It’s been said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, in my house it is a proven fact. The other day my husband casually mentioned that I have been so busy lately with work and travel that I haven’t cooked for ‘him’ lately. But naturally, I had to take immediate action. I surprised him the next day with his ultimate Indian comfort food he enjoys the most from my hands – Spiced Hyderabadi Biryani.
As Risottos are to Italy and Paellas to Spain, Biryani is to all of South East Asia, pinnacles of rice cookery. As it is a one pot meal, the time spent on them is worth the effort. Aromatic ingredients such as Saffron, Cardamom, and Kewra/Rose water take this dish to another level to please all your senses.
A raw meat Biryani requires that you combine raw but marinated meat with partially cooked rice and let them both cook gently together to make a harmonious one pot dish. The meat and delicate basmati rice needs to cook at the same moment, a tricky operation where timing and technique are all.
My version of the Hyderabadi Biryani is marinated meat with an assortment of Indian herbs, spices and yogurt. I tend to add Kewra Water which gives a delicate, sweet aroma when the dish is revealed. This is one dish which will please all palates. Since this version is created for #spicychat, it tends to be a bit spicy; feel free to omit the chili’s to accommodate your personal taste buds.
- 2 Cornish Chickens skinned and cut into small pieces
- 4 cups Basmati Rice
- 2 cups Yogurt
- 1 tbsp. Red chili powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 2 tsp. coriander powder
- 1 tbsp. garam masala
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4 medium onions (thin slices)
- 3tbs. Garlic
- 2tsp. Ginger
- 10-12 Indian green chilies
- 1 cup fresh coriander leaves
- 1 bunch fresh mint leaves
- 1\2 cup oil
- Few strands of saffron, soaked in warm water
- Few drops of Kewra essence
- For rice: 1 stick cinnamon, 6 cloves, 8 green cardamoms, 2 bay leaves
- Fry the onions until light brown.
- Remove the onions from the oil and reserve 1\4 onions for later use.
- Put the fried onions, garlic, ginger, coriander leaves, mint, green chilies, yogurt, garam masala, lemon juice, and 1 tsp in a blender or food processor and blend to a paste. Marinate the chicken with the yogurt mixture overnight in a refrigerator.
- Put the rice in a sieve and wash it thoroughly under a running cold tap until the water runs clear. In a large heavy based pan put plenty of water and add cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, 2 bay leaves, and salt. Bring it to a rapid boil and add the washed rice. When the rice are 1\4 cooked, drain and keep aside.
- In a large deep pan on medium heat place 1\2 cup of oil. Place the chicken with all the marinade. Cover the meat with the rice and level it with a spatula. Sprinkle reserved fried onions, saffron, and kewra on the top of the rice.
- Cover the pan with thick aluminum foil and then place the lid.
- Allow to cook for 20 minutes on medium heat then reduce the heat to a very low and cook for further 15 minutes until the rice and meat are tender.
- Let the rice rest for at least 10 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the rice gently combining the sauce with the meat.
- Serve hot with Raita. Enjoy!!
I made this yesterday and couldn’t wait till #SpicyChat to share it with my readers . The delicate basmati and ultra flavorful chicken sweetly kissed with the fragrance of kewra is truly intoxicating. Oh my kitchen smells so good when I make this chicken biryani. My family just can’t wait to dig in.
Are you fond of rice? What is your favorite rice dish you crave the most? I would love to hear from you!!
Until next time, have a spicylicious #spicychat!!
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