Oriyarasoi is on twitter !

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ambur Chicken Biriyani

'Ambur probably has more Biriyani shops per square km than any other town in the world.' says a report published in 'THE HINDU'. Add to think that I had not even heard of it before moving to Bengaluru. This small town on the Chennai Banglore highway which is a must stop for regular travellers. Tracing its origins to the reign of the Nawabs of Arcot, this biriyani is subtly different fom the Hyderabadi biriyani. More tangy and fiery but quite restrained when it comes to the use of masalas is how I would like to describe it.

My husband has been a Hyderabadi biriyani regular for the last ten years and hence it was a little difficult to sell the idea to him. But it has no coconut milk or curry leaves as opposed to the other South Indian biriyani varieties I reasoned (and hence more palatable). Some persuasion followed and he finally gave in. Finally he was the one who enjoyed it even more than I did.

As Friday dinners and Sunday lunches are a special occasion @ home, I made this for one such meal. Read on for the recipe which could add that special magic to your Sunday:

Preparation Time - 1 hour

Ingredients - Chicken (250gm), basmati rice (2 cups), onion (2 large), tomato (1 large + 1 medium), lime juice (1 tsp), yogurt (6 tbsp), green chilli (1 no), whole spices ( 3 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon stick, 2 maratti moggu, 1 bay leaf, 2 mace), cinnamon powder (1/3 tsp), turmeric powder (1/2 tsp), a handful of mint leaves, 3-4 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, oil (2 tbsp), ghee (2tbsp), salt to taste.

To be ground into a paste - 1 1/2 inch long ginger, 12 garlic cloves, 5-6 dry red chillis (again it will depend on the heat content of the chillis and your tolerance levels :)).

Preparation - Deseed and soak the red chilli in hot water for 20 mins. Grind into a paste and remove from the jar. Add the ginger and garlic to the same jar and grind into a paste.

Add the red chilli paste and 3/4 th of the GG paste to the cleaned chicken pieces. Add turmeric, cinnamon powder, lime juice and half of the yogurt. Add salt and mix with your hands so that the masala is uniformly distributed. (Do wear gloves as the chilli paste might cause severe burning sensation on your hands)

Keep aside for 2-3 hours.

Finely chop the onions and tomatoes.

Cooking - Heat the ghee and oil in a pressure cooker. Add the whole spices and fry for 10-15 seconds. Next, add the onions and fry till translucent.

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till nicely mashed. Add yogurt and fry the mixture till oil leaves the sides.

Add the marinated chicken along with the marinade. Cook for 15 mins (covered) till 3/4 done. Add the mint and coriander leaves and mix in. Fry for 1 minute.

Add washed rice and mix it with the chicken. Use a spatula and smoothen the upper layer of the rice and chicken. Add water so that the watermark or waterline is 1.5 inches above the rice and chicken layer. (This is tried and tested for a regular 2.5 liter pressure cooker and some variations will be there for a 5 liter or a handi model pressure cooker)

Cook for 12-14 minutes or as long as is mentioned on the packet of the Basmati rice. Keep aside till steam escapes.

Open and fluff the rice with a long pronged fork. Allow to stand for another 10-15 minutes before serving.

Serve with raita.

This is what 'Maratti moggu' or 'Marathi Moggu' looks like. It is known as 'Kapok buds' in English and 'semul' in Hindi. They are supposed to be the dried buds and tender fruits of the silk cotton tree.


Featured Post

Green Papaya Laddoos (SugarFree recipe)

Mom is undoubtedly the dessert specialist at home. God forbid, if she takes to blogging, she could give a lot of folks a run for their mone...