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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Lalla Mussa Dal

This dish was so creamy and delicious I could barely stand it. The spicy kick made it absolute perfection.

This recipe was adapted from The Yellow Chilli Cookbook by Indian celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, via The New York Times. This creamy lentil stew is his signature dish. I reduced the butter (by HALF), doubled the recipe, increased the garlic, used jalape√Īos, and used a pressure cooker to expedite the cooking process.

I served it over brown Basmati rice with sautéed spinach with garlic and cumin on the side. Wonderful!

  • 1¬†cup whole black gram lentils (sabut urad)
  • 1/4¬†cup whole green gram lentils (split mung beans or abut moong)
  • 2 green chiles (such as Indian harimirch or serrano), cut into thin strips (I used jalape√Īos, cut into rounds)
  • 1¬†2-inch piece ginger, cut into thin strips
  • ¬Ĺ cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2¬†cups tomato pur√©e
  • 2¬†teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder, or cayenne
  • 2¬†teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
  • 16¬†cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1¬†cup heavy cream
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • 1-inch piece ginger, cut into thin strips, for garnish, as desired
  • brown Basmati rice, for serving
  1. Mix together both types of lentils and rinse thoroughly in salted water. Drain. If using a pressure cooker, cover with 2-inches of water; cook on low for 10 minutes. (Alternatively, add 1 cup water and soak for 1 hour.)
  2. Drain lentils again, add to a small pot with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Skim the scum and dirt off the top and discard.
  3. Strain the lentils and return them to the pot. Add 1 cup water, the green chiles and ginger and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of the butter and simmer on low heat, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring often and mashing with the back of a big spoon as the lentils soften.
  5. After about 35 minutes, melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter in a deep nonstick pan; add the tomato purée and sauté on low heat until fat rises to the surface. (I used a 4-quart enameled cast iron pot.)
  6. Add the red chili powder (or cayenne), ground coriander, fenugreek leaves and garlic to the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to dry out and stick to the pan.
  7. Add the lentils and mix well. Add the cream and mix well. Add 1 to 2 cups water (for desired texture) and salt to taste, and bring to a boil.
  8. Serve hot, over rice and garnished with ginger strips, as desired.

One Year Ago: Shrimp in Green Mole

Two Years Ago: Stuffed Poblano Casserole

Three Years Ago: Sautéed Haricots Verts with Mushrooms & Shallots

Four Years Ago: Chana Dal and Spinach cooked with Onions (Mughlai Saag)

Five Years Ago:  Sri Lankan Coconut Chicken Curry with Cashews

Winter Squash & Wild Mushroom Curry

This dish was quick to prepare and was absolutely fabulous. The biggest mistake I made was not doubling the recipe! I made it for an early birthday celebration dinner for my mom. We topped it off with a birthday pear snacking cake for dessert. ūüôā It was a great autumn comfort food meal.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s “Vegetarian India,” contributed by David Tanis. I increased the amount of squash, mushrooms, and garlic. Any type of wild or cultivated mushrooms could be used such as royal trumpets, oyster, shiitakes, chanterelles, or cremini mushrooms; I used a combination of cremini and shiitake mushrooms. The recipe below is double the original recipe. We ate it served over brown Basmati rice with warm naan on the side.

Yield: 8 Servings

  • 6¬†tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 20 to 28¬†ounces butternut or other winter squash, peeled and diced in 1/2-inch cubes
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 4 small whole green chiles, such as jalape√Īo or serrano
  • 6¬†medium shallots or 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1¬†teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1¬†teaspoon cumin seeds
  • handful of fresh or frozen curry leaves, optional (basil leaves could also be substituted)
  • 8¬†garlic cloves, minced
  • 2¬†teaspoons ground coriander
  • pinch of cayenne, or more, to taste
  • 1¬†teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 1/4¬†pounds mushrooms, preferably a mix of cultivated and wild, trimmed and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 15 oz¬†can coconut milk
  • 4¬†tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • cilantro sprigs, for garnish
  1. In a wide skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add squash cubes in one layer. Season with salt and pepper. (This may be done in batches.) Cook for about 2 minutes, letting cubes brown slightly, then flip and cook for 2 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to lift squash out, and set aside.
  2. Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile to open it, but leave whole. (This allows the heat and flavor of the chile to release into the sauce without making it too spicy.)
  3. Add shallots to skillet, salt lightly and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  4. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry/basil leaves and let sizzle for 30 seconds, then add garlic, coriander, cayenne, turmeric and chiles. Stir well and cook for 30 seconds more.
  5. Add mushrooms to pan, season with salt and toss to coat. Continue to cook, stirring, until mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  6. Return squash cubes to pan, stir in coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
  7. Lower heat to medium and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  8. If mixture looks dry, thin with a little water. Taste and season with salt.
  9. Just before serving, stir in lime juice. Transfer to a warm serving dish and garnish with cilantro leaves.

