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Friday, March 25, 2011

Aunty's Biryani

My friend, who lives nearby discovered my blog, she is quite lucky, perhaps unlucky sometimes because I sometimes pop in with a container of food for her to try.  My friend had tasted this amazing biryani made by this Indian lady, who lives a few doors down and requested that she tell me the recipe, as she just kept muddling up her ingrediants.
So  I got this recipe from my Indian neighbour, who  taught me this recipe, while making me walk around the whole housing block. Not that I am complaining, was a good exercise plus she was very enthusiatic telling me about how to make it.  I have changed a little of the recipe like adding a little water while cooking the chicken and the addition of fried onions and potatoes , mainly because I love potatoes in my biryani.

Serves about 5 people

1/2 kg chicken pieces, such as thigh, drumsticks, wing etc.
3-4 large onions, finely sliced
2 tsps minced garlic
about 1 " piece ginger ,minced
5-6 green chillies, slit in half lenght ways
5 medium size tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp freshly ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 cup plain yogurt
2 large potatoes, peeled, cut into large chunks
Oil or ghee

1 1/2 cups good quality basmathi rice (  washed and then soaked  in water for 1 hour)
2-4 cardamon ( ends sniped off)
1 stick cinamon
2-3 cloves

A pinch of saffron ( a good quality safftron smells wonderful even when they are packed in the packet)
A big handful of  mint leaves
about 1/3 cup milk

1. Place chicken pieces, garlic , ginger , chilli powder , ground cumin and a pinch of salt  along with the yogurt in  a bowl or zip lock bag and mix well. Leave to marinate over night or a few hours.

2. Parboil your potatoes , drain and set aside.  Heat a generous amount of ghee in a suitable pot big enough to make the gravy, about 3  tablespoons.  You can use vegetable oil instead if you want. Fry your potato slices till golden, remove and leave to drain in a paper towel.

3.. Add half the onions and stir fry till golden brown , and starts to crisp, remove and drain on paper towel and set aside.

4.  Add the rest of the onions and saute' till  they start to turn golden, then add the chicken along with the marinade. Add about 1/2 cup water into the bowl or bag you had been marinading the chicken and clean it out into the pot.  Stir for 1 minute, add the chopped tomatoes, chillies, tumeric , cook covered till chicken is cooked through.

5. Remove lid and stir in the fried potatoes.Taste and season with salt.  Let it cook  till the gravy is very thick. 

6. While the gravy was cooking , prepare your rice, drain the rice and cook in water with cinamon stick, cardamon and cloves.  Make sure you dont leave the rice , check the rice, and once its cooked, check with a spoon, it shouldnt be mushy.  Remove and drain all the excess water and give a rinse with cold water  to stop the rice from cooking further. Drain the rice well. Place in bowl and season with a little salt and mix well.

7. Warm your milk in a small saucepan , dont boil, add saffron and leave to infuse for about 10 minutes.

8. To assemble your biryani,  Take a thick based cooking pot big enough to fit everything in.  Brush with oil. Add a layer of chicken along with some gravy. Top with a rice layer, then sprinkle safffon infused milk, mint leaves, and the fried onions, dot with a ghee. Repeat till all the gravy and finishing off with the rice layer with all the garnishings.   Add a double layer of aluminium foil over the pot, place the lid and place on a very low heat on the stove top or in a low heat oven, at about 150 degree celsius.  Cook for about 30 minutes,dont let it burn at the bottom.  Remove lid , give a good mix and serve with a nice raita  and  salad.

Enjoy and hope you all have a lovely week end!

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