Simple Chicken Biriyani

Though I can call myself a quick cook who can cook up a decent biriyani under 50 minutes given there are 4 guests at home, but i still love to try all the variations that you can do the preparation process that can alter the taste of the outcome with simple changes in the process of making/mixing the ingredients.. this is a version adapted from a friend, i will save my version for another post.

Grind 2 cardamom + 3 cloves + 1 tbsp fennel seeds + 12 green chillies + 3 tomatoes + 5 garlic pods + 2 inch piece of ginger + coconut (1/4 cup – optional) into a fine paste – takes about 7 mins.

Wash and marinate 1 lb of chicken thighs with  1/4 tsp of turmeric +  1 tbsp of chilli powder + 1 tbsp coriander powder +  ground spice paste  + salt + 1 /2 cup of yogurt for 40 minutes.

Wash 1.5 cups of basmati rice and cook for 7 minutes in a wide vessel with about 4 cups of water and 1 tsp of oil.  Once the rice grains are 1/2 cooked,  drain the excess water and fork it to prevent the grains from sticking together – 8 minutes

In a pressure cooker, add 2 tbps of oil, add 1 tsp of jeera seeds, saute 1 onion vertically sliced, add the marinated chicken mixture and cover it and cook for 12 minutes or so. Dont add water, the chicken and the tomatoes in the paste will secrete enough water.  Check the salt, and pressure cook the chicken for 1 whistle only in medium heat. Takes about 10 minutes and switch off the stove – 12 minutes

Once the pressure in the cooker is release, assemble for biriyani in a non-stick wide mouthed vessel, place a layer of chicken gravy, alternating with a layer of rice and a layer of mints (pudhina + coriander leaves) – 5 minutes

Cover the vessel with a lid and place it in the oven for 25 minutes at 300C.  If you dont have a conventional oven, then use the stove top and keep it  for 20 minutes in the lowest flame.

Switch off after 25 minutes and fork the mixture gently to mix the rice and the gravy.

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