Genetically Modified Foods was the topic of conversation on Science Friday on NPR. There were discussing about how GM crops in US, India and other developing countries. There was a Monsonto technologist, an Anthropologist, a scientist and a director from a bio-fuel group. It gave me a bit more understanding of the GM crop usage in India primarily cotton.
marinating chicken and roasted potatoes
Addition of dried fruits and nuts to any dish elevates it to the next level. A humble lemon rice morphs from boring to interesting with the addition of roasted cashews or peanuts. The same goes for any quick flavored rice preparation.
The effect only gets magnified when nuts and raisins are added to chicken biryani. There is not much that can go wrong with chicken biryani but this addition elevates it to different level altogether and gives the impression that quite a bit of time has been spent slogging in the kitchen. It works at my house every time.
onions and spices being cooked
DD2 loves looking at cook books with colorful pictures. She was intently going over the pages of Taste of the East written by Deh Ta Hsiung, Rafi Fernandez and Steven Wheeler which has a section on Taste of India and chanced upon the above mentioned recipe and has been asking it be cooked with the emphasis on the nuts and raisins.
If you cook biryani the dum way, this is probably very familiar to you. The addition of potatoes and peas being the only difference.
Cooking in the oven works better than using the stove top which has always ended in burn rice at the bottom.
Rice layered with chicken and potatoes
1. 2 lbs chicken cut into desired pieces
2. 2 potatoes, scrubbed and cut into cubes
3. 1 cup of green peas (frozen or fresh)
4. 6-8 green chilies slit + 1 tbsp chili powder + 2 tsp turmeric powder
5. 2 cups sliced red onions
6. 2 tbsp grated ginger
7. 6 garlic cloves chopped fine
8. 1 cup cilantro leaves
9. 1/2 cup mint leaves
10. 1 cup beaten yogurt
11. 1