Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Hope everyone's Ramadan is going well so far!  Today I made biryani and I simply LOVE this dish, it's actually amazing how good AND simple it is.  Really doesn't involve any effort at all (but tastes like you've slaved away making it)

- 1 whole chicken, 8 pieces, skin removed - cut legs off, divide drumstick/thigh. Cut each bone in breast in half. 
- Shaan spice pack, I use bombay beef biryani blend. Half a package is plenty!
-1 1/2 cups plain yogurt

- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 thumb size piece of ginger, minced/grated
- 2 cloves garlic - minced/grated


-1 whole red onion, peeled and sliced

- 3 tbsp oil 

Add the chicken to a casserole dish, sprinkle with the spice blend and mix until all the chicken is coated.  Add lemon juice, grated ginger, grated garlic and salt to season.  Add the yogurt and mix well. 

Now heat the oil in a pan and add the onions, fry on medium heat until brown and crispy almost (don't let them burn!) 
Allow the onion/oil to cool a little bit and then drizzle over the yogurt/chicken. Set all of this in the fridge until the next day. 

Following day: 

Either the night before or the morning of soak a few golden saffron threads in warm water and set aside on the counter. 

4 hours before baking: 

- 2-3 cups golden/sila parboiled basmati rice (wash and soak for 3 hours at least) 

- Lots of salted water. 
-A few drops of oil

- A couple of cardamom pods and cloves (optional) 

-Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the oil and spices (except saffron!) as well as the strained rice, cook until al-dante (like pasta!) 

Strain the rice and wash with cool water and strain again, set aside. 

30 minutes prior to baking remove the chicken mix from the fridge and allow to come to room temp. Preheat the oven to 400 F

 I also halved tiny new potatoes and threw in a handful with the masala, once coated I layered in the pan with the chicken. 

Layer the chicken masala mixture into a larger casserole so it's evenly distributed on the bottom and chicken is in 1 layer. 

(Optional: Throw a handful of frozen peas on top, or cooked/canned lentils) 
I put in some frozen green chickpeas! 

Scoop the rice over top until it's just about to the top of the casserole rim. 

- Saffron (previously soaking) 

- Sprinkling turmeric
- Sprinkling cinnamon
- 2 tbsp oil/butter/ghee
- 2 tbsp warm milk

Heat the milk and oil in the microwave or in a small saucepan. Drizzle over top of the rice along with the saffron.  Add a few dashes of spice randomly to the top (the turmeric will color some of the rice grains which will make for a pretty biryani!)

Cover with foil and Bake at 400 F for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken and potatoes are cooked through! 

I like to remove half of the biryani and layer it into another casserole, so I scoop some rice and remove the delicious masala from the bottom and gently layer on top then I've got 2 casseroles where the rice and chicken mixture are layered nicely together and ready to serve!

Serve with yogurt/cucumber raita (simply dice cucumber finely, add yogurt, lemon juice, salt and black pepper and a bit of fresh mint or dry mint)

Enjoy !

No comments: