India is a country of different cultures , u can find different folklore , arts , songs , religion etc all amalgamated in one fine land ,apart from these amazing and diverse traditions , we have been blessed with some extraordinary cuisines which have mushroomed with time in different parts. Some of the dishes not originated here but have been given to us by invaders from the east who brought with them the skill and taste.
So when a legend says that Mumtaaz Mahal ( wife of Shah Jahan who made Taj Mahal: one of the 7 wonders of the world ), was once visiting army barracks and she saw the army under nourished so she ordered the chef to cook a complete meal and the chef cooked biryani , we are not surprised. Biryani is derived from Farsi word “Birian” which means” fried before cooking” and cooking style referred is Dum (slow cooking process in a sealed pot).
There are some other legends also saying nomads used to burry an earthen pot full of rice, meat and spices into the pot, and eventually when the pot was dug up, biryani was ready.
Whatever the legends says, we have been blessed with this culinary masterpiece which comes in all different varieties in India, be it Hyderabadi biryani (made famous by Nizams), Kolkata biryani, malabari biryani, and my favourite Awadhi biryani.
Here is my recipe of biryani (Rice with moist and flavourful chicken)
FOR MARINATING CHICKEN (PRE PREPARATION)
chicken 1 kg
yoghurt ½ cup
salt 1 tsp
Ginger paste 1 tsp
Garlic paste 1 tsp
Garam masala 1tsp
lemon 1 tsp
1. Make a marinade with all the ingredients , smear it on chicken and keep in refrigerator for 2 hours.
FOR PREPARING RICE
Basmati rice ( long grain) 500 gms
Cardamom green 6 no.
Cloves 6 no.
Cinnamon stick 1 no.
Bayleaf 2 no
Clarified butter (ghee) 2 tbsp
Lemon 1 no.
Water 1.5 litres
1. Soak basmati rice in water.
2. In a thick bottomed pan , add clarified butter and bayleaf.3
3. Stir for few seconds and add remaining spices.
4. Once the spices are tempered add soaked rice and stir a little
5. Add water and lemon juice and cook till half done.
*Well I like to cook my rice in ghee and then add water , it gives a good flavour to the rice, if one has to omit little fat then this step can be avoided.
Chicken 1 kg
Green cardamom 3 no.
Garlic paste 50 gm
Onion sliced 200 gms
Ginger paste 30gm
Red chilli powder 150 gms
Coriander powder 4 tsp
Salt To taste
Turmeric 1 tsp
Garam masala(cloves, mace, cardamom, cinnamon) 2 tsp
Ghee 100 gms
Cream 200 ml
Yoghurt 200 gm
1. Add ghee (clarified butter) in a thick bottomed pan and add sliced onions.
2. Cook till onions are light brown, now add ginger and garlic paste.
3. Cook till garlic’s pungency is removed.
4. Add marinated chicken and cook for another 5 minutes.
5. Now add all the masala and yogurt cover with the lid and let the chicken cook.
6. Once it is 90 % done, add fresh cream and stop cooking.
1. Take a thick bottomed pan.
2. Pour a spoon of clarified butter and then lined the bottom with rice .
3. Now pour chicken curry made on top of it.
4. Sprinkle finely cut cilantro and mint.
5. Again repeat the steps 2 times on top of each other forming a layer.
6. Once finished rice should b on the top most layer.
7. Sprinkle some dum masala (fennel , cardamom and cloves )
8. Now seal the container with a lid and put some weight on top of the lid to entrap the steam.
9. Put it on a very slow fire and cook till rice and chicken is cooked ( 20 min)
10. Serve with yoghurt.
Edited by Tom Thomas, 16 May 2014 - 11:24 AM.