February 26, 2017

Kerala Chicken Biriyani || Cooking with Family and Friends - #3 ||

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Biriyani is a feast in itself for most Indians but when it came to our PG gang ( running into the pre-wedding days for a while), biriyani was the solution to depression as well. Every emotion we could think of was followed by ordering biriyani from Mughal Empire in AECS Layout. We got a hike - its biriyani, we are tired - its biriyani, we got reprimanded by parents - its biriyani, manager gave us a earful - biriyani again, had a tiff with friends - biriyani all over again. Every emotion had a solution - Mughal Empire Biriyani. The guy taking the order at Mughal Empire need not be reminded of the address and the quantity - the only thing that varied was the type between chicken and fish. We lost count of the times we have ordered it but washed and kept intact all the 'white dabbas' they came in, only to be thrown out during every cleaning session!

This is how biriyani became part of my life - we tried making biriyani couple of times when in the PG - none too successful. We either had overcooked rice or runny masala gravy - well loads of other things can go wrong too!! That did not stop my attempts at biriyani and  my first success was with my mother-in-law's recipe. So this vacation we made it all over again to celebrate Shibin's birthday - she led from the front and I just followed her cues.

So third in the series of Cooking with family is Kerala Chicken Biriyani with mom-in-law.

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Ingredients
( serves - 8)

For the chicken masala

  1. Chicken - 1 kg
  2. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  3. Yogurt - 3 tbsp
  4. Onion - 3 sliced
  5. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  6. Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
  7. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  8. Coriander powder - 2 tsp
  9. Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  10. Tomato - 1 sliced
  11. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  12. Coconut - 1 cup grated
  13. Green Chilly - 4 
  14. Coriander leaves - 1 cup tightly packed
  15. Mint Leaves - 1/4 cup tightly packed
  16. Ghee
  17. Salt
For the rice
  1. Basmati Rice - 4 cups
  2. Water - 8 cups
  3. Cinnamon - 3
  4. Cardamom - 1 inch
  5. Cloves - 4
  6. Bay Leaves - 2
  7. Lemon Juice - 2 tbsp
  8. Ghee - 3 tbsp
  9. Salt
For the Garnish
  1. Raisins - 15
  2. Cashew - 15
  3. Onion - 2 finely sliced
  4. Coriander leaves
Method

  • Wash and soak the basmati rice for 30 minutes in warm water. Heat ghee in a deep vessel and add the spices - cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaves. Fry this for a minute on low flame before adding the drained basmati rice. Stir it till the first splutter of rice. Add boiling water to this and squeeze in the lemon juice. Adjust the salt level and cook till done and fragrant.
  • Marinate the Biriyani cut chicken pieces in turmeric, yogurt and salt for 30 minutes.
  • Heat ghee in a pan and add the onions. Cook till the onions begin to wilt and add the ginger garlic paste. Once the rawness of the paste disappears add in the masala - red chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and pepper powder. Once done, add the marinated chicken along with the sliced tomato, curry leaves and let it cook covered.
  • Grind together the coconut, mint leaves, corriander leaves and the green chilly. Add a little water to aid the grinding. When the chicken is almost done, add this paste and let it cook further. Adjust the salt.
  • Layering the biriyani - Take a thick bottomed pan and begin layering the rice and the masala alternatively beginning with a thin layer of  rice, followed by the chicken masala and ending with rice. You may create 2 to 3 layers.
  • Cover this and place it on low flame until the steam emerges while removing the lid - may take about 5 - 10 minutes.
  • Garnish the biriyani with onions, cashew and raisins fried in ghee. Adding of freshly chopped coriander leaves enhances the look and taste.

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You may also note - 
  • Once the rice is cooked, use a fork only to separate the grains.
  • I prefer using ghee while making biriyani - this might as well be replaced by other cooking oil but try to stick to ghee while cooking the basmati rice.




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