Chicken Biryani

Chicken cooked with spices and rice in the Dum method of cooking.

Preparation time: 30 minutes+ 4 hours
Cooking time: 40-45 minutes
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients:
For the Marinade:
1kg chicken
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cloves
2 black cardamom
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 green chilli
1 tsp yellow chilli powder
1 mace
1 tbsp lemon juice
1cup yoghurt
3 medium onions
For the rice:
500 gms basmati rice
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1tsp pepper corns
4 cloves        
2 black cardamoms
2 cinnamon sticks
1bay leaf
2tsp Salt
4 green cardamoms
½ cup mint leaves
¼ tsp saffron dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water
1tsp rose water
1tsp kewra water
4tbsp clarified butter (Ghee)
4 tbsp unsalted butter
The dough:
 ½ kg whole wheat flour
 
 
Method:
Finely powder 4 cloves, 2 cinnamom sticks, mace and seeds of 2 black cardamoms.
Finely chop the green chilies.
Whisk the yoghurt. Mix together the yoghurt, ginger garlic paste, chopped greeen chilies, 1tsp salt, yellow chili powder and the powdered spices.
Clean and cut the chicken into 10 pieces.
Wash the rice and soak it in water for 30 minutes.
Marinate the chicken in the yoghurt mixture for 4 -5 hours in the refrigerator (overnight if possible).
Finely slice the onions.
Heat sufficient oil in a pan to medium hot. Fry the onion slices in batches to golden brown and remove on an absorbent paper.
Soak the saffron in lukewarm milk.
Knead the flour into sa smooth dough with sufficient water.
The Cooking:
Heat 3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) in a pan. Add the caraway seeds to the medium hot ghee. When it starts to splutter, add in the chicken with the marinade and cook on medium high heat till it is half done.
 Take 10 cups water in a pot. Add 2tsp salt, 1tbsp refined vegetable oil, 1bay leaf, 1tsp pepper corns, 4 cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 black cardamoms and bring it to a boil. Cook the rice in it for 4 or 5 minutes or till it is half done. Drain the rice. Reserve half cup water.
Spread 1tbsp clarified butter at the bottom of a heavy bottomed pan. Spread half the fried onions on the bottom and cover with half the rice. Now spread the chicken, half the mint leaves and cover the chicken with the remaining rice. Spread the remaining fried onion, mint leaves, saffron milk, rose water and kewra water on the top. Dot the rice with the unsalted butter and pour the drained water over it.
Roll out the dough into a pipe long enough to cover the entire rim of the pot. Cover the rim with the dough and place the lid on top and seal with the help of the dough.
Put the pot on the fire, on top of a gridle or flat pan to help the heat to spread uniformly.
Put the fire on high for the first 5 minutes, then lower the heat. Cook for 25 minutes on very low heat till steam breaks the dough seal and starts escaping.
Remove from fire and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
Break open the seal. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot with a garlic yoghurt raita.
 

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Life always gives big opportunities in the form of small hints. The big move in Pankaj Bhadouria’s life came with a small step when she decided to leave her successful teaching career spanning over 16 years and enter India's 1st televised cookery reality show - MasterChef India on the leading GEC - Star Plus. And as they say, fortune favours the brave, Pankaj went on to become a worthy winner and with it India's first ever MasterChef. The comfort of the classroom gave way to the adulations, accolades and a host of achievements. Pankaj hosted her first cookery show - "Chef Pankaj ka Zayka" on Star Plus during Sep-Oct 2011 where she showcased her passion for cooking. The success of this daily show added another flavor to her sweet success.

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