Some people may cringe at this shortcut (chicken) Biryani I make. Which I admit wholeheartedly, I do often.
But do not look down upon this Chicken Biryani unless you have a more viable option for a very eager 16-year-old. Okay, I am not 16 anymore. But this Biryani still holds fond memories for me.
From making instant two minutes noodles (which actually honestly take about five!) to innovative omelettes, my jump to more high ranking cooking happened with this Chicken Biryani.
My Mum was travelling for work and the two of us, actually make that two and a half – my father, little sister and me were left on our own – heating and eating the bowls of curries and daals my Mum had made and refrigerated. We also looked up to our domestic help when the bowls needed a refill!
Clearly, even when I was all confused about grade 10 Physics, my thoughts about food were fuzz-free. I quickly elbowed Bali didi from the kitchen after a couple of meals of brilliantly boring anda curry and sagging cabbage tarkari.
Hence my culinary christening with this Chicken Biryani should be treated as a great achievement and ought to be mentioned in the Book of All Things Great and Good!
Someone in Calcutta who ardently follows my Blog called this- Biryani for Dummies. But there is nothing variously dumb about the clever layering of chicken and rice with caramelized slivered onions and boiled eggs.
Now back to the Chicken Biryani recipe. This requires you to make chicken curry – just like this.
The rice for the Biryani is quite simple to do too. Toss cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, black cumin, star anise and bay leaf in ghee and fry the rice. Add a little pinch of grated nutmeg, season with salt and cook with enough water. Drain the rice on a colander and sprinkle saffron strands soaked in a couple of teaspoons of milk and cover.
This entry-level Biryani gets a lot of its taste from crisply fried onions, which are used in between layers of rice and chicken.
Now comes the “assembly” part of this meal. Start with a base layer of the saffron rice and follow it up with chicken, caramelized onions, slices of boiled eggs, very finely chopped coriander and pieces of green chilies slit lengthwise.
The best way to trap all the flavors and present this Biryani is to have rice as the base and the top layers. Garnish the rice with fried onions, eggs, green chilies and chopped coriander.
Heat before you eat. Cut slices of this chicken biryani and serve with raita or garden salad.
Whoever looked down on this Chicken Biryani shall now stand in the sidelines and drool. By the way, I think looking down with my Canon and taking top shots was a good idea!