There’s really nothing quite like biryani to hit the spot especially on a lazy Sunday afternoon. In my mothers house we generally eat biryani on the weekends.
Her cook Surinder (the great shortcut chef) makes a great quick biryani. Though it still is involved – it’s much easier than spending half a day on the dish and it tastes pretty darned good. Here is his recipe.
Surinder’s Quick Chicken Biryani
2 lbs. chicken, chopped into small pieces
2 bay leaves
2 onions, sliced
3 plum tomatoes, pureed
1 ½ cups yogurt
5 heaped tbsp. biryani masala (available at Indian grocery stores – any brand like Shan, MDH, Everest etc.)
2 tsp. ground roasted jeera/cumin
12 cups of white rice, cooked
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp. ghee
Grind with 1 tbsp. water:
6 cloves of garlic
2 inches ginger
1 green chili
· Heat oil and add bay leaves.
· Add the garlic/ginger/chili paste.
· Add sliced onions and cook for 15 minutes.
· Add the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
· Add the yogurt and mix well.
· Add the chicken and salt and cook well uncovered for 5 minutes.
· Add the biryani masala and cook covered for 25 minutes.
· Add the roasted jeera powder and cook uncovered for 10 minutes on low heat.
· Remove this from fire and set aside.
· In a medium sized pot, add 2 cups of cooked rice to the bottom.
· Put a few ladlefuls of chicken curry on top (not too much).
· Add a few cups of rice on top of this and then again a few ladlefuls of gravy.
· Keep repeating these layers until the entire pot is filled.
· The final layer should be rice.
· Sprinkle some ghee on top and cover the pot and place on very low heat and let it sit for at least an hour.
· Serve warm with raita.