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SAFED BIRYANI…with a healthy twist!!!….

Biryani! For me it is not a dish, it is an emotion. Biryani is the only dish where you can find almost every genre of spices. I know from the caption itself, you must be confused about the texture or flavours that you are going to experience. But trust me guys, you are going to experience a beautiful blend of spices on your palates with this particular biryani.

If we peep into the history of biryani, it is said that originally the word came from ancient  Persian cuisine. But then what we see today in our biryani is soo different from that Persian dish. Basically, the word biryani comes from the name called “birinj” which means rice. And yes it is our Indian modification of the dish.

 Basically, biryani is very much diversified, region to region and the availability of ingredients and meat along with the rice. Yeah, you heard it right. If you look into the map of India every region has its own type of biryani. Some are explored and have been accepted internationally and some are yet to be explored.

While looking into the history of this Safed biryani, I found a variation called “Sofiyani biryani” in which the richness of the biryani comes from the khoya and cream. This particular biryani is made with less ghee and no red or yellow coloured masalas are used in this particular biryani.  

Anyways,  what you are going to experience is my version of Safed biryani, made up of less ghee and not using any khoya or cream. Yet I can bet, this recipe is going to fill your home and heart with its delicious aroma.

Let us get into the nutritional factor of the core ingredients of the dish…

CHICKEN- Chicken is an excellent source of low-fat protein. Protein helps your body to maintain muscle mass and also helps you to build muscle if you are participating in a strength program. Chicken breast is also a very good source of selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B6. In short, chicken contributes a lot to our diet plans.

CURD- curd contains calcium, which plays a huge role in strengthening bones and teeth. It also contains phosphorous that combines with calcium to promote bone growth. Eating curd regularly will help prevent diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis and many more other benefits.

RECIPE-

INGREDIENTS-

  • 750 gms Chicken(leg and thigh pieces)
  • 1 ½ cup long grain basmati rice(washed and soaked for 15 minutes)
  • ½ cup fresh curd
  • Fine paste of soaked and peeled 6 almond, 5 cashews, 2tbsp melon seeds
  • 2tbsp desi ghee
  • 2tbsp ginger garlic paste(fresh)
  • Paste of 1 medium onion
  • 10-12 black peppercorns
  • 1-star anise
  • 6 green cardamom
  • Seeds of 1 black cardamom
  • 8-9 cloves
  • 1tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 1bay leaf
  • 2tbsp fresh mint leaves
  • 3-4green chillies
  • Juice of half lemon
  • ½ tbsp shah jeera
  • 1tbsp rose water
  • ½ tbsp keora water
  • Salt to taste

PROCESS-

  • Marinate the chicken with salt, curd, lemon juice, 2 slit green chillies, 1tbsp mint leaves, 1inch cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, black cardamom seeds, 3 green cardamom, ginger garlic paste, 5-6 black peppercorns for 1 hour.
  • Put a Deep Pan on medium to low flame.
  • Put ghee into the pan. Add the onion paste to it cook for a minute.
  • Add the nuts paste to it and cook it till fragrant on slimmer flame with continuous stirring.
  • Put the marinated chicken in and cook it till chicken is nicely cooked with occasional stirring.
  • Take out the chicken piece to a plate.
  • Strain the gravy to remove all the whole spices from it.
  • Put the strained gravy aside.
  • Take a piece of muslin cloth. Put the remaining cinnamon, shah jeera, fennel seeds, green chilly, clove, star anise, green cardamom into it and put a knot on it.
  • Boil enough of water and add 2tbsp salt and 1tsp ghee into it.
  • Put the potli/ muslin cloth packet into it.
  • Cover it and let it boil for 3-4 minutes.
  • Put the soaked rice into it. And boil it for 2min on high flame. Then cook it on simmer till 80% done.
  • Take out the potli of masala and strain the rice.
  • Line a heavy bottom pan with desi ghee and put little bit of rice in the bottom layer.
  • Layer the chicken on it followed by the thick gravy. And on top, put the layer of rice.
  • Put fresh mint leaves, little bit of melted ghee and rose and keora water on the top.
  • Seal the pan with the lead and dough (atta ka dough).
  • Put a Tawa on the simmer flame on that goes the biryani handi.
  • Dum cook it for 20-25 minutes.
  • Don’t open the handi immediately.
  • switch off the flame and let it stand for 5 minutes more before opening it.

Serve hot with a grilled simla mirch raita or a grilled pineapple raita.

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