 1 hr 30 minutes approx.
ü 300 gm long grain basmati rice
ü 500 gm chicken on the bones
ü 2 onions (julienned)
ü 1 cup yogurt
ü 1 tsp red chilli powder
ü 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
ü 1 tsp turmeric powder
ü Salt to taste
ü 1 cup milk
ü A pinch of saffron
ü 2 tsp ghee
ü 5-6 green chillies (chopped)
ü Lemon juice (3-4 tbsp)
ü Coriander leaves (chopped)
ü White oil for cooking
For special garam masala powder:
ü 1 inch cinnamon stick
ü 8-10 cloves
ü 2 brown cardamoms
ü 5-6 green cardamoms
ü 1 tsp caraway seeds (shahi jeera)
ü 1 bay leaf
1) Beat the yogurt and mix it with chicken. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste and salt to the chicken and give a good mix.
2) Dry roast the ingredients of garam masala and then grind them together into a fine powder. Add this powder to the chicken and combine well. Refrigerate the marinated chicken for an hour.
3) Cook rice using water and whole spices - 5-6 black peppercorns, 2 green cardamoms, 4-5 cloves and 1/2 inch of cinnamon stick. Note that the rice should be 70% cooked only. I have cooked the rice in microwave oven. It usually takes 20 minutes for the rice to be cooked in the microwave I use; so for 70% cooking, I timed the microwave for 15 minutes. You too adjust the time as per your convenience.
4) On the other hand, heat milk and drop a pinch of saffron in it. Put it away to take on the colour.
5) Meanwhile, when rice is 70% cooked, drain the water. Brown the onions in smoking hot oil.
6) Take the bowl of marinade out from the refrigerator. Chop 1/2 amount of the burned browned onions coarsely and add them to the chicken. Fold in.
7) Now heat oil in a large vessel. Add chicken and shallow fry them. Scrape out the remaining marinade into the pan and combine it well with the chicken. Pour ghee into the pan and stir in to mix.
8) This is about time to arrange the layers for dum, so turn the flame to low. Now form a layer of remaining browned onions on top of the chicken and add coriander leaves.
9) Now add the rice and spread it evenly on top of the chicken making a bed. Add the saffron infused milk, squeeze lemon juice, and add some green chillies. You may add some more coriander leaves if you want.
10) Seal the container with dough as required for giving dum. Dough should be placed along the rim of the vessel so that the steam building inside cannot leak out.
11) Adjust the flame to low. Let the biriyani be cooked for 45 minutes to an hour. Since I cooked the dish on stove top, the right temperature I found ideal for cooking the same was number 3. Instead of 45 minutes I cooked it for full 35 minutes and it turned out nicely without the bottom layer being burned. (Depending on the cooking apparatus you are using, the temperature and cooking time may vary.) Just try and test to find what works for you.
12) When biriyani is done, open the lid and mix it all up before serving. Serve warm.