You might recall the profound and momentous observation I made a couple of posts before this one? No?. To refresh your memory: I had an epiphany – biryanis in India taste better because the meat/veg component is fully integrated in the dish – it is part of the whole and etc.
And so it was that on the very same day of the profound observation we found ourselves eating a chicken biryani made by Aunty G accompanied by her daughter-in-law’s gorgeous raita (see mouthwatering photo above). And the chicken completely proved my point.
After managing my hysteria admirably, Aunty G has very generously shared the recipe of this particular biryani with us. It is very different from her Mombasa biryani recipe – see this post.
- 3/4 cups oil
- 3 cups Basmati rice
- 3 sticks of cinnamon, 6 pods cardamoms, 6 cloves. 2 tsp. jeera (cumin seeds)
- 3 large onions (sliced lengthwise)
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 ½ tsp garlic paste
- 2 tsp. ginger paste
- ½ tsp saffron
- 2 cups yogurt
- 2 tsp garam masala
- Minced green chillies
- Salt to taste
- Half a small bunch of chopped coriander leaves.
- Pinch of yellow colouring
- 1 kg, chicken breast pieces ( or mixed chicken pieces if preferred)
- Clean chicken and drain.
- Fry the 3 large onions until they are crisp and brown. Keep aside.
- Mix the yogurt with tomatoes, ginger and garlic paste, minced green chillies, saffron, salt, half the fried onions and garam masala.
- To this add the chicken pieces and leave to marinate for a couple of hours.
- In a large pan, pour 4 tbsp of oil and heat to a high temperature. Now add 3 sticks of cinnamon,4 cloves, 4 pods of cardamom and wait until they splutter.
- Now add the yogurt mixture with the chicken and all the spices.
- Cover and cook over gentle heat until chicken is cooked.
- Cook rice separately using some jeera (cumin seeds) 2 cardamom pods and 2 cloves fried in oil. When the spices splutter, add the washed and drained rice, some salt to taste and 5 ½ cups of water.
- Stir the rice, let the water boil and the simmer at the lowest temperature you can. Cover the pan and check after 15 mins to see if the water has evaporated and the rice is cooked.
- When the rice is done, add a few drops of food colouring. Sprinkle the colouring randomly. DO NOT MIX. Add the rest of the fried onions and cover.
- When serving, serve the chicken mixture on a bed of rice or in alternate layers of rice and chicken.
Biryani is usually served with onion, raita and natural yogurt.