Green Masala Chicken Biriyani
Ingredients (Serves 5)
1. Chicken – 3/4 kg, cut into medium pieces
2. Coconut oil / vegetable oil + ghee – 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp
3. Whole spices – green cardamom – 4, cloves – 5, cinnamon stick – 1 inch broken, bay leaf – 1
4. Onion – 1.5 – 2 cups, thinly sliced
5. Ginger – 1 inch, roughly chopped, roughly chopped and crushed in a mortar and pestle
Garlic – 7 medium cloves, roughly chopped and crushed
6. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Biriyani masala powder – – 1 – 1.5 tsp (Recipe below (powdered ingredients numbered 13))
7. Tomato – 2 small, chopped
8. Cilantro / coriander leaves – 3/4 – 1 cup
Mint leaves – 1/3 – 1/2 cup
Green chilies – 8, chopped
9. Yoghurt – 2.5 tbsp
10. Fried onion – 1/3 cup + 1/2 cup for garnish (Thinly slice 1 medium-sized onion and deep-fry it. Set aside 1/2 cup for garnishing)
11. Salt – To taste
For biriyani masala powder
13. Fennel seeds – 2 tsp heaped
Poppy seeds, white / kus kus– 3/4 tsp
Star anise – 2 small
Cinnamon stick – 1 inch
Cloves – 6
Green cardamom – 6
Kala jeera / shahi jeera – 1/4 tsp
Mace / jathi pathri – 1/2
Powder the above ingredients and use in the recipe. Store any leftovers in an air tight container.
For the rice
10. Jeeraka shala rice – 1.5 cups (I used jeerakashala / kaima rice)
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Whole spices – Green cardamom – 4, fennel seeds – 1 pinch, cloves – 6, cinnamon stick – 3/4 inch, whole black pepper corns – 1/2 tsp
Salt – To taste
Hot water – 3 cups (For 1 cup rice, use 2 cups of water)
11. Saffron – 1 pinch soaked in 2 tbsp hot water
Rose water – 1/2 tsp
Add saffron and rose water to 2 tbsp hot water and set aside.
12. Fried onions – 1/2 cup
Fried cashews and raisins – 3 tbsp each
Cilantro and mint, chopped – 2 tbsp
1. Coarsely grind ginger and garlic in the small jar of a blender or in a mortar and pestle.
2. Blend cilantro, mint and green chilies in the small jar of a blender. Add water/little lemon juice if required.
3. Heat 1 tbsp oil + 2 tbsp ghee in a pan. Add whole spices numbered 3 and stir for a few seconds till fragrant. Add thinly sliced onion, a pinch of salt and saute for 5 – 6 minutes till onion turns transparent. Add crushed ginger and garlic. Cook for a few more minutes till onion turns soft and light golden. Add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes. Add turmeric powder and mix well. Next add the ground green masala, 1 – 1.5 tsp biriyani masala powder and yoghurt. Mix well and cook for 4 – 5 minutes. Check for salt. Add the chicken pieces and mix well. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat. Cover with a lid. Cook for 30 – 35 minutes over medium-low flame until oil separates and the chicken pieces are done, stirring once or twice in between. Open the lid and cook for a few minutes over medium-high heat until the gravy is thick. Add 1/3 cup fried onion, 1/4 tsp garam masala powder and mix well. Switch off the stove.
3. Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp ghee in a 4 or 5 liter pressure cooker or any vessel. Add cardamom, cinnamon stick, pinch of fennel seeds, black pepper corns and cloves. Stir for a few seconds until fragrant. Add rinsed and drained kaima rice and fry for 1 – 2 minutes over medium heat. Add 3 cups of hot water and enough salt, to taste. The water should be slightly salty. Cover with pressure cooker lid and cook until steam starts coming out profusely from the lid. Put on the whistle and cook for 2 – 3 minutes over low heat. Switch off. Set aside for 10 – 15 minutes or until pressure releases. Open the cooker. The rice will be perfectly cooked.
4. To layer – In a heavy-bottomed vessel (you can use the one in which you cooked chicken if it is oven-proof), spread chicken masala at the bottom. Top it with cooked ghee rice. Sprinkle fried onion, cashews, raisins, chopped mint, cilantro and saffron water. If there is any extra gravy, pour on top. Cover tightly with aluminium foil. Bake at 350 F for 12 – 15 minutes. OR Heat a large tawa over medium heat. Place the biriyani pot and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat and 8 – 10 minutes on the lowest heat possible. Switch off. Let it rest unopened for another 10 – 15 minutes in the biriyani pot. Green Masala Chicken Biriyani is ready to be served! Serve hot with raita, biriyani chammanthi, pappadam and date-lemon pickle.