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Showing posts with label chicken biriyani. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chicken biriyani. Show all posts

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Thalassery Biriyani (Malabar Biriyani/Kerela Biriyani)

Thalassery Biryani is the famous biriyani served at Muslim weddings in Kerela. It was originally made from a short grained and flavorful rice variety called Jeerakasala but now people has started using Basmati rice as well. While I came across a lot of variations on internet, some using curry leaves, other had coconut milk and still others used rose attar, this one seemed authentic. It is taken from a local TV channel called Amrita TV.

It does not use any red chilli powder, only green chillis. And the gravy made for chicken does not use any oil in it. Only the fried onions called 'Bista' are added to the gravy to deepen its flavor. Read on for the recipe.

Preparation Time - 1 hour ( and some more standby time )

Ingredients - (serves 2)

  • 400 gm Chicken pieces (medium sized)
  • 2 1/2 cups Jeerakasala rice ( or Jeera Samba rice )
  • 3 large Onions (finely sliced in circular/semi-circular shapes)
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch long ginger
  • 4-5 green chillis
  • 2 large tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup mint leaves (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee + Oil for frying the onions

For the Biriyani Masala Powder

  • 3 cloves
  • 1 1/2 inch cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 petal Mace
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 
  • a pinch of Nutmeg

( Some recipes also have a little bit of aniseed and shahjeera added to this masala. But the one I tried was quite good

in itself. )

For cooking the rice -

  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1 star anise
  • 2-3 cardomoms
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Wash and marinate the chicken with salt and turmeric.

Cooking - Heat oil in a wok for frying the onions.

Fry onions in small batches on medium heat and take each batch out of the oil for a few second during frying. This makes them crisper as it allows the water content of onions to turn into vapour.

Dry roast all the spices (except nutmeg) mentioned under Biriyani Masala. Allow to cool down a few degrees. Then grind into a powder in a mixer/coffee grinder. (Add a little bit of coarse salt when using a mixer, it helps to get a fine powder )

Roughly grind the ginger, garlic and green chillis.

Cook the rice in a pressure cooker along with the ingredients mentioned under 'For cooking the rice'. After levelling the rice with a spatula, add water in sufficient quantity so that it stands nearly 1 1/2 inch above the rice. Close lid and cook for 1 whistle. Remove and open after steam escapes. Fluff up with a fork.

Heat a thick bottomed vessel (we will be using it for the DUM process later on, so it should be really thick). Add the chopped tomatoes with a little water. Cook till soft and mashy.

Add the ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and cook till raw smell goes off.

Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the powdered masala and chopped mint leaves. Mix well and cook till chicken is 80 percent done.

Add 3/4 th of the fried onions at this stage. Mix well and cook till chicken is tender.

Add lemon juice and coriander leaves. Mix well and switch off flame.

Layer the cooked rice over the chicken. Add remaining fried onions and dot with the saffrom milk.

Cover the vessel with a cloth and put on the lid. Allow to sit on lowest possible heat/flame for 15-20 mins. (I did this process using an induction cooker.)

Remove the lid and cloth. Mix the layers a bit.

Serve hot with raita and coriander coconut chutney.

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.

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