Friday, June 04, 2010

Baptism To Biryani

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.

IMG_8650 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!
IMG_8649Someone 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. IMG_8634

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. IMG_8637 IMG_863992198444 IMG_8640

This entry-level Biryani gets a lot of its taste from crisply fried onions, which are used in between layers of rice and chicken.
IMG_8641 IMG_8643 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. 
IMG_8644 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.
IMG_8646 Heat before you eat. Cut slices of this chicken biryani and serve with raita or garden salad.
IMG_8648IMG_8654IMG_8649 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!

10 comments:

. R.A.J.A . said...

Looks delicious. I always thought preparing Biryani is as impossible for me as reading fiction novels the size of any from the Harry Potter series.
Wify makes biryani quite often. I'll give it a try soon.

Jaya said...

Pree,
This looks delicious..
And as long as it tastes heaven who cares which way it came
:-)..and this looks absolutely delicious ..
hugs and smiles

jerseycook said...

Wow, this looks amazing. I've always wanted to make biryani, but didn't want to spend hours cooking it. Can you give ratios or amounts of the spices that you fry in ghee? I have no idea how many cardamom seeds or star anise pods to use.

Thanks so much!

PreeOccupied said...

Okay, this is for you Jerseycook and other people (on Facebook) who wanted the recipe.

For the rice:

2 cups Basmati rice, washed and sieved for 30 minutes, till all excess water is drained
3 tablespoons ghee
1 stick of cinnamon
2 green cardamoms
1 black cardamom
1 teaspoon black cumin
2 star anise
2-3 cloves
1 bay leaf
A pinch of grated nutmeg

Heat ghee in a pan and add all the whole spices. Sauté for a few seconds and add the rice. Mix the ghee and the spices well with the rice till all the ghee coats the rice. Add salt and nutmeg and stir again.

Add 5 cups of water and boil till the rice is done. Drain in a colander.

Soak a few strands of saffron in a couple of teaspoons of milk. Sprinkle this on the rice and keep covered for 20 minutes.

For the caramelized onions, I used 1 large red onion and slivered it thinly. I fried them in hot oil till brown-red in color, drain excess oil on paper towels.

Hope this helps.

Sharmila said...

Chicken biryanita dekhte ekdom perfect hoyeche Pree. Porshu amader barite guests chilo ar ami Cream of Mushroon soup baniyechilam dinner light ar short rakhar jonne. And did a double take when I saw it on your blog. Telepathy jano na ki? :-)

Bong Mom said...

Perfect Biryani hoyeche. Dummy abar ki, ei rokom i to bari te kora hoy. Layer kore last e oven e finish kore nilei holo.

Ei ar ebarer goppo koi ?

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Pree
Very nice dish indeed. I dont believe there is any shortcut cooking. All dishes take their own time to get the exact taste that you want, days in days out.
I remember while in Kuwait , my flat-mate's wife visited for a short duration. She used to cook amazing Biriyani (beef, goat and chicken)everyday and in very short time. (She knows Biriyani recipes which takes more than 24 hrs. SHe cooks those during festivals like EId ul fitre and EId ul Ada etc.
I miss those dishes.
Will try this one when my daughter is backm who likes chicken.
Have a nice weekend

sra said...

grade 10 physics = shudder!

Lynnylu said...

Your Biryani looks absolutely fabulous! I could eat this every day! Thanks for the rice recipe in the comments.

. R.A.J.A . said...

I'm going to make biryani tomorrow. When I told her that, I had your blog in mind. I think this one is the easiest among all biryani recipes you have.
Will let you know how it goes :-)