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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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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