For those of us who moved away from the city, this was the holy grail of recipes that we have been searching for. We have all tried many versions and failed dismally, with spouses shaking their heads and saying "it just isn't there".
Well, it finally "is there" Thanks to a friend on one of the many facebook groups that I follow, I finally found a recipe that works brilliantly. All thanks to Rashmi Shenoy who shared her recipe on Konkani Amchi Food.
When I told my sister that I had found a recipe that was perfect, her first reaction was "Oh, so you won't be needing my courier services anymore!" Yes! That is how much we love this combination! When we lived anywhere else in India, this was what we would ask friends and family who were visiting from Bangalore to bring for us.
I have made a few changes to Rashmi's recipe to adjust for flavours that I don't like (star anise instead of mace, a little less ghee and I added eggs). She doesn't have a blog of her own, but you can see the original recipe from her, here.
The biryani itself is quite mild, so no worries on spice levels in this half of the recipe.
1/2 kg chicken (smaller pieces better - curry cut)
1/2 cup Yogurt
3 small Onions sliced
6-7 Green chillies
2" Cinnamon stick 2 x 1"
4 Cardamom 4
1 star anise / biryani flower
2 Bay leaves
1/2 tsp Pepper powder
1/2 cup Coriander leaves
1/2 cup Mint leaves (no stalks)
4 -5 cups Basmati rice (washed & soaked in water)
3-4 eggs hard boiled and skinned.
Salt to taste
2-3 tbsp Ghee
Heat ghee in presssure cooker, add the whole spices.
When they sputter, add sliced onions and let it turn golden brown .
Then add green chillies, coriander & mint leaves and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add chicken pieces to this and cook for 5-6 minutes till chicken changes colour on the outside to white.
Add yogurt now with a little salt and mix well.
Use a wooden spoon, so you aren't breaking things up.
Drain & add the soaked rice, mix well and fry for a minute or two.
Add the boiled eggs.
Add hot water to the rice. (Rashmi advises using 1:1.5 ratio of rice: water, I eyeball it)
Check seasoning salt and pepper.
I cooked it in the pressure cooker, same as I would for any biryani. (this is a trick & measure of time and heat dependent on each pressure cooker and the kind of heating that you use.)
Rashmi says :
Trick here is to close the pressure cooker lid and not to put the whistle. Once the steam is out, place a steel glass on the nozzle and simmer the flame and cook for 15 minutes.
If you are using normal (not boiling water, same process but cook for 20 minutes.
Once done, carefully open the lid and mix the rice slowly.
This goes perfectly well with Andhra chilli chicken recipe
Optional garnish with coriander leaves and crisply fried sliced onions. As you can see in the first picture, I also served an onion raita on the side with the Andhra Chilli Chicken.