Chicken Biryani, Hyderbadi style

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. ūüôā

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 jalape√Īos)
  • 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

For Tempering:

  • 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

Method

  1. 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.
  2. Place masala powder ingredients in an electric grinder and process to a fine powder.  Add to yogurt mixture.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Heat 4 teaspoons ghee and tablespoons oil in a pan and fry the sliced onions till caramelized and crisp.  Set aside.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (200 degrees C)
  8. 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.)
  9. 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.
  10. Repeat one more layer with the remaining rice, saffron milk, ghee, coriander leaves, and onions.
  11. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and then with a fitted lid.
  12. 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.)
  13. Remove lid and foil, and garnish with mint and/or cilantro leaves and slivered almonds, as desired.  Serve hot.

One Year Ago: Green Curry Pork Tenderloin

Three Years Ago: Jerk Chicken with Spicy Pineapple Sauce & West Indies Roti

Four Years Ago: Indian-Spiced Chicken Stew

Five Years Ago: Indian-Spiced Chicken & Spinach

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Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk

  • 1 whole chicken, 3-4 pounds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¬ľ cup unsalted butter
  • ¬ľ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 10 cloves garlic, skins left on
  • 2 ¬Ĺ cups whole milk
  • 1 handful of fresh sage, leaves picked ‚ÄĒ around 15-20 leaves
  • 2 lemons
  1. Heat oven to 375, preferably on convection.
  2. Season the chicken aggressively with the salt and pepper.
  3. Place a pot that will fit the chicken snugly (I used a deep 4-quart pot) over medium-high heat on the stove, and add to it the butter and olive oil.
  4. When the butter has melted and is starting to foam, add the chicken to the pot and fry it, turning every few minutes, until it has browned all over.
  5. Turn the heat down to low, remove the chicken from the pot and place it onto a plate, then drain off all but a few tablespoons of the fat from the pot. (I left more fat than recommended but would reduce the amount next time.)
  6. Add the cinnamon stick and garlic to the pot, and allow them to sizzle in the oil for a minute or 2, then return the chicken to the pot (preferably breast-side down) along with the milk and sage leaves.
  7. Use a vegetable peeler to cut wide strips of skin off the two lemons, and add them to the pot as well.
  8. Slide the pot into the oven, and bake for approximately 1¬Ĺ hours, basting the chicken occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and tender and the sauce has reduced into a thick, curdled sauce. (If the sauce is reducing too quickly, put a cover halfway onto the pot.)
  9. To serve, use a spoon to divide the chicken onto plates. Spoon sauce over each serving.

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Four Years Ago:

Lebanese One-Pot Mujadara with Spring Greens

I love lentils and I love vegetarian comfort food from other countries. One of my favorite comfort foods are dals from India. Like dal, this Lebanese dish is bean (lentil) based and is really flavorful. Unlike dal, this is dish is very quick to make. It was my first mujadara, a great variation with the addition of fresh greens, the recipe from the New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark.

I used to be adverse to keeping white rice in my pantry, but when making a one-pot dish it is much more foolproof to use white rather than brown rice. The increased cooking time required for the brown rice could result in mushy lentils.

This dinner also became a wonderful CSA box in one meal. We ate this dish with roasted beets, carrots and fennel on the side, as well as with hummus (made with CSA parsley) and flatbread. I used beet greens and chard for the spring greens in the main dish (I also increased the amount). Healthy, quick, flavorful, and good. It was excellent with a dollop of greek yogurt on top.

Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, roots trimmed
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt, more as needed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup long-grain rice (I used white Basmati rice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cups trimmed and coarsely chopped spring greens (chard leaves, spinach, kale, mustard or a combination)(I used 6-8 cups chard and beet greens)
  • whole milk Greek yogurt, for serving, optional
  1. Place lentils in a large bowl and add warm tap water to cover by 1 inch. Let soak.
  2. Meanwhile, halve leeks lengthwise; run under warm water to release any grit. Thinly slice leeks crosswise.
  3. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer half the leeks to a bowl to use for garnish and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  4. Stir garlic into the pot with the remaining leeks and cook for 15 seconds until fragrant.
  5. Stir in rice and sauté 2 minutes. Stir in cumin, allspice and cayenne; sauté 30 seconds.
  6. Drain lentils and stir into pot. Add 4 1/4 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer- almost to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.
  7. Rinse greens in a colander and spread damp leaves over lentil mixture. Cover and cook 5 minutes more, until rice and lentils are tender and greens are wilted.
  8. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve sprinkled with reserved crispy leeks and Greek yogurt, if desired.

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