Melanie’s Chicken Biryani

TRH Melanie's Chicken Biryani

Well a Sunday lunch is not complete without a curry and another request from my foreign guests was Biryani please. I was most happy to oblige. Served with a very spicy Dahi – I had some sweaty guests!

Ingredients
2 kg chicken pieces
1 large sachet tomato paste
3 onions sliced
4 large potatoes
4 garlic cloves, 1 finger size pieces of fresh ginger
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tblsp Aminas Biryani masala
1 tsp mixed masala
2 Tblsp taj mahal chilli powder
1 tsp tumeric powder
2 tsp dhania/jeera powder
1 tsp coriander seed
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick + 1
1 star anise
3 cardamom pods + 2
Curry leaves
1/2 bunch dhania
4 -6 chillies
1 tsp saffron
1 tsp saffron infused in boiling water
Egg yellow
Saffron
1 cup lentils
3 cups basmati rice
Ghee – lots!
Oil

Method:
Wash and drain chicken. Fry the one onion in ghee and oil till brown and crispy.
Dry roast seeds and grind in coffee grinder till course not powder.
In a processor add garlic, ginger, chillies and pulse till fine.
Add buttermilk and pulse lightly.
Add tomato paste, Aminas biryani masala, masala, chili powder, dhania powder, turmeric, fresh dhania and 2 tsp salt.
Blitz on high till smooth. Added the course seeds, cinnamon and star anise, saffron and combine.
Massage into chicken using clean hands.
Add crisp fried onions and rub into chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Soak basmati rice in boiling water for +1 hour.
Pre-cook basmati rice with additional 2 cardamom and cinnamon sticks.
Boil till rice starts to bubble (5 minutes or so). Rinse and drain.
At the same time boil lentils with pinch of turmeric and pinch of salt till just slightly tender.
Rinse and add about 1/4 cup of these to the ½ the precooked rice and the infused saffron. Fry onions in mixture of ghee and oil till brown and crispy. (I used coconut oil because it reaches higher cooking point).
Colour potatoes and fry till crisp and set aside.
Place a layer of foil at bottom of biryani pot.
Add ¼ cup of oil and ½ cup of water to bottom of pot (this allows food to steam from the bottom).
Place a very thin layer of lentils and rice at bottom, place chicken on top, place rice with lentils on top of chicken. Place potatoes on top of rice.
Add ½ the fried onions and remaining lentils spreading evenly.
Add the remaining white rice over the top.
Make gaps on the sides to allow steam to come through. Pour cup of boiling water over rice. Top with left over onions.
Add little blobs of ghee over rice and some chopped coriander.
Add some saffron over (or drizzle egg yellow)
Cover and seal pot with foil. Place on the stove on high till you hear a sizzle then turn to very low.
Cook for about an hour on low.
Boil 4-5 eggs cool, peel and halve and set aside.
When you dish Biryani into serving dish/platter tuck the freshly boiled eggs in Biryani.

Dahi
Ingredients:
1 carton maas (buttermilk)
1 cucumber
1 small carrot
1 tsp salt
2 ½ tsp white pepper
4 – 6 green chillies
1 bunch Dhania
½ bunch of mint
2 garlic cloves
2 TB lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1 level tsp garam masala

Method
Add ½ carton of maas to processor.
Halve the cucumber lengthwise and remove flesh with a spoon. Chop.
Finely grate carrot. Add cucumber to maas in the processor with Dhania, mint, garlic salt, pepper, chillies, sugar and lemon juice.
Blitz until creamy and smooth.
Pour rest of maas and garam masala and just pulse once or twice.
Pour into serving bowl and stir in carrot. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Prepared, tried and tested by: Melanie Kramar

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