I never liked anything other than plain rice before...During parties and gathering when fried rice or biriyanis are served I am like 'Why can't they serve plain rice...its so simple to make....' My opinion about all this changed one day and it happened when I was in Hyderabad..
It was one of those salary weekends and we bunch of us decided to go to Secunderabad. We took a train to reach there (and little did we know then that we were taking the long route...) Anyways after the long journey, some local shopping and roaming around....our stomach started growling....and thats when we decided to step inside Paradise restaurant... famous for biriyanis.... But to our utter dismay we had a long queue ahead of us waiting inside...the smell of biriyanis served inside was only increasing our distress. After about 1 hour we finally got seats, and to put an end to our suffering our biriyanis arrived in no time...:) It was like pure heaven...none of us had any more small talk ...we ate in perfect silence...and I was never so happy to see biriyanis infront of me...I finished the whole bowl in one sitting without even leaving a single grain of rice...Phew !! I had quite a big appetite that day...
And thats how my affair with biriyanis started...:) But now when I think about this steamy affair, was it my hunger or my growing inner palate that made the connection ? I wonder !!
Adapted from : Vahrehvah (The dum/ kachchi style were chicken and rice are not cooked before layering.)
- Chicken - 1 lb (I used boneless chicken breast)
- Green chillies - 2 nos sliced
- Pepper - 1/2 tbsp
- Cumin - 2 tsp
- Chili powder - 1 tbsp
- Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
- Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
- yoghurt - 1 cup
- mint + coriander - 1/2 cup
- garlic - 4-6 cloves
- ginger - 1 inch
- Basmati Rice - 2 cup socked in water for 30 min.
- Bay leaf - 2 big
- Cloves - 4 - 5
- Cardamom - 4 - 5
- Cinnamon - 1 inch
- Lemon juice - 1/2 lemon
- Onion - 1 med sliced finely.
- Mint - few leaves
- Coriander leaves - few
- Dried nuts - few
- Turmeric - 1 tsp mixed in 1/4 cup water. (Few strands of saffron in milk)
- In a blender add mint leaves, coriander leaves, little yoghurt, garlic and ginger. Blend to a fine paste.
- In a bowl add this blended paste, mix it with rest of the yoghurt. Add in ingredients from (1) to (9) [under To marinate] and let the chicken marinate in the mix for a while.
- Make sure rice is socked in the water for 30 min. This will help expand the rice evenly resulting in even cooking.
- Crush cardamom, cloves and cinnamon into small bits. Not to a fine powder.
- In a large saucepan, heat some oil, bay leaf and the crushed spices from step.
- When the nice aroma starts coming, pour in some water (enough to cook the rice to 50%).
- Add salt, and taste the water. The water should taste salty. Now add the lemon juice.
- When the water starts boiling, add the socked and drained rice.
- Rice should be cooked till its 50% done.
- Within few minutes, the rice will start to dance in the water. Take rice grain and try to crush with hand. It should easily break into few pieces. This indicates that rice is half done.
- Switch off the heat and drain the rice. The drained rice will also contain the crushed spices.
- In a pan heat some oil and fry the sliced onions in batches. Fry till its light brown and drain in a paper towel. Sprinkle some salt over it.
- Take a heavy bottom pan. Add all the marinated chicken at the bottom and level it using a spatula.
- Sprinkle some fried onions.
- Add the half cooked rice over it.
- Sprinkle the rest of fried onions, coriander leaves and mint leaves and turmeric water.
- Cover with a tight lid(extremely important). If the lid is not tight, cover the pan with silver foil and then close the lid.
- I have an electric stove at home, so I cooked for 5 min on high heat, 20 min on medium heat and I switched off the heat. The electric stove will be hot even after switching off. I let it rest for further 30 min without disturbing the lid.
- Remove the lid, open the silver foil away from you and remove it.
- Serve hot and enjoy...:)