Fragrant Basmati rice casserole layered with chicken flavored with aromatic herbs and spices. Best served with raita of your choice.
For the chicken:
12 -16 chicken pieces (drumstics, tights, wings)
1 tbsp biryani masala
2 green chilies, chopped
2 tbsp ginger, finely grated
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
5-6 tbsp oil
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste
For the rice:
2 cups basmati rice, soaked in water for 20 minutes
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp milk
pinch of saffron
1 onion, sliced and deep fried
1-2 medium potatoes (optional), cut and deep fried
2 tbsp julienne ginger, to garnish
few lemon slices, to garnish
sultans to garnish
2-3 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
4 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
10 cashews nuts, to garnish
4 cups water
How to make Chicken Biryani:
Rinse the rice in several changes of water and let it soak for 20 min. Drain thoroughly.
Process in the blender garlic cloves, ginger, chilies, 1 tbsp mint and 1 coriander leaves, biryani masala and 1 tsp salt.
Wash the chicken pieces and dry on absorbent kitchen paper.
Heat 4 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the chicken pieces and fry on medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning once. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
Add the remaining oil and when hot, add chopped onion and fry until golden brown.
Add the blended spice mixture to the fried onion and cook stiring for few minutes.
Add chopped tomato and cook mashing it with the back of wooden spoon to make a paste.
Then add the chicken pieces, pour 1 cup of water. Cook on medium heat, stiring ocasionally for 40 minutes or till chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened. When done, taste the gravy and adjust the salt.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and deep fry the onions and potatoes. When done, keep aside.
Heat 1 tbsp of o oil in a pan, add bay leaves, green cardomaoms and cinnamon stick. Let it sizzle for few seconds.
Add soaked rice and pour on boiling water (2 cups) over the rice and cook covered for 10 minutes.
Then turn off the heat and leave, coverered for 5-10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender but not soft and overcooked.
Meanwhile, fry the cashews nuts in a oil for few seconds (optional).
Boil the milk and add saffron threads. (If you don't have saffron use its subsittute - turmeric. It provides a yellow color similar to that of saffron, when cooked). Keep aside.
Spread cut into small pieces butter over the rice, along with sliced ginger and fried, carmelized onion.
Sprinkle on the saffron milk.
Cook, covered with foil or lid, in the oven at 150 C/300 F for 10 -15 minutes.
When done, place the rice in serving dish. Decorate with cashew nuts, raisins, julienne ginger, mint and coriander leaves. You may put some lemon slices on the side.
Don't forget about serving raita with it.