Friday, June 6

Simple and delicious chicken biryani

Those who love a good Indian and even those who may not be as adventurous, this is one for you.  A great introduction to Indian - this is like an Indian risotto, but much, much lighter.  Biriyani is one of those dishes you can pull together very quickly.  It's great in cooler weather, it's like a warm hug.  Not too spicy either, it doesn't have the 'hot-ness' of a curry but it has enough spice to make it aromatic and delicious... even to the smallest people at your table.

I adapted this recipe from the lovely Rachel Allen - I omitted the masses of garlic she has in her original recipe - I just don't think it needs it - but if you're feeling poorly and need the garlic, throw some more in!

Now you are going to need some herbs and spices.  If you don't have all of these, I suggest you grab them because you are not going to make this dish just the once I'm quite sure.  Secondly, these herbs and spices feature a lot in many other recipes and curries, so you will use them again guaranteed, in more than one dish!

My spice container labels have seen better days haven't they?

300gr basmati rice
5 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cummin
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp root ginger peeled and grated (or I use 1 tsp of minced ginger from a jar)
2 tb butter
1 large or two small onions, diced
6 chicken thighs, roughly diced
4 cups (800ml) chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup raisins
2 tb chopped fresh coriander
1/4 cup flaked almonds

First thing you do in pour your rice into a jug or bowl.  Recipe calls for 300g, and I pour it to the 300ml mark in my jug and then cover it with water.  Set aside.

Then, split your cardmom seeds and sprinkle the lovely cardamom into your mortar and pestle.  Smells fantastic.

Add to this your cummin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, ginger and garlic, combine well with your mortal and pestle.

 In a pot that has a lid (a biggish one) melt your butter over medium high heat and sweat your onions.  They should be soft and translucent.  Add the contents of your mortar and pestle and allow to cook for about 1-2 minutes.

Then add the chicken and brown.  Whilst this is cooking, drain the water from your rice.

When the chicken is browned, add the rice. Stir until combined.

Add your raisins, and then your stock.

Finally, add your cinnamon stick and bayleaf (can be a dried bayleaf) and pop the lid on and turn the hob down to medium.

Come back about 20 minutes later and voila!  Your house smells wonderful and warm, and you are instantly STARVING.

Move off the hob, and give it a good stir. Remove the bayleaf and cinnamon stick.

Stir chopped coriander through the biryani

 Then serve into your bowls, sprinkling the almonds on top to serve!

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