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Indian cuisine is a riot of colours, flavours, and spices. Every state has its own unique culture- ingrained taste bud. And, to many of us staying within familiar tastes is a sacrosanct act. Of course an occasional trip to a speciality restaurant that serves another fare is ok. But, as a matter of routine ...at home...NO!

One of the benefits of being born to parents who dared an interstate marriage (am talking about India of the 70's) was being able to widen a regional taste bud to accept, experiment and, relish eclectic cuisines :-)

I love food! Be it traditional or fusion, cooking is all about turning out fare that is tasty and healthy.I welcome all lovers of good food to come on aboard and share your kitchen adventures.

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Happy cooking!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Chicken Dum Biriyani

Dum cooking, to those who aren't already acquainted to the term, implies a very slow cooking process in which the ingredients cook in their own juices and steam. Traditionally dum cooking was done over coal fires, in sealed containers, ideally with a layer of embers on top of the lid too.

I've made this biriyani over the stove top and am feeling mighty proud that I finally found the energy for a slightly elaborate dish! With the chicken making up for protien and the rice for carbohydrates, I hope it made the lil one inside happy too.

Basmati rice - 1 1/2 cups
Chicken - 1/2 kg
Ginger & garlic paste - 1 teaspoon each
Green chillies - 4 nos
Onions - 3 large
Thick curds (yoghurt) - 1 cup
Coriander leaves - a handful
Salt to taste
Lemon juice - 10 ml
Milk - 1/4 cup
Raisins - a few
Cashews - a few
Whole spices
Cardamom (elaichi) - 3 Nos
Cinnamon (patta) - 2" stick
Cloves (Kar - 3 Nos
Mace (jaathipathri) - a thread or two
Nutmeg (jaathikka) - 2 pinches (crushed)
Bay leaves (biriyani ila)- 2
Fennel (perumjeerakam) - 1/4 teaspoon
Star anise - 2 Nos
Saffron - a few strands
Powdered spices
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
Garam masala - 1/4 teaspoon

For making the Dum sealant
Wheat flour - 1 cup
Water as required

Knead the wheat flour adding enough water into a stiff dough.

Marinate the chicken pieces in a mixture made up of yoghurt, ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and all the whole spices except bay leaves and
saffron. Slice the onions thinly and add half the quantity to the chicken marinade. Add enough salt. Let it stay for half an hour.
Wash and soak rice till the time the chicken marinates. In the meanwhile deep fry the rest of the onion slices and place on kitchen napkins to drain excess oil. Fry the cashews and raisins
till golden.
In a thick bottomed deep pan , biriyani pot, or pressure cooker place the chicken along with the marination as first layer.
Drain the rice and place it on top as second layer. Tear the bay leaves and bury them into the rice. Warm the milk and dissolve the saffron strands into it. Pour this gently over the rice.
Sprinkle the garam masala on top along with finely chopped green chillies and coriander leaves. Place the fried onions, cashews, raisins and a sprinkling of salt as final layer along with a
drizzle of the lemon juice.
Now, take the wheat dough and using your hands roll it into a thick rope. Stick this atop the vessal in which you've layered the biriyani ingredients ensuring that it goes all the way
around the top. Now take a plate that fits the circumference of the vessal and place it on the dough that has been coiled over the top of the vessal. Gently press to ensure that the lid is
glued firmly to vessal aided by the dough. The dough should act as a sealant and ensure no steam escapes from any crevice in between the vessal and its lid.
Place the vessal over a very low flame and allow it to cook for about an hour and quarter.

Gently prise open the lid with a knife. Your hot Dum biriyani is ready.The signature charecteristic of Dum cooked food is the wonderful aroma that emanates when the seal is opened! Use a fork to gently mix the layers together and transfer into serving bowl.

Serve hot with raita and pappad.

This biriyani makes its way to Sudeshna's "Harvest: The Festival of Rice". The event is on till Jan 31st at http://bengalicuisine.wordpress.com/2009/01/04/announcing-event-harvest-the-festival-of-rice/


Priti said...

Looks delicious..wow .....gud entry for the event

Kitchen Flavours said...

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooow. My favourite. Just now had lunch but this recipe makes me hungry again......

Jaya said...

Thanks for stoping by at my place ..
yeah, you are right Biryani requires elaborate cooking , mixing of spices etc...
this looks amazingly delicious ..
Great to hear that you tried making it with the rather long process of sealing it with wheat dough and cooking at dum ...I am sure this has given the right environment to the cooking ingredients inside ....
hugs and smiles

Priyanka said...

Biryani looks delicious Dershana...have never tried making it at home though Loved your rava and oats idli- i usually make it with rava only.

Ramya Bala said...

Wow..Looks delicious..I luv Biriyanis :)

Maya said...

Thnx for visiting my place Dershana. Biryani looks lovely.

Suma Rajesh said...

i love them a lot..looks divine..

Sathya Sankar said...

Biryani looks delicious...
I have tried making biryani on stove top,always it turns mushy...
will try your method.
thanks for visiting my blog.

Priya said...

Delicious Dish, makes me hungry...

Navita said...

love the dum biryani...need to hve patience!!

Superchef said...

first time at your blog...the biryani looks delicious even though im not a meat -eater..but defenitely will try to make this for my husband..

Preety said...

looks so yummy..perfect for the event

Cham said...

Oh U make me feel hungry again, love the biryani especially dum biryani

Yasmeen said...

You look cute in the pic:).Nice to know you got the energy and appetite to cook up a laajawaab dum ki biryani:)

Malar Gandhi said...

I am a crazy biriyani fan, like ur version, sounds interesting to me...

meeso said...

Awesome, wish I was having this for dinner!!!

Rajee said...

Looks so delicious. wow, wow, its taste must be creamy as u add milk.

Appu said...

Looking awesome..making me hungry.Im in abroad and havent eat tasty spicy biryani for months.This process seems to be easy to cook,i'll try it. But i have a doubt.. will the rice cooks without water,i dont know pretty much about cooking.Thanks for the recipe.

Sam said...

What a great looking Chicken Dum Biriyani! It looks so beautiful, sound delicious....Awesome! I love Chicken Biriyani. Will try it soon. Thanks so much for sharing.

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