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Sharmini's Chicken Biryani

A fabulous aromatic rice dish from Sharmini Thomas. Don't be put off by the length of ingredients, this is a truly delicious curry and well worth the effort.

"Biryani is a popular rice dish from the Indian sub-continent served usually at weddings or any other festival. It is a magnificent dish redolent of myriad spices, caramelised onions and exotic dry fruits, and is probably the most aromatic rice ever cooked. The cooking process of Biryani manifests a perfection of culinary art."

INGREDIENTS

500 gm    Chicken thighs/ legs

For rice

Cut finely for curry

Roast and grind spices

 Fried ingredients for garnishing           

Other Ingredients for garnishing

METHOD

Rice preparation

  1. Soak washed rice in 500 ml of water for 20 minutes. (This allows each grain to absorb water so it sticks less to the next grain while cooking).
  2. Strain and leave in a sieve set over a bowl for 10 minutes.
  3. Fill ¾ of the saucepan with water, ingredients for rice (see above) and bring it to boil.
  4. Add in rice and give a stir then leave it to cook for about 6-8 minutes on moderate heat. Do not cover the saucepan.
  5. Lift some rice grains out with a slotted spoon and nibble a grain or two. When ¾ done, drain in a colander. Then spread on a tray to cool.

Fry ingredients for garnishing

  1. In a wok, fry the cashew nuts in 1tbsp oil and 2tbsp ghee until pale brown. Remove and drain on an absorbent kitchen towel.
  2. Next, fry raisins and drain on an absorbent kitchen towel.
  3. In the same oil/ghee or add little more if necessary, fry sliced onions until golden brown. Remove and drain. (optional if using purchased fried onions)    

Method for cooking chicken

  1. In the same oil add sliced onions. Stir fry until it becomes translucent.
  2. Add finely cut ginger, garlic and green chillies.
  3. When oil separates and the lovely cooked aroma appears, add tomato pieces. Cook until it softens.
  4. Roast dry ingredients. When cool grind them to a powder.
  5. Add ground spices to the cooked tomato mixture.
  6. When the lovely fried aroma appears, add in chicken pieces and stir occasionally until they become white in colour and are sealed. Add yoghurt, chopped mint and salt. Cook for 15 -20 minutes (until chicken is done and oil floats on top of the curry).

Biryani finishing touches

  1. Place ½ amount of cooked rice over the chicken curry
  2. Drizzle 1 tbsp melted ghee, ½  amount of juice of ½ a lemon, ½ amount of saffron mixed with warm milk, 1 tsp rose water, ½ amount of chopped coriander leaves, ½ amount of fried onions, raisins and cashew nuts.
  3. Then layer with remaining rice and repeat (step 2) with the remaining garnishing.
  4. Cover and cook on a low flame for 15 minutes.
  5. Serve with Kerala salad (yoghurt, chopped tomatoes, red onion & mint) and poppadums.


For more of Sharmini's recipes, why not try:

Sharmini's Chicken Tikka Masala

Bombay Potatoes

For more information about Sharmini's Indian cookery courses, please visit: www.sharmini.co.uk

 

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