A wonderfully aromatic biryani flavoured with decadent spices and baked with layers of fragrant basmati rice.
This is a biryani (or biriyani) from Northern India made by marinating the chicken in yoghurt and brought to life with aromatic flavours and a sauce created from some amazing whole spices.
Once baked, or cooked in 'dhum', the dish comes together, oozing with the most delicious flavours where every mouthful gives you a new burst of warming spice. The list of spices may look daunting, so my advice is to just be organised and go through each stage (marinade, sauce and building the dish) methodically, and the biryani will come together easily.
I can't recommend this dish highly enough, especially if you're trying to impress your guests (which we all like to do once in a while). I promise you, as soon as you take the lid off the pan your friends will be in awe of what you've made - and want more!
To buy the main ingredients for my Biryani, check out my curry kit here.
2 or 3 whole green chillies, stabbed with a fork (optional)
Making the Biryani
large pinch fresh coriander leaves, chopped
large pinch fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 tbsp ghee
Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and marinade the chicken for at least 30 minutes.
Pre heat the oven to 180oC.
Add saffron to the milk and leave it to steep and draw the colour out.
Wash the rice until it runs clear then place in a pan and add water, bring to the boil and leave until water is absorbed. The rice should be par-cooked and remain slightly underdone.
After a few minutes gently fork through the rice working your way to the bottom and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
Heat the ghee and add the sliced onion rings and cook over a medium heat and until caramelised and a lovely dark golden brown (approx. 20 mins).
Remove half the cooked onions and set to one side. Add the ginger, garlic, bay leaves, cassia bark, black peppercorns, cumin, cloves, green and black cardamoms to the pan and stir-fry for a few minutes until fragrant.
Cut the tomatoes into chunks and add to the pan,
Add the turmeric, crushed coriander seeds, salt and stir on a gentle heat and cook until the tomatoes start to break down, making a thick masala sauce.
Wash and roughly chop up the mint and coriander leaves with the stems.
Add half the chopped mint and coriander to the masala with whole chillies. Keep the remaining leaves for later.
Add the marinated chicken to the pan, stir and leave to cook through for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set to one side.
Making the Biryani
Bring the biryani together in a greased casserole dish preferably with a lid.
Have your rice, cooked chicken, saffron milk, ghee, caramelised onions and chopped coriander and mint to hand.
Place one third of the rice at the bottom of the dish and sprinkle with some of the saffron milk, coriander, 1 tsp ghee and a few onions. Then spoon half the chicken mixture on top of the rice.
Place another third of the rice on top and sprinkle with the saffron milk, coriander and mint, 1 tsp ghee and a few onions and the remaining chicken mixture.
Finally, top off with all the remaining rice and sprinkle the rest of the saffron milk on top, dot with ghee, all the corianderand mint and the caramelised onions.
Place the lid on the casserole dish and place in the oven at 180oC and cook for 30-40 minutes until hot and fragrant.
Delicious with a lentil dhal.
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*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.