961- Chicken Biryani / البرياني بالدجاج
500 grams (15 oz.) Basmati Rice
2 liters boiling water
A handful of chopped cilantro and mint
1 teaspoon salt
500 grams (15 oz.) Chicken, cut into medium pieces
1 medium onion (150 grams / 5 oz.), thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes (100 grams / 3 oz.) tomato, chopped into medium cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cinnamon sticks
5 green cardamom pods, crushed
1 green chilli, sliced in the middle lengthwise
A small bunch of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
A small bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste (in a food mixer, grind equal amounts of peeled fresh ginger and garlic cloves until you get a smooth paste)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder, to taste
1 teaspoon salt
100ml (1 cup) plain yogurt
Topping: fried thin onion slices, mint leaves
Step 1: Preparing the Ingredients
1- Wash the rice with cold water to remove the starch. Make sure to stir the rice with your fingers. You will notice the water becomes cloudy. Drain the rice from the cloudy water and repeat the washing process two more times. Soak the rice in clean cold water for 20 minutes.
2- Finely slice the onions. Chop the tomatoes in to medium size cubes. Finely chop the mint and cilantro.
3- On a medium heat, add vegetable oil to a large pot. After a few minutes, as the oil heats up, add the cinnamon sticks, green cardamom pods, and cloves. Fry for 2 minutes.
4- Add the sliced onions and fry until they become golden brown – it will take around 15 minutes. Stir from time to time.
5- Add the green chilli to the onions. Mix and continue cooking for one minute.
6- Add half of the chopped mint and cilantro. Mix.
7- Add the ginger-garlic paste. Mix.
(Tip: To make ginger-garlic paste, take equal amount of peeled fresh ginger and garlic cloves, and grind with some water until you get a paste.)
8- Add the spices: coriander powder, red chili powder, and salt. Mix and cook for 1 minute.
9- Add the chopped tomatoes. Cook for 3 minutes until they become moist and soft.
Step 2: Cooking the Chicken
1- Add the chicken pieces to the pot and mix with the sauce. Cook the chicken with the sauce for around 10 minutes.
2- Add the curd (or plain yogurt mixed with a little bit of water) to the chicken. Mix well.
3- Add the rest of the chopped mint and cilantro. Adjust salt to taste.
4- Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and let the chicken simmer for around 10-15 minutes or until done.
5- Once the chicken is done, turn off the heat, and set aside.
Step 3: Cooking the Rice
1- Boil about 2 liters of water.
2- Add a handful of chopped mint and cilantro and salt to the boiling water.
4- Drain the soaked rice completely then add the rice to the boiling water. Cover the pot, and cook the rice on high heat until it becomes soft but not completely done, for around 5 minutes.
5- Once the rice is almost done, strain it from the boiling water and layer it over the chicken (in the other pot). Don’t stir – just lay the rice over the chicken evenly.
6- After you cover the chicken with the rice, using a wooden spoon, tuck the rice into the chicken gravy then continue adding more rice on top of the chicken.
7- Cover the pot and let the chicken and rice cook on low heat for around 10-15 minutes until the rice is steamed and is done.
(Tip: the rice is cooked when the rice is curled)
Step 4: Serving Chicken Biryani
1- To serve the biryani, scoop deep to get both the chicken and rice, and place in a large plate.
2- Top it with some fried onions and few mint leaves. Serve with Raita (plain yogurt, grated cucumber, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.