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Chicken Rice Pilaf

My entire family loves one-pot chicken and rice dishes. I personally thought that I brought this one to another level by serving it with saut√©ed Indian-spiced CSA kale. ūüôā

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Asha Gomez. I used ground cardamom, chicken thighs, and increased the garlic. It was a fabulous weeknight dish!

Yield: Serves 6
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the ghee. Add the onion, cardamom, star anise and a big pinch of salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onion is softened and browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and turmeric and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and 
cook over moderate heat for 4 minutes, stirring to coat it with the aromatics.
  4. Add the stock to the pan and bring to a boil over moderately high heat.
  5. Stir in the rice and return to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and let steam, covered, for 15 minutes.
  7. Fluff the pilaf with a fork and season with salt to taste.
  8. Transfer to a bowl, discarding the cardamom pods (if using) and star anise. (The star anise is so pretty that I left it in the dish!)
  9. Garnish with 
raisins, chopped cilantro and chopped toasted almonds, as desired. Serve.

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Pressure Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken

Using a multi-cooker like an Instant Pot seems to be all the rage. I can’t justify owning one… as I have a fabulous stove top pressure cooker and a separate slow cooker. Thankfully, wonderful dishes like this work with my old school kitchen supplies. ūüėČ

The sauce is incredibly flavorful in this dish. I LOVED it! I am such a sauce person. I made it with boneless, skinless chicken thighs but cubes of lamb, fish, or pork could also be used. If using chicken breast meat the cooking time should be reduced to 2 minutes. This recipe was adapted from Dinner in an Instant by Melissa Clark, via The New York Times. I used crushed tomatoes instead of fresh and used a stove top pressure cooker. We enjoyed it with roasted CSA cauliflower on the side. Fabulous.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • 28 oz can crushed San Marzano tomatoes or 3 to 4 ripe tomatoes, halved through their equators
  • 3 tablespoons ghee, unsalted butter or safflower oil
  • 3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
  • 6 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane or minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 cardamom pods, lightly crushed with the flat side of a knife, or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¬ľ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¬ľ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 ¬Ĺ¬†to 3¬†pounds (about 10) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons garam masala, to taste
  • ¬Ĺ cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • cooked brown Basmati rice, for serving, optional
  • plain yogurt, for serving, optional
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  1. If using fresh tomatoes, start by setting a box grater over a bowl. Starting with their cut sides, grate the tomatoes through the large holes of the box grater so the tomato pulp falls into the bowl. Discard the skins. Measure out 2 cups of tomato purée.
  2. Heat the ghee and the coconut oil in the pressure cooker. Stir in the onions and sauté, stirring often to encourage even browning, until they are caramelized, 12 to 18 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cinnamon and cardamom and cook for another minute.
  5. Stir in the coriander, salt, turmeric, red pepper flakes, black pepper and finally the tomato purée (fresh or canned).
  6. Add the chicken to the sauce, cover and cook on low pressure for 4 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally; this could take up to 30 minutes. If the sauce seems too thin, use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a bowl and then simmer the sauce on the sauté setting until it has thickened to taste. (Note that the coconut milk will thin the sauce down further.) (I reduced the sauce.)
  7. Stir in the garam masala and the coconut milk, and let the curry sit for 20 minutes for the flavors to meld.
  8. Serve with the rice and yogurt, if desired. Garnish with cilantro.

Note: If you’d rather use a slow cooker, cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or on low for 4 to 5 hours, adding the coconut milk during the last hour.

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Weeknight Fancy Chicken & Rice

The New York Times recently published cookbook reviews in their weekly Food section. Dishes from each book were featured. This dish is from a book with fusion dishes from the American South and Southern India. What’s not to love?

They described this dish as “a truly glorious one-pot weeknight meal.” Perfect. It was full-flavored, fast and fabulous.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, adapted from “My Two Souths” by Asha Gomez, contributed by Sara Bonisteel. I used ground cardamom instead of pods, chicken thighs instead of breasts, and increased the garlic. Delicious!

I’m bringing this dish to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #140 this week, co-hosted by Julie @Hostess at Heart and Linda @Fabulous Fare Sisters. Enjoy!

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

  • ¬ľ cup ghee (or use unsalted butter, melted, browned, skimmed, and strained)
  • 2 medium¬†(or 1 large) yellow onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (or 6 green cardamom pods, crushed)
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 ¬ľ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 ¬Ĺ teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 ¬ľ cups chicken stock
  • 1 ¬Ĺ cups white Basmati rice
  • ¬ľ cup chopped dried apricots or cranberries
  • ¬ľ cup roasted sliced almonds (or raw almonds, toasted), hazelnuts, or pine nuts
  • ¬ľ cup chopped cilantro leaves
  1. In a medium saucepan with a lid, melt ghee over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onions, cardamom, star anise and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and a very deep golden brown, about 15 minutes, lowering heat if necessary to keep from burning them.
  3. Add garlic and turmeric; cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, or until very fragrant.
  4. Add chicken and cook for 4 minutes, stirring to coat chicken with the onion mixture.
  5. Add stock and remaining salt, increase the heat and bring to a boil.
  6. Add rice, stir and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the rice has absorbed liquid, about 12 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 12 minutes. Remove lid and fluff rice with a fork.
  8. Transfer chicken and rice to a bowl, if desired. Remove and discard cardamom pods, if using, and star anise.
  9. Garnish with apricots, almonds, and cilantro. Serve at once.

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Meera Sodha’s Chicken Curry

During the holidays, I opened my mailbox to the most incredible smell. My very first friend in the blogosphere, Sonal of Simply Vegetarian 777, had sent me several packets of homemade spice blends. What a friend! Amazing. ‚̧

I used some of her wonderful Curry¬†Masala in this delicious comfort food dish. (Much more to come though- I also have Chai Mix and Kadhai Melange!) ūüôā

This recipe was adapted from Made in India: Recipes From an Indian Family Kitchen by Meera Sodha, via Sam Sifton of the New York Times. I modified the preparation and increased the amount of garlic and chicken thighs. We ate it with warm naan, brown Basmati rice, and steamed spinach. I loved the slivered almonds added at the end of cooking. Great!

Yield: Serves 6

  • 2 T unsalted butter or ghee
  • 1 T¬†neutral oil, like canola
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, approximately 2 inches long
  • 2 large white or yellow onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 2 1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated or minced
  • 8¬†cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 green cayenne or jalape√Īo peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into half-moons
  • coarse¬†salt, to taste
  • ¬ĺ cup plus 2 tablespoons pur√©ed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ¬Ĺ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons whole-milk yogurt, plus 1 cup to serve with the meal (I used 2 percent Greek yogurt)
  • 2 1/2 to 3¬†pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks (10 thighs)
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1 teaspoon garam or curry masala
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper, or to taste.
  1. Melt the butter or ghee in the oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat, and when it is hot and shimmering, add the cumin seeds and cinnamon sticks. Cook for a minute or two, stirring often, to intensify their flavors, then add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are golden, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put the ginger, garlic and peppers into a food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer to a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt, and smash them together into a coarse paste. (You can also do this on a cutting board, with a knife.)
  3. Add the paste to the onions, and cook for 2 minutes or so, then pour in the tomatoes, and stir.
  4. Allow to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, then add the tomato paste, ground cumin, ground turmeric and another pinch of salt, and stir to combine.
  5. Add the yogurt slowly to the mixture, using a wooden spoon to whisk it into the sauce. It may be quite thick.
  6. When it begins to bubble, add the chicken. Lower the heat, put the lid on the Dutch oven and allow the curry to cook gently for 30 minutes or so, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  7. Add the almonds and the masala, along with a pinch of cayenne, and cook for 5 minutes more or so.
  8. Serve with basmati rice and/or naan, and the additional yogurt.

I’m bringing this to share with my friends at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #108 this week hosted by Suzanne @ A Pug in the Kitchen and Zeba @ Food for the Soul. Enjoy! ūüôā

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