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
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
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
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/