Kerala Chicken Biryani:
Recipe author: K.R. Saritha, Kozhikode.
Chicken Biryani is one of the favourite Non-Veg dishes in Kerala and through south India. People make it in different ways. There are slight changes in ingredients and way of preparation from south to north Kerala. The following is one of the ways familiar in North Kerala.
Dressed Chicken - 1 Kg (Big pieces)
Basmati/Biryani Rice - 4 cups (Max 1 Kg)
Coriander Powder - 3 ½ Tablespoons
Chilli Powder - 2 Ts
Turmeric Powder - ½ Ts
Cardamom (Elachi) - 8-10 Nos
Garlic - 8-10 flakes
Ginger - 3 Half inch pieces
Clove - 8-10 Nos
Cinnamon - 8-10 pieces
Mint leaves - 3-4 stems
Lemon juice - 10 drops
Ghee/Oil - See below
Butter - 50 Gms
Onions - 4-5(300-400 gms)
Tomatoes - 3-4 (150-200 gms)
Green Chilli - 3-4 Nos
Coriander Leaves - 3-4 stems
Cashew Nuts - 20-25 Nos
Black pepper powder - 1 Ts
Raisins (Golden) - 15-20 Nos
Water - As required
Method of preparation:
Chicken - Cut in to big pieces. One chicken can be 8-10 pieces or 2 - 2.5 inches piece. Chicken legs does not need to cut short. Just make some gashes on the piece, which help the flavor to go in. Wash the chicken cleanly and mix with 1 Tablespoon Chilli powder, 2Ts Coriander Powder, ¼ Ts Turmeric Powder, ¼ Ts Black pepper Powder, ¾ Ts Ginger Garlic paste, ¼ Ts Powdered spices (Cinnamon, Cardamom, Clove), lemon juice and keep for an hour.
Heat a vessel, and add some Ghee (or mix of ghee and oil). When it is hot, add a tablespoon of Ginger Garlic paste, and 3-4 cut green chillies. Brown it for sometime, and then add half of the small sliced onions to it. Add 1½ Ts Coriander Powder, 1 Ts Chilli powder, ¼ Ts Turmeric powder, a little Pepper powder and 1-2 pinches of Powdered spices (Cinnamon, Cardamom, Clove). Add required salt, fry up for few minutes.. Cut 3-4 tomatoes and add to this. Mix it well and cook for 10 minutes. The gravy will be like some semi-solid paste. Check Salt and add more if required. Then add the chicken pieces to it. Mix well, cover and cook for some 20 more minutes. Gently stir in between without damage the pieces.
Rice - Wash the rice cleanly and put to drain. Warm a thick bottom Vessel (Pressure cooker can also be used) for rice. When it is hot, coat some 2-3 Ts of Ghee. Add 4-5 pieces of cinnamon, clove and Cardamom each. Brown it and then add the drained rice into it and fry for some 8-10 minutes on low flame. Then pour 7½ cup water (I always use water a little lesser than double of the qty of rice) to it. Add a bit salt to it. Keep on heat, and cover with the lid. Let the water dry and check the rice. It should not be cooked fully as it will get cooked later while baking the dish. Don’t keep the vessel on stove for long time after water disappeared. If the rice is cooked some 80%, switch off the stove, and keep it closed for some 20 minutes.
Fry Cashews, Raisins, the rest of sliced onions and Mint leaves separately in Ghee/oil and keep aside. Let the raisins get balled, cashews, onion and mint leaves brown.
Take a wide vessel and coat it with 1-2 Tablespoon Ghee or butter. Spread a layer of rice in half inch depth in the vessel first, spread a bit of fried Raisins, cashews, onions and mint leaves on it. Then place some pieces of chicken with the masala over it. Again put rice in same depth, repeat the steps until finishes the cooked rice as well chicken. Tightly cover it with a lid. Heat the vessel on low flame for approx 8-10 minutes. Make sure that the rice is not getting burnt at the bottom of the vessel.
Take the mixed, rice and chicken gently without breaking the chicken pieces. Serve chicken pieces covered with rice in serving plate. The yellow Biryani rice mixed with chicken masala, fried Cashew, raisins, onions and mint leaves will be looking good. This goes well with Ginger-Coconut-Vinegar chutney, Lime Pickle and Curd Salad or Raita mixed with onions, tomatoes, cucumber, green Chilli and salt.
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