Monthly Archives: August 2013

Biryani

Grace, one of our talented non-blogging Daring Kitchen members, was our Daring Cooks’ August hostess who shared with us some of her family’s tried and true Bengali Biryani recipes – all of them delicious and all of them prepared fresh from our own kitchens!

I followed her suggestion for a Chicken Biryani quite closely, here is what you need for that:

  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) (1½ oz) ghee (I made this myself)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch (2½ cm) ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tomato, skinned and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon biryani powder (hard to get here, I made it myself, more or less following this blog‘s recipe, although without the Marathi Mogga and Rathi Puvvu / Dagad Phool / Pathar Phool / Black Stone Flower, no idea what it is and where to get it.)
  • 1 chicken, cut into 8 parts (in the recipe it is unclear how big this should be, the challenger, Grace told me in the forum she used a 1 kilo baby chicken. I used a full grown free range chicken of 2,5 kilo, and hence my recipe was much more likely enough to feed 8 people. Our freezer is full).
  • 3 cups (750 ml) (550 gm) (19½ oz) basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
  • 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt
  • Fresh coriander, chopped
  • Green chillies, chopped (optional)

Some pictures of the preparations:

biryaniprep

First I made the Biryani spice mix, unfortunately I could not find all the spices, but never mind, it smelled deliciously and worked out well anyway. I made a bit more than I needed for the recipe, so I can make another Biryani some time. Then I made the ghee myself, by slowly melting 120 grams of butter. That gave me more ghee than indicated in the recipe, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt, since I guessed my chicken was also much bigger than the on in the recipe (and it was, as it turned out). Then I melted the ghee in a saucepan and fried the cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon, and cardamom until the kitchen smelled wonderful (be careful not to burn it). Then the onions, garlic, ginger, tomato, and salt (also a bit more than in the recipe) were added and cooked for about 5 to 10 minutes until the onions browned. Then I added the cumin, coriander powder, curry powder, and biryani powder and let it cook for 2 more minutes, after which the chicken went into the pan. Here I noticed that for a chicken this big I should have used a bigger pan. But, I turned it a couple of times, and gave it some more time (about 15 minutes) on medium heat. Then the yoghurt went in, and coriander and chillies and the pan was removed from the heat. In the meantime I cooked the rice for about 5-7 minutes, then drained it carefully and then roughly mixed the rice and the chicken in the saucepan, this was then covered and cooked for another 10 minutes (until the rice is done).

And this is how it looked.

IMG_2779 IMG_2780

Very tasty, very good chicken, and wow did this smell good. I always really like to make things for which you have to mix your own spices, so this was a very good challenge for me! The spices worked very well with the chicken, which remained really tender. Especially the rice, cooked in the ghee with all these spices was really really nice. We ate way too much, and still have at least 4 portions in our freezer I think. Nice challenge, good recipe!

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