My nationality is Indian. But I was born and brought up in UAE. I did my schooling there. After my 12th std I came back to Kerala and settled over here. If u ask me which place I like the most…it’s definitely UAE (a silent hint to my hubby…hehhe). Why because, when I compare these two places I find UAE to be bright and vibrant and Kerala probably on a darker side. Don’t ask me why.
Another advantage of that place is that we get to know lot of people who belong to different part of the world, with different cultures and even their way of cooking will be different. I remember we had a neighbor (Ayisha aunty) who hails from Calicut (Kozhikode). She was a very crafty person and her food – no words for that. She used to cook so many mouth watering foods. And one among them is this Chicken Biriyani. She taught this to my mother and my mother taught it to me.
The main difference between this biriyani and the normal biriyani that we make is that, we cook the chicken masala and rice separately and then we ‘dum’ it. And in the Kozhikkodan style biriyani, the chicken is cooked during the ‘dum’.
This recipe yields 7-8 servings. You can easily half the recipe if you need only less biriyani.
Basmati Rice – 3 ½ cups
Chicken – 800 gms
Onion – 5 cups, thinly sliced + 1 cup for frying
Tomato – 2 cups, chopped
Ginger – 4” piece
Garlic – 30 cloves
Green chilli – 10
Oil – ¼ cup + 3 tbsp
Ghee – 3tbsp
Cloves – 5 + 5
Cinnamon – 2 – 1” piece + 1 big piece
Bay leaf – 1+1
Cardamoms – 3
Turmeric powder – ¾ tsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Fennel powder – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – ½ – ¾ tsp
Salt – to taste
Yogurt – ¼ cup
Lemon juice – of 1 medium sized lemon
Curry leaves – 3 twigs
Coriander leaves – ¼ cup + ¼ cup, finely chopped
Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies to a smooth paste. Set aside.
Heat ¼ cup of oil in a heavy bottomed vessel. (I recommend using the vessel in which you will cook the biriyani) Add 5 cloves, 2 piece cinnamons and 1 bay leaf. Sauté it for a minute. Add in the onions and sauté till it becomes transparent.
Add tomatoes and cook well till it gets mushy. The tomatoes should be very well cooked.
Now add the ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and mix well.
Add turmeric powder and salt. Sauté for a minute.
Add curry leaves, pepper powder, coriander powder, fennel powder and garam masala. Mix well.
Turn off the heat.
Let it cool down.
Clean the chicken and drain the water completely.
Once our masala is cooled, add in the yogurt and lemon juice and mix well.
Now add ¼ cup coriander leaves, give a mix and marinate the chicken in it. Keep it for a minimum of ½ an hour.
Now for the rice part. We are not preparing ghee rice for this biriyani. We’ll just boil water, add 5 cloves, cardamoms, 1 bay leaf and 1 big piece cinnamon broken into 2. Now add the basmati rice and salt and cook till it’s 75% done. We need not cook it to 100%. The rest 25% will be cooked during the ‘dum’ procedure. Be careful, it should not be over-cooked at all. Keep an eye on it at regular intervals.
In the meantime, heat a wok. Add 3 tbsp oil and 3 tbsp ghee. Fry the extra 1 cup onion till golden brown. Once its done drain the oil and transfer it to a kitchen towel so that it soaks all the extra oil. Reserve the oil-ghee mixture.
Our rice would be ready by this time. Drain the water and now we are ready for the “dum”.
The chicken masala mixture will be in the base of the vessel. Put half of the cooked rice on top of it. Sprinkle some garam masala, a little fried onions and a little coriander leaves.
Now put the rest of the rice on top of it. Again sprinkle some garam masala, top it with fried onions and chopped coriander leaves. (Reserve some onions and coriander leaves to garnish). Finally pour the reserved oil-ghee on the top and cover it with a tight lid.
Now place the vessel on the stove-top on medium low heat for about 10 minutes or so. Now open the lid and check whether you can see steam evaporating. If yes, cover the lid and turn it to lowest flame and cook for 30 minutes. If no, cover the lid and check after 3 – 5 minutes. By this time you are likely to see the steam and then cook for 25 – 30 minutes in the lowest flame.
The Chicken Biriyani is ready. Phew…
linking this to – Festive Treats @ Cuisine Delight