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Chicken Biryani

So much to do, yet so much to enjoy. We all talk about a chicken biryani but how to make one. Up for the challenge for some aromatic and flavorful traditional rice dish...bursting with flavors and fragrance. Let’s not forget about the yellow dhal and carrot salad… :) Ingredients: (If you do not have biriyani mix)

  • 1 ½ kgs chicken (cut into large pieces)

  • 2 onions (finely sliced)

  • 1 ½ cups masoor dhal (parboiled in salted water- almost fully cooked)

  • 3 cups rice

  • 1 cup Yoghurt for chicken

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 tin tomato puree

  • 2 tablespoons ghee, ¾ cup oil (to fry onions)

  • 1 tablespoon ginger/garlic

  • 3 teaspoons of Kashmiri Masala and 2 teaspoons Kashmiri chili powder (change based on preferred heat

  • 2 – 3 teaspoons dhania/jeera powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 – 2 teaspoons freshly ground green chilies

  • 3 whole green chilies split in half for extra heat

  • Salt to taste

  • 6 to 8 potatoes (cut into quarters), 4 – 5 hard-boiled eggs (peeled)

  • 3 cardamom, 2 cinnamon sticks, 3 cloves, 4 whole peppercorns, 2 bay leaves

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed saffron (place in bowl of hot water)

  • A little egg yellow food color, 1 – 2 sprigs curry leaves

  • 1 medium onion (chopped finely for braising/braise rice)


  • Meat should be marinated using Kashmiri masala and Kashmiri chili and refrigerated overnight as follows:

  • Dry roast cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves, peppercorns and bay leaves in a frying pan and when cool, grind in a coffee grinder

  • Fry the finely sliced (or grated) onion in oil until golden brown. Press through a sieve or slotted spoon to remove all excess oil. Place on a paper towel and leave to drain. When cool, crush with your fingertips

  • Add the ground spices, crushed onion, ginger/garlic, all the other spices, salt, lemon juice and vinegar, yoghurt, tomato puree, curry leaves, ground and whole green chilies, saffron water and mix well. Add the left over oil (from frying onions). Toss well and leave to marinate overnight in refrigerator or 2 – 3 hours before cooking

  • Par cook rice with a few cinnamon sticks. Make sure rice is not overcooked. It must still have a slightly hard center when pressed between your fingers. Drain and set aside

  • If using Basmati rice (boil about 5 to 6 minutes), take care as it cooks really fast and should only be partially cooked. Must still feel hard when pressed between fingers

  • Toss your potatoes in a little egg yellow food coloring and deep fry until a thin skin forms around it. Put in a casserole and par cook in the microwave. Set aside

  • Fry medium sliced onion in a little ghee until softened and lightly golden brown

  • Arrange your marinated meat and spices at the bottom of a large flat bottomed pot. Cover the meat with a thin layer of par cooked masoor dhal

  • Place the partially cooked potatoes over the masoor. Cover with half the rice. Then arrange the eggs over this

  • Now cover with the rest of the rice. Color your rice with a little egg yellow food coloring/saffron. Toss the top layer of rice with the fried onion/ghee. Gently pour 1 cup water over the rice. Cover this rice with a layer of foil (rub some butter or oil on the inside of the foil)

  • Cover tightly with pot lid. Bake in oven at 180’C for approximately 1 – 1 ½ hours or until water dried up and potatoes cooked through

  • If using a stove place pot on high heat until you hear it sizzling, then drop the heat to lowest and let it simmer until done

*Let sit to cool prior to serving

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