Well, your correspondent has let you down this week – I haven’t had a restaurant biryani in the last seven days. Not surprised? Always thought I would tire of them in the end? You can’t be more wrong!
If truth be told, life seems to have passed me by this week – what with work being so crazy; the son’s endless sports training consuming all our days (I write this by the pool side as a matter of fact) and lots of social commitments over the weekend. We will not mention the cricket here as India is doing badly yet again…and who knows where it’s all going to end.
So in short, sometimes I don’t have the time to go out and get a biryani especially if I want it to be from the south of the river. Big thanks to Resa from my office though for desperately and unsuccessfully trying to find a good biryani in Southwark so that we could pick it up after our office function on Thursday. Don’t lose heart Resa – we will find something!
But thankfully there are loads of foodie Aunties (is there any other kind of Indian Aunty??) who finding out about my food blog have enthusiastically and generously shared their biryani recipes with me. One such person is Aunty G – a brilliant cook with exciting East African influences in her cooking. Although Indian in origin, the family hails from the coastal city of Mombasa in Kenya and dinner at her house is such a pleasure because of the delicious blend of Indian and Swahili cuisine.
So, here’s a biryani recipe for you from Mombasa – it’s been in Aunty’s family for ages and I can tell you with all objectivity that it is superb. Aunty served the biryani to us with Mandazi and Barazi -the former is a coastal doughnut and the latter a dish of whole pigeon peas.
Here is a picture of the biryani
3 cups basmati rice
1 kg chicken breast cubes
3 large onions
1 cup natural yogurt
1 and a half tsp garlic paste
2 tsp. ginger paste
2/3 green chillies
1 bunch coriander leaves
3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
2 tsp. garam masala
2 green peppers cut up into chunks
1 cup corn kernels
2 sticks of cinnamon, 2 cardamom pods, and 2 cloves.
- Using a food chopper, finely chop the onions, green chillies and coriander.
- In a large bowl, marinate the chicken chunks in yogurt, ginger and garlic paste, onions, chillies and coriander mixture, salt and garam masala..
- After about half an hour, heat 4 tbsp of oil in a large pan.
- When the oil is very hot, drop in 2 small sticks of cinnamon, 2 cardamom pods and 2 cloves.
- When they start spluttering, add the marinated chicken mixture and let it cook on low heat until chicken is nearly cooked.
- Now add the corn and pepper to the mixture and cook for a further 5 minutes Add the lemon juice.
- Prepare the basmati rice in the usual way.
- Serve the chicken on a bed of rice… remember to mix up the chicken and rice when serving.