Easy Chicken Biryani

(To serve 8: Approx 1 Kg. Rice and 1.5 Kg. Chicken)

For grinding:
1 big bunch coriander leaves
few tender leaves  of pudhina
8/9 green chillies
1.5  big tbsp of bafat powder
4-5″ ginger
1.5 big pod of garlic
1 onion

Powder fine the following in dry grinder:

Cinnamon ? 5-6″
Cloves  – 12-15
Cardamom ?12-15
Pepper corns ? 1 tbl spoon
Jeera ? 3 tsps
coriander ?1 tsp
Shahjeera / badeshep ? 3/4 tsp

Slice  10-12 onions.  Fry till crisp & golden brown,  remove and keep aside.  In the same vessel (leave a few onions behind), add 2 bay leaves, 3-4 cloves, 3-4 cardamoms , 2? stick of cinnamon.   Then add 3-4 tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes become a paste.  Add the masala and fry for 10-15 minutes.  Add chicken pieces and 1 cup curds. Fry till you see that all the curds has been incorporated into the masala and you see that the oil & masala are separating.  Add salt and put very little water and make a very thickish gravy. Simmer and after chicken is cooked keep aside.

For Rice:

3  glasses rice ? long grain basmati  ( say approx 1 Kg)
5 and 1/4 glasses  water   (Water content should always be double of rice ? less ? glass)
2 soup cubes
1 onion

Boil 5-1/4 glasses of water and add 2 soup cubes.  In a non-stick vessel,  add butter, then fry few cashewnuts  and almonds and remove.  Then add few cardamoms and fry the onion till golden.  Then add the rice and fry till the grains are separate.  Add salt to taste, a tblsp of sugar, juice of 1 lemon.  Pour the boiling water/soup in the vessel and let it simmer on slow fire till the rice is done. 

Keep ready golden brown onions,  juice of 2 lemons,  fried cashew nuts & almonds, chopped coriander leaves, chicken masala &  little zaffran dissolved in milk.

Arrange in a vessel-  layer of rice, sprinkle with zaffran, fried onions, fried nuts,  lemon juice, chicken masala & coriander leaves.  Continue making layers and ensure that the topmost  layer is rice.   Simmer in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes. 

Dish out in a large platter,   garnish with remaining friend onions,  coriander leaves and remaining fried nuts.  To be eaten piping hot and as an accompaniment, serve curd/cucumber /tomato raitha.

Author: Judith Serrao- UAE