Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chicken Biryani

Being at home this winter break was really amazing - I got to sleep a lot, catch up with friends, and be pampered by my mother, which we all know is the greatest thing in life. One of the things that I wanted to do this break which I've never done before was to cook with my mom. She's always in and out of the kitchen making dinner or taking care of random things. The sad part is, as we were discussing making this dish together, she said, "I don't enjoy cooking - it's not fun anymore." I think it's because after years and years of having to come home and make dinner it really does get tiring. It becomes a chore rather than a hobby, and cooking with her slightly made me realize sometimes how tough the job can be. 
   cooking with mom rocks, but it's also kind of annoying.
dad got jealous of my picture with, I took another one with him. 
My dad has some particular dietary restrictions, so it's difficult for my mom to cater to this, while still making something everyone can enjoy. But nevertheless, I really enjoyed cooking with her and even though the dish didn't come out exactly as I would have wanted it to, I still taught her a thing or two, like salting the water after it boils and not rinsing hot starchy things (i.e. rice and pasta) with cold water, unless you're at risk of overcooking. So anyways, here's a recipe from home, made with a lot of love! 
Chicken Biryani
now playing: Zee TV
now drinking: um, soda, at my parent's house. 
inspired by: my desire to cook with mommy
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken cut into chunks
2 cups basmati rice
3 tablespoon oil
2 medium-sized potatoes
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons Shan biryani masala mix
1 cup non-fat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons ground coriander and ground cumin mixture
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon fresh ground cumin
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 medium tomato diced
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1/2 tablespoon fresh cumin
yellow food coloring
1 cup fried onions
1 pinch each: powdered saffron, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and cardamom

1. In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, minced garlic, Shan biryani masala mix, ground coriander and ground cumin mixture, garam masala, fresh ground cumin, tumeric, salt, and black pepper. Marinate chicken in mixture for about an hour.

2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until hot, and add fresh cumin and roast for about 1 minute. Add the yogurt mixture to the skillet, cook for about 5 minutes, and then add the diced tomato and mint. After about 5 minutes, add the potatoes chopped into chunks. Cook until the chicken is a little more than halfway cooked and the sauce has reduced, and then remove from heat.

3. Meanwhile, boil and salt water, and add the remaining vegetable oil. Cook rice until halfway cooked, but not until it starts becoming soft. Drain, and then add a pinch of each of the powdered spices, and the mint, and stir until combined.

4. Preheat oven to 375℉. In a large dish, cover the bottom of the dish with enough rice. Add the chicken mixture, making sure to cover the area of the rice. Then add the remainder of the rice. Place the fried onions on top, and use yellow food coloring, only enough to lightly color the top of the rice. Bake for 25 minutes, then lower heat to 300 and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Enjoy!


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