Posted on | August 16, 2009 | 38 Comments |
I can hear the collective yawn already – No, not another Biryani recipe! Hasn’t she posted all the possible variations out there already? Well, no, I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. Every time I make Biryani it turns out a bit different, so you should really thank me for not posting the hundreds of variations that I could. In fact every chicken or lamb curry recipe I have can be converted into a biryani recipe. But don’t worry, I promise this one is different, it is not just a slight variation of one of my already posted recipes, it is a whole new taste.
I talked about my new favorite cookbook called Aharam by Sabita Radhakrishnan in a previous post. This biryani was inspired by one of the chicken curry recipes in there called Kozhi Velai Kozhambu aka White Chicken Curry. When I saw the recipe, the creamy cashew nut, yogurt and coconut based gravy sounded like the perfect candidate for a biryani base. So instead of making the curry and eating it with plain rice, I decided to combine the two into a biryani and the result was this delicious mild flavored biryani that looked different from my usual red/brownish looking biryanis. This one goes well with a spicy meat curry or it is good on its own with a spicy raita.
- 1.5 lb chicken, cut into medium sized pieces
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 can ((13.5oz) low fat coconut milk
- salt to taste
- 2 cups basmati rice
- To saute and grind
- 1/2 cup onions thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp thinly sliced ginger pieces
- 2 tbsp thinly sliced garlic pieces
- 15 green chilies (I used Serrano)
- 15 cashew nuts
- 1″ piece cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- 4 cardamom
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 star anise
- 1″ cinnamon
- 1/2 cup onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup thinly sliced onions
- a few cashew nuts, halved
Wash the rice thoroughly and soak for at least 30 minutes.
Dry roast the ingredients under “To Dry Roast and Grind” and process in a spice mill or coffee grinder to a smooth powder.
Heat 2 tsp oil in a large pressure cooker and saute the ingredients under the “to saute and grind” section till onions are soft, but not browned. Place this in a food processor, add the spice powder from the previous step, and the yogurt and process to a smooth paste.
Marinate the chicken pieces with this paste and keep aside for half an hour.
Heat 2 tbsp oil and add the ingredients under “For Tempering” section and saute till the onions are softened. Add the marinated chicken and saute till dry and the oil starts to separate.
Add the coconut milk and salt and mix well and close the pressure cooker. Cook till the first whistle (when the pressure cooker has reached the full pressure) and switch off the stove.
When the chicken is getting cooked, heat about 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions and cashew nuts for the garnish one by one, remove and keep aside. Add bit more oil and add the soaked rice and a little bit of salt and fry well.
When the pressure cooker is cool enough to handle, open and measure the gravy in the chicken. We need total 3.5 cups of liquid including the gravy and water to cook 2 cups of rice. So if there is two cups of gravy in the chicken, add 1 1/2 cups of water. Add the fried rice along with the required amount of hot water to the chicken in the pressure cooker.
Close the pressure cooker and cook on medium heat till the first whistle. High heat will surely burn the bottom of the biryani, so make sure it is medium heat. After the first whistle, switch off the stove and let stand till it cools down.
Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the fried onions and cashew nuts and boiled eggs if using. Serve hot with raita and/or a spicy gravy.
Check out my other biryani recipes: