Rice To The Occasion Chicken Biriyani A La Mummy

I never really like Biriyani until we moved to Bangalore in 1983 and were deluged by it at every wedding. Biriyani turned out to be more than we had bargained for and it soon became a family favourite. Nehru and the girls demanded it every month and I soon became adept at it serving it for many a party and occasion. It is a favourite amongst our Malaysian friends where it is called Briyani and I have cooked this always with different kinds of pachdi and of course the inevitable Stuffed Brinjal.

The Recipe:

500gms Basmathi Rice, wash, drain, parboil with salt to taste and keep aside; 1 kg chicken, washed and cut into large pieces.
Grind masala :1 large onion, quartered; 1 1/2 pods garlic, peeled; 3/4 tsp corriander seeds; 5 cloves; 3 inch piec ginger; 5 cardamoms, seeded, 1 inch stick cinnamon.

Pressure cook chicken 2 minutes in 1/2 cup water with a large tomato, cubed, a pinch of haldi(turmeric) and salt to taste.

Fry 6 large onions sliced in 2 tbsp ghee mixed with 2 tbsp oil till brown and keep aside.
In the same oil fry the ground masala until water evaporates and masala leaves the side of the pan and the oil oozes out. Add chicken, stock and cook on low flame till dry.

Take a large dish (either casserole or rice cooker or dekshi) and alternate layers of rice, meat and fried onions, beginning and ending with a layer of rice. Sprinkle an additional tbsp of ghee (optional) over the top layer. Next squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime over the rice, followed by a few drops orange food colouring dissoved in 1/4 cup milk. Cover and cook till done. Usually takes 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot garnished with or without hard boiled eggs, curd pachdi and whole brinjal.

Pachdi: Mix one cup curds with 1/2 cup boondi, a few corriander leaves and salt to taste.

A Rose By Any Other Name is just as sweet! Found this Kenyan Recipe for Biriani and am including it in this post. Happy Eating.

A dish that originated from the Kenya Coast.

1 kg. Meat ( mutton leg, a lean cut of beef, goat or chicken)
1 kg. Rice
1 kg. Onions
1 kg. Potatoes
1 medium size unripe pawpaw (papaya)
300 ml. (1.5 cups) sour milk or yogurt
2 limes
1/4 kg. Tomatoes
1 small bulb of garlic
Small piece of fresh green ginger
4 cardamom pods
4 cloves
2 small sticks cinnamon
1 teaspoon each of cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and whole black peppercorns
Oil for frying
1 smallest size tin tomato paste (I used 100gms)

Peel pawpaw, remove seeds, and grate coarsely. Pound the garlic and ginger to a paste. Cut the meat into biggish pieces and put into a heavy saucepan with the pawpaw and garlic and ginger. Add the sour milk or yogurt, and the juice of the two limes. Set over a low heat and stir at intervals. Whilst this is cooking, grind all the spices together and set aside. Slice the onions and fry in oil until brown and crisp. Remove from the fat. Peel and slice the potatoes and fry in the same oil until golden brown. Remove and keep on one side – apart from the onions. Check the meat to see if it is nearly ready, then add the spices and the skinned tomatoes together with 4-5 tablespoons of the fat used to fry the onions and potatoes. Mix together well, then add the tin of tomato paste. Continue cooking over low heat until the meat is really tender and the sauce thick and creamy. It is almost certain you will have to add a little warm water before the meat is cooked. Cook for a final 15 – 20 minutes to make sure all the flavours have blended together.

Prepare and cook the rice. Put a good layer of the rice at the bottom of a fireproof dish or casserole. Pour over the meat mixture, and cover completely with another layer of rice. Now put in the fried onions, reserving a few for decoration, and cover them with the rest of the rice. Boil up the remaining oil and pour over. Take the sliced potatoes and tuck them at the edge of the dish, and across the top, pushing them into the rice. Sprinkle with the reserved onions about 30 minutes. Do not let it become dry. Biriani can be served at table in the casserole if it is decorative one, or else you will have to remove the meat and the vegetables keeping the layers as cooked and serve on a big platter.


1/2 kg small brinjals (I used green and purple), wash, make two slits crossways across bottom retaining stalk; 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste; 3 green chillies; 1 large onion; 1 1/2 tsp corriander powder; 1/2 tsp somph; 1/2 tsp jeera powder; 1 tsp garam masala powder; 3/4 tsp chilli powder; fffffew drops orange food colouring; 3 tbsp grated coconut; salt to taste.
Grind all the ingredients except the brinjals to a smooth paste. Fry the masala in 2 tbsp oil until thick. Stuff 1/2 a tsp of masala paste into each brinjal and arrange in a dish. Put the remaining masala on top and pressure cook with 1/2 cup water 5 minutes only. Serve with biriyani. A winning combination indeed.

 

Learn how to cook a traditional Indian meal using recipes that have been inherited from my great-grandmother.

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