Bhatkal Biriyani

Hmmm.... again a day when I am suffering from a mental block!!! I thought I could sleep right through the day, but then I ended up waking up quite early (by my standards, that is!!!) and staring at the sleeping kids. Parents will definitely agree that there is something lovely in watching sleeping children. They look so angelish then... they must have gone off to sleep after all their mischief, but when they sleep, there is nobody in the world as cute as they are!!! :)

Since my head is blank with nothing much to blabber about, let me go straight to today's recipe. One confession I have to make - this is the first picture on this blog for which I am doing a touch up by myself. I do understand that my pictures are sometimes really substandard, thanks to a lot of restrictions I have. I don't want to make it an excuse for not improving the quality of them on the blog! My pictures are all night pictures, as I do all my cooking at night, apart from weekends, and early morning, I am off to work. The picture of the Chococustard Pudding of yesterday had some really good feedback, mainly because I guess, the photo turned well as it was taken with natural light, which my photographs hardly get. Jehanne has been trying to put into my head the importance of using a photo enhancing tool to touch up the pictures before putting it up on the blog, but plainly, I have been lazy!!! It's more that than anything else. Finally, I downloaded Photoscape yesterday, as my first time trial and this is the first picture I am doing a touch up. I need an honest feedback from all of you, to learn and improve. I know if I don't buck up myself, my blog is not going to grow... I guess I have to also give a big shout out to Febina for being extra frank in her comment in my last post, as well. Sometimes, you need such hits to really wake you up!!! :)

We as a family, love biriyanis for our weekend meal. A Friday is incomplete without a biriyani, and being the person I am, I love to pull out my books or files and go through the bundles for some interesting biriyani recipe all the time. This is another one from the weekends, a very easy one, I should say. With very limited ingredients and time, I guarantee you this is a winner!!! So off to the recipe...

Bhatkal Biriyani
Serves 4
Recipe adapted from "Non Vegeterian Recipes" of Zubeida Obeid



Ingredients:

3 cups basmati rice
800 gm chicken, cut into meduim pcs
6 tbsp ghee
5 large onions, sliced thinly
1 tbsp cashewnuts, chopped
4 green chiilies, slit (more for spiciness)
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp garam masala powder
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped
1/2 cup yogurt
Juice of one lemon
1 tbsp rosewater
5-6 strands of saffron soaked in 2 tbsp warm milk
Salt to taste

Method:

Wash and soak the rice in water for half an hour. Cook the rice in lots of water till almost 80% done. Drain immediately and set aside. While checking the rice, do ensure that there is a slight bite inside. 

In a saucepan, heat two tbsp ghee and fry one onion till brown. Fry the cashew nuts. Set all aside. 

In a pressure cooker, heat the remaining ghee and saute the onions and chillies, with a pinch of salt till transparent. Add the chicken, tomatoes, ginger paste, garlic paste, 1/2 tbsp garam masala, turmeric powder and salt, give it a nice stir and cook for one whistle. Switch off the flame and empty the pressure off the cooker. Open the lid, stir in the lime juice and yogurt and mix well to incorporate. 

In a deep saucepan, dump in the chicken masala. Layer the rice on the top of it. Now sprinkle the chopped mint and coriander leaves, along with the remaining 1/2 tbsp garam masala powder, the fried onions and cashews, the rosewater and the saffron soaked milk, as well as the ghee in which the onions and cashews were fried. Close the top well with aluminium foil and close the lid tight. 

Heat a chappathi tava on the gas stove and keep the saucepan on top for dum for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm with raita and pappad!!!

Notes: 

1. You can use mutton instead of chicken in this recipe, only adapt the cooking time accordingly.

2. The original recipe asks to fry the onion and cashews first in the whole ghee and then proceed with sauteing the remaining onions, and to use fresh ghee for the final drizzle. I love doing the way I did it in the method above, as it gives a really nice flavor of the fried onions and cashews.

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