Nawabi Chicken Biryani

It was Sunday time and I wanted to cook something wonderful for my hubby dear. This took me down my memory lane....
I ended up dishing up this delicious Nawabi Biryani...This dish takes me back to my high school days when I used to eat meat. Amma used to make this especially for me as I used to like it a lot. The visual effect of that dish is still so fresh that I wanted to recreate that picture.

Childhood is such a happy time, and especially if the memories tug at things that are so visually appealing, its worth the efforts to let the memories wash us by. Long exotic basmati rice with its rich aroma filling the air sprinkled with saffron here and there, giving a hue of yellow, red and other colours displayed all over adds up to a divine taste.

Join me in this rediscovery of this wonderful dish. Of course the verdict from hubby dear was enough to send me to heavens, still would be happy to know your experience.

Ingredients needed:

For Gravy:
Chicken - 1/2 kg
Ginger- Garlic paste - 2 tsps
Salt to taste
Turmeric a pinch
Onions - 1 medium
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Cashew Nut paste - 10 nos
Oil - 2 tbsps

For Rice
Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Cloves - 3
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Green Cardamom - 2
Bay leaf - 1
Milk - 50 ml
Saffron - few strands
Salt to taste
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Water - 3 cups
Coriander leaves

Coriander leaves - 1 spring
Onion rings

Method to make:

Chop cleaned chicken into small pieces. Marinate the chicken pieces in ginger garlic paste along with salt and turmeric for 1/2 hour.

Clean Basmati rice in water once, max 2 times not more than that as it will break. Soak the rice for 15 mins, in the same water that you are going to use for cooking. This to make sure the minerals and vitamins are not lost.

Meanwhile make a paste of Cashew nut and chop the Onions, Coriander Leaves.

In a small cup, take warm milk and soak the Saffron, so that the colour comes out.

Once 15 mins is done, drain the rice from water, keep the water aside. Please don't throw away the water, remember we are going to use the same water for cooking.

Heat whatever pan you are going to use for cooking the rice.

Add Ghee and sauté the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom.

Then add the basmati rice, making sure you don't break the rice grains by putting lot of pressure on the rice. Amma always tells me to treat Basmati with respect by stirring it delicately.

Add 3 cups of water and simmer it until the rice cooks. It takes about 15 mins to cook.

Once chicken pieces are marinated for 1/2 half, heat a pan with two tablespoon of oil.

Fry the chopped onion in oil till its brown in colour. Add chicken pieces. Stir well so that its coated well with Onions.

Add coriander pw and chilli pw. Keep it in high flame for 2 - 3 mins constantly stirring it. Please ensure that the curry does not stick to the pan.

Once the oil comes out, add the cashew paste. Sim for 20 min. stirring it frequently to ensure that it is well cooked.
When you have everything cooked and ready, take a thick bottom pan or cooker, coat the bottom with ghee.

Spread a layer of cooked rice, sprinkle saffron on top.

Then put a layer of cooked chicken.

Add finely chopped coriander leaves over chicken gravy.Then repeat the process until you are done. Ensure the top layer is rice. so sprinkle Saffron milk again on top. Cover with lid and cook it on low flame for 30 mins.

Once 30 mins is over, remove to a casserole without mixing the rice with chicken gravy.

The final result will be a colourful mixture of pure white rice with green coriander, brown fried chicken pieces and yellow saffron colour.

Rice is ready to serve. This can be served by itself, but if you want to busy yourself go ahead serve this with thin Chicken gravy or Onion raita.

Explanation might sound long, but the process is very simple. And also following each step gives you a fabulous result.

If this is the way Nawabis enjoyed their food, I am sure everything they make is great!

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