Saturday, October 13, 2012

Lakhnavi Chicken Biryani (Phase I)

Thanks to my neighbour Sara, I now know that there are two varities of Biryani - Lakhnavi and Hyderabadi and that they are quite different! from each other. I'm inclined to like the L version better as its meant to be less spicy; all the more chances of my family relishing it :-) Sara not only gave me the recipe along with the authentic method of cooking, she forwarded a couple of ingredients required for the biryani that weren't there in my kitchen. How cool is that!

So, now that I'm completely armed with the right recipe and the *secret* ingredients, it is upto me to do justice to the recipe.
I've planned it for Saturday Lunch. But a check with my calendar tells me its going to be a PTM morning. So, this calls for some prep work before hand. I decide to make the *masala* the night before; now all that'll remain to be done tomorrow afternoon when we get back from the school: preparing the rice and assembly.

Here's what I needed for the chicken masala

Chicken thigh and leg pieces - 6 each
Onions 3 large
Ginger paste - 2 tbsp
Garlic paste/grated - 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder and salt
Water - about 2 cups
Oil - 1/2 cup (enough for frying the onions and coating the rice when it goes in)
ghee - 2 tbsp (now that's my touch)

That's it??

Yes! the minimalist in me like the fact that there's no long list of ingredients; it'll be the right cooking that'll bring out the flavours.

Step 1. Peel and slice the onions as thinly as you can. Put a heavy bottomed pan on the flame. Add the oil and the ghee. Once heated up, add the onions and saute untill crisp and golden brown.

Step 2. Add the ginger paste, mix it around and then add the garlic. Mix and let cook for a minute or so for the pastes to lose their water and release the flavours. Add the red chilli powder now.

Step 3. Now add the chicken pieces one by one, mix them around as you go, coating them with the onions and giving them a nice brown look. Add salt. Once the chicken looks nicely browned, add the water and cover. Let cook on medium-slow for about 30 minutes or untill the chicken is done (but not falling off the bone done).

This is now ready for me to use it tomorrow :-)

Note: The ghee adds a touch of luxurious velvett to the taste. And secondly, I need to take care that the onions don't get burnt. Remember the onions will continue to cook as the recipe progresses.

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