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Saturday, September 19, 2009

'Everyday Cooking'- Layered Chicken Biryani

Before starting to cook for lunch, asked 'M' whether he would like 'Chicken curry' or Chicken Biryani' for lunch? 'M' is not a big fan of rice.He says,when he was a graduate student in Chicago,all he and his roommates would cook was....rice. It was easiest thingto cook and so he has had so much rice during those years..that now..he tries to avoid it whenever possible!

But, I have seen him eat rice whole heartily in one dish....'Chicken Biryani'.

With his approval on hand,I set to cook Chicken Biryani with 'layers'. Many 'dum biryani' recipes layer the rice and chicken alternately..and that's how famous 'Trushna's Biryani house' in Pune used to make it ,that's how my mom used to make it..and that's how I like to cook it too!

Recipe for Chicken :


1 lb boneless chicken( you can use with bones too) cut into cubes

2 medium onions chopped vertically

1/2 cup grated coconut(fresh or dry)

2 tbsp tomato puree

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp grated ginger

1/2tsp sesame seeds

2tsp cilantro leaves and stems

1/2tsp chicken curry masala

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp cumin-coriander powder

2tsp mint paste

1tsp cumin seeds

1-2 bay leaves

1tbsp oil

salt to taste

1) Heat 1tsp oil, add the chopped onions and fry till golden brown.Add coconut,roast till brownish colored.Blend into smooth paste along with cilantro,garlic,ginger,sesame seeds.Keep aside.

2) Heat 2tsp oil,add bay leaves, cumin,the above paste and fry for 5-6 mins.Add turmeric,garam masala,chicken curry masala, chili powder,cumin coriander powder,tomato paste,mint paste,salt and fry again for 2-3 mins.

3) Add the cubes chicken and let it cook till well done.Add little water as and when needed.But the gravy should be thick and not too runny.

4) Garnish with cilantro leaves.
Recipe for Rice Pulav:


1 cup Basmati rice,washed and drain

2 cups hot boiling water

1/2 cup mixed vegetable cut into small pieces (carrots,green beans,peas,corn etc)

2tsp ghee/butter

1/2tsp cumin

5-6 cloves

1/4tsp cinnamon powder

1/8tsp black pepper

1/8tsp cardamom powder

5-6 saffron sticks

Salt to taste

1) Heat 2tsp ghee,add cumin,cloves,rice and fry for 3-4 mins.

2) Add boiling hot water,black pepper,cinnamon,cardamom,saffron ,salt,vegetables etc and let it cook till almost well done.

3) Rice should be cooked,but individual grains should be seen (rice shouldn't be sticky).

4) Remove onto a plate and let cool.

For garnishing:

1) Fry 1 potato into finger chips

2) Fry 1 small onion into vertical chips

3) Roasted cashews

4)Chopped cilantro

5) Saffron sticks mixed in 1tsp milk

Layering Chicken and Rice to make Biryani:

1) In a heavy bottom pan, add 1tsp oil.Add 1/2 of the cooked chicken with gravy,some fried onions.

2) Add about 1/2 of the cooked rice on the chicken.

3) Sprinkle few drops of saffron milk and sticks

4) Add the remaining chicken,onions, cashews etc

5) Layer with remaining rice ,fried onions,potatoes,cashews.Sprinkle with saffron sticks in milk.

6) Close the pan with a tight lid.

7) Place the pan on a tava and then on a stove (this way the biryani won't burn when steaming/dum)

8) Steam the biryani for about 8-10 mins Without letting much steam escape.

9) Garnish with cashews,cilantro and Serve hot.

10) Can be served with cucumber raita/tomato soup/papad etc

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