I’m going to try to keep this short because I need to give you this recipe. It’s a family secret, so I feel a little naughty giving it out in the blogosphere like this. But I think it would be a bigger crime to keep it from the world.
I really miss my mommy. I live hundreds of miles away from home, and this dish just takes me to my mom’s kitchen. She would cook this on special occasions such as holidays or birthdays. And in recent years, she cooks this whenever I come home to visit (yes, me visiting is a special occasion according to my mom’s cooking patterns, and yes, my 4 sisters would be so annoyed at me for just saying that) 😉
Did I mention it’s called Biryani? I don’t think I did. So there it is. This is biryani and it’s pretty involved. I’m not going to sugar coat it for you: you’ll probably be in the kitchen for a good hour or so. That helps explain why my mom would only cook this on special occasions.
But you know what? I figured that I shouldn’t underestimate my readers. You guys are amazing cooks, I just know it. I don’t think this is anything you can’t handle. I will say though that this isn’t the “I just got home from working a double shift, I’m starving, and I need something in my belly NOW” type of recipe. But if you have some time on the weekend, invite some friends and family over and cook this up for the group.
Here are a couple ingredients. Both sound sort of crazy exotic and/or complicated.
Star Anise = might be a little hard to find but not impossible.
Garlic + Ginger Paste = not crazy exotic or complicated at all.
Finally, guilt over eating too many simple carbs got to me, so I decided to skip the potatoes that traditionally go in this biryani. I’ve made it that way before, but this time, I substituted carrots instead to get some healthy vegetables in. If you want the traditional carb on carb action (potatoes + white rice), go ahead and substitute (back?) the 3 carrots for 3-4 potatoes.
Dig in everyone! Is this recipe too spicy for you? Eat it with a little plain yogurt or Raita. Either way, eat it now! I’ve already spent too much time typing – it’s time to eat.
- ½ a chicken, bone in, cut into small pieces
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or chili powder)
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ tablespoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 whole peppercorns
- 3 whole green cardamom
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 star anise (whole)
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup lowfat Greek yogurt
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes with water
- 3 large carrots, diced into large circles
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced in half
- 2 cups white basmati rice
- Salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
- In a large pot, heat oil on medium. Saute the onions until soft and starting to caramelize.
- Add garlic and ginger paste and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add all ground and whole spices with ¼ cup of water. Stirring frequently, cook about 2-4 minutes, until spices are roasted and fragrant.
- Add chicken, Greek yogurt, tomatoes, carrots, and water. Stir, and cook covered for about 25 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.
- Remove lid, add cilantro and jalapeno pepper. Cook uncovered for 5-10 minutes or until most of the water is evaporated. (There should be a small amount of liquid left in the pot, about ¼ cup in total).
- Cook basmati rice like pasta: boil rice in at least 7 cups of salted water until ONLY halfway cooked. Rice should be slightly hard to the touch.
- In a large casserole dish, layer rice with the sauce and chicken. The bottom layer should be rice.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove aluminum foil and gently mix the rice and base until well combined.
- Note: I didn’t remove the core from the jalapeno, and it turned out pretty spicy. Core of the jalapeno for a less spicy version.