Chicken Biryani

Finally. Without my mother hovering over my shoulders, I made biryani. It’s her recipe anyway. Relatively easy, this biryani has two elements to it – rice and chicken masala. Both are to be cooked separately and layered with fresh coriander leaves and fried onions. Next stop, Mutton Biryani!

Ingredients for Chicken Masala:
Chicken (on the bone) – 1/2 kg
Coriander leaves – one cup
Mint leaves – one cup
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Dried red chillies – 5 – 6
Green chillies – 2
Tamarind paste/thick pulp – 1 tbsp
Ginger – 1/2 inch
Garlic – 4 cloves
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch stick
Cloves – 4-5
Cardamom – 4-5

Method:
1. Saute all the ingredients for the masala in 1 tsp ghee.
2. Grind in blender to make a paste, adding some water.
3. Add salt to taste and cook chicken in the masala for 20 mins in med-low flame or till chicken is tender.

Ingredients for rice:
Basmati rice – 2 cups
Bay leaves – 2
Onion – 2 sliced

Method:
1. Rinse the rice with water at least 3-4 times and soak it in water for 10-15 mins. Drain water and let the rice dry for 10 mins.
2. Saute onions in 2 tbsp ghee/oil along with bay leaves.
3. Tip the rice in and add 4 cups water.
4. Add salt and bring to a boil.
5. Now let it simmer with a lid on in low heat for 18-20 mins.
6. Take it off the heat and let it rest with the lid off.

Other ingredients:
Onion – 1 sliced and fried till dark brown
Coloured water (yellow food colouring in water) – 1/2 cup
Chopped coriander leaves – 2 cups

Assembling the biryani:
In a large deep dish, layer the biryani – first with rice, followed by sprinkling of coloured water, then the chicken masala, then coriander leaves. Repeat. Top it with fried onions and more coriander leaves.

Serve with raita.

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