Friday, January 27, 2012

Chicken Biryani

Chicken biryani for 8 people. 

4 cups of basmati rice
2.5 lbs chicken quarters, drumsticks, or thighs, skin removed and cut in 1-2" pieces
1/2 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon fennel powder
1 tablespoon biryani masala (optional)
3 teaspoons salt
6-8 plump garlic cloves, peeled
1" piece of ginger, peeled
3 serrano chiles, sliced lengthwise (or 6-8 thai green chiles)
4 tablespoons of butter (1/2 stick)
1 tablespoon of oil
2 bay leaves
5 cardamom, crushed
5 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 medium onions, sliced lengthwise
1 tomato, rough chopped
2/3 cup mint leaves, rough chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, rough chopped
5 cups of water

1. Blend together ginger and garlic in a blender/grinder.  You should have about 1/3 cup of ginger/garlic paste.   Mix with yogurt and turmeric, chili, and fennel powders as well as biryani masala and salt. Rub into chicken pieces and marinate.  (Minimum 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.)

2.  Heat oil in a large pot.  Add butter.  When butter is melted add bay leaves, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, star anise, fennel seed and black peppercorns.  Saute until fragrant.  Add onions and saute until browned.  Add rough chopped tomatoes and saute until softened. Add chicken pieces along with marinade, and simmer for 7-10 minutes.  Switch off heat and stir in mint and cilantro leaves.

     Place rice in the cooker along with chicken mixture and 5 cups of water and salt, to taste.  Stir well.  Close lid and cook on "white rice" setting until done.  When it is done cooking, immediately remove from rice cooker and spread gently in a rectangle, shallow dish (i.e. 9x13" tray)
     Combine rice and chicken mixture in a pressure cooker along with along with 4 (FOUR) cups of water and salt. Fit the lid onto the cooker, place weight on and reduce heat to low to medium low setting.  When the whistle sounds one time, immediately switch off heat and allow the cooker to sit until pressure naturally releases.  When it is completely released, open lid and gently spread the biryani into a rectangle, shallow dish. 

Serve with: raita, boiled egg and apalam
                   meat curry
                   eggplant gravy 


1 lb hot Italian sausage (ground)
1/2 lb ground beef
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, rough chopped
1 carrot, rough chopped
6 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1- 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
1- 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup of water
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1 teaspoon each of basil, oregano, parsley (any combination)
pinch of red chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
9 lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 - 15 oz container ricotta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 egg
3 cups mozarella cheese

1.  Bring a pot of water to boil.  Drop in lasagna noodles and cook for about 7-10 minutes, until almost cooked.

2.  In a saute pan, brown the ground beef and sausage.  Drain excess fat.

3.  In a pot heat oil, then add chopped onions, carrot and garlic.  Saute until carrots are soft.  Add canned tomatoes and tomato sauce along with seasonings.  Simmer for 10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool.  Blend the mixture in thoroughly in a blender. Return to pot and stir in ground beef and sausage. 

4.  Stir together ricotta, parmesan, egg, seasonings.

5.  In a 9x13 pan ladle some of the sauce.  Lay 3 noodles side by side.  Spoon half of ricotta mixture over the noodles.  Sprinkle with some mozzarella cheese.  Ladle sauce.  Continue with noodles, remaining ricotta, mozzarella and sauce.  Lay last 3 noodles across, ladle sauce, and sprinkle with remaining ricotta.

6.  Bake at 400, covered for about 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.