I have another wonderful Indian dish to share. I first spotted this mouth-watering dish on Safari of the Mind– the site of my like-minded blog friend, Loretta. I had to make it. 🙂
I doubled the amount of chicken in the original recipe -thinking it would be the highlight- but I was obsessed with the rice! I didn’t cut the chicken into pieces, but may opt to next time. I used 1 tablespoon of prepared Garam Masala powder but included the ingredients to prepare it below- I do think it would be even more delicious if it was prepared with the fresh spice blend. I also omitted the water in the marinade and the mint in the tempering. I baked the biryani rather than cooking it on the stove.
The recipe was adapted from Yummefy.com, via Loretta @Safari of the Mind. We ate it sautéed greens with garlic and cumin. Yum!
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
For the Marinade:
- 2 cups plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
- 1/2 large yellow onion, very finely chopped (about 150 grams)
- 5 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped (about 1 T)
- 2-inch piece ginger root, very finely chopped (about 2 T)
- 4 to 8 green chillies, fresh, chopped, de-seeded and minced, to taste (I used jalapeños)
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, from 1 large lime
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 tsp coarse salt, or to taste
- 8 to 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2 in pieces, if desired
For the Masala Powder:
- 4 cloves
- 1 piece cinnamon, 1 inch
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 6 black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon black cumin seeds
For the Rice:
- 2 cups basmati rice, or any other long-grain rice
- 4 cloves
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 1 piece cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
- 4 tsp plus 1 T ghee, divided
- 2 T vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
- 3 large yellow onions, sliced
- 1 T vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 1/4 cup warm milk for 30 minutes
- 14 fresh mint leaves, for garnish, as desired
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish, as desired
- 1 tablespoon slivered almonds, blanched and toasted
- Place yogurt in a large bowl and whisk, using a fork until smooth. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and chilies to a bowl and combine with yogurt, turmeric, lime juice, coriander leaves and salt.
- Place masala powder ingredients in an electric grinder and process to a fine powder. Add to yogurt mixture.
- Add chicken and massage with your hands for the marinade to coat and penetrate the chicken. Marinate, covered for 2 to 6 hours in the refrigerator.
- Wash rice at least 3 times until the water runs clear. Soak rice in water to cover by at least 1 inch for 15 minutes. Drain.
- Place a large pan on high heat and pour in 2 liters (8 cups) water. (I used a 4 quart pan.) Bring to a boil and then add drained rice, stirring gently. Toss in cloves, green cardamom pods, cinnamon, bay leaf and salt. Stir to mix, then cover with a lid. Simmer for 5 minutes on low heat or until half-cooked. Drain the rice. Set aside and allow to cool.
- Heat 4 teaspoons ghee and tablespoons oil in a pan and fry the sliced onions till caramelized and crisp. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (200 degrees C)
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil onto the bottom of a heavy saucepan and place the marinated chicken at the bottom, spreading it out in one layer. (I used a large enameled cast iron pan.)
- Spoon half the rice in a layer over the chicken. Drizzle 2 tablespoons saffron milk, 1/2 tablespoon ghee, and 1/2 tablespoon coriander leaves over the layered rice. Top with 1/2 the onions.
- Repeat one more layer with the remaining rice, saffron milk, ghee, coriander leaves, and onions.
- Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and then with a fitted lid.
- Place biryani in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, or until chicken is 165 degrees. Remove from the oven. Let the biryani rest, covered for 10 minutes. (Because the chicken pieces were whole, I baked it for 45 minutes.)
- Remove lid and foil, and garnish with mint and/or cilantro leaves and slivered almonds, as desired. Serve hot.
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