Have I ever told you how much I love this stuff?? My husband and I are just MASSIVE fans of biryani! He loves his mums Biryani which, I have to say, is just scumptious, but sadly, too far away for us to savour it….And I have fond memories of spicy biryani eaten on banana leaves in iconic restaurants in Bangalore…at friends’ homes… always packed with so much flavour…
It’s a funny thing though, this biryani business… I know it should be as authentic as possible, and take ages to to put together, with all the gazillion cooking processes etc… But I also think that there are days when you just need to be practical and fuss-free, but still want that deep, aromatic dish… and why not? It CAN be done!!
SO after a bit of research, I came across a few recipes which I found pretty straight forward and fast… FAST being key to my search…. I got some great tips from http://www.healthyindianmeals.com/…. So with all these tips on hand, this is what I came up with!
Short cut Chicken Biryani… for busy bees!
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 600 grams boneless, skinless chicken thighs – cut into approx. 2″ pieces
- (for the marinade):
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 2/3 tsp coriander powder
- 2/3 tsp garam masala powder
- 2/3 tsp chili powder (optional)
- 2/3 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
- 1/4 cup yoghurt
- 250 g tinned tomato, best quality you can find
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1.5 cup white basmati rice, cooked
- 4 tbsps plain yogurt
- 1 bunch fresh coriander
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 -3 bay leaves
- 1″ stick, cinnamon bark
- 5 peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp whole cumin seeds
- Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, add the chicken and yoghurt, stir well and marinate for 2-3 hours or overnight.
- In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium heat.
- Add the onions and fry on medium heat, stirring often., until they are a deep brown, not burned.
- Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
- Reduce the heat to minimum and add the chicken.
- Raise heat back to medium and fry the chicken for about 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the chopped tomatoes. check for seasoning, add a bit more garlic and salt if needed.
- Combine most of the fried onions and the yoghurt. Stir to make a paste. This is the Birishta. It makes the magic happen. Add the paste to the chicken curry and stir in.
- Cook another 15 minutes till the chicken is fully cooked. Taste to check for salt. Turn down the heat.
- Remove some of the crazy, about 1/2-3/4 cup and set aside.
- Carefully ladle the cooked rice over top of the chicken curry mixture, gently folding it in. Allow to cook for a further 5-10 minutes, cover and switch off the heat.
- Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with the remaining fried onions and fresh, chopped coriander leaves
- Serve with the gravy and some yoghurt.
Don’t get stressed about the fact that there are a few steps to this dish… It’s pretty simple…. Make your rice the night before… marinate your chicken the night before and you can even slice your onions and keep the in an air-tight container the night before too!! That’s what I did! If you don’t have time for the marinade, or you forget, that’s okay too, cooking the chicken at that time and adding the spices in at that moment will also get you a good, tasty result…I just find that the marinating process tenderizes the meat and allows for the flavours to really shine!The yoghurt and onion mixture (birishta) was something new I discovered, and it’s truly a revelation! It adds so much richness yet keeps it fresh and light!
This is a perfect weekend “take-away” dinner. You could even double the quantity, and have left-overs throughout the weekend… trust me, day-old biryani is THE BEST!!!!!