Route 79 : Chicken Biriyani

The effects of feeling hungry on the way home

May 14 2005

Chicken Biriyani (with mushroom and asparagus)

A "biriyani" dish is rice with a mixture of whatever takes your fancy. In this case it's chicken - and tonight I decided to use asparagus and mushroom as the main accompaniments!

I really enjoy cooking this type of dish on a Saturday evening - as it is very convenient - and allows the person eating it to do so whilst sitting on the sofa in your living room and watching your favourite TV show or a film.

Here is a picture of the ingredients I used tonight - but feel free to vary them according to what you have in your fridge - and even substituting the chicken for some more vegetables if you are a veggie! It really doesn't matter what you use - as long as you like the combination of ingredients!

Fresh ingredients used in tonight's chicken biriyani

And here is a picture of all the ingredients - chopped and prepared - and ready to go!

1 medium onion - chopped coarsely
1 cup of basmati rice - washed until there is no starch left
1 medium green pepper - again: chopped coarsely
1 packet of button mushrooms - chopped into quarters
1 bunch of asparagus - chopped coarsely - but separate the stems from the tips (as the tips are very tender)
1 tomato - deseeded and chopped finely
1 300g packet of chicken mini-fillets - chopped into coarse chunks (they cook real quick - so no need to chop too finely) [Also - any cut of chicken will do fine - thigh is preferable - but I didn;t have time to go to the High Street meat shop today - so I got a packet from the supermarket instead.)
1 generous chunk of frozen garlic pulp from your freezer
1 generous chunk of ginger pulp from your freezer
(Both of the above thawed by zapping for 20 seconds on full power in your microwave)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of haldi (turmeric)
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
2 bay leaves (not shown in picture!)
1 pinch of whole cumin seed (not visible in picture)

First of all - get a large frying pan/wok/karahi (make sure it has a lid that you can see through)- heat up a couple of tablespoons of your usual vegetable oil in it - I use cholesterol-free sunflower oil:

When the oil is hot - add the pinch of cumin seeds and watch it splutter - stir it around a bit.

Then add the chopped onion and chopped green pepper into the pan - mixing it all about - and frying until the onion is soft and translucent - and the pepper is starting to char a little.

Then add the chopped chicken pieces - and stir it around on high heat. And then immediately add the pulped garlic and ginger - keep it stirring on fierce flame.

After a few mins - throw in the chopped asparagus stems and mushrooms - and after about a minute throw in all the ground spices as per the measures given above. Keep on stir-frying until the mushrooms are reduced and the chicken is well cooked.

When the chicken is cooked - which should only take about 5 mins - add the washed rice to the pot - and stir it all about - again: on high heat.

When the rice has been coated in all the juices of the pan - add just less than twice the amount of water as there was rice - and then immediately stir in the tender asparagus tips and chopped tomato pieces. Make sure the flame is on max - as you want to make the water boil violently.

Put the lid to the pan on top - and let it boil for about 1 minute - and then immediately reduce the flame to lowest possible - and set the timer on your cooker for 15 mins. keep the lid on - and DO NOT TAKE THE LID OFF AT ALL for 15 mins! (Otherwise you will ruin it!)

After 15 mins or so - switch off the flame - and then take the lid off - and fold the rice over a couple of times - and put the lid back on - and leave it to rest for about 15 more minutes. After that it will be ready to eat!

Serve it up with a side-salad of onion, cucumber and tomato - dressed in salad vinegar - and enjoy!

Chicken biriyani (with asparagus and mushroom)

We enjoyed eating that!

Have you tried this? Even if you haven't - let me know what you think!
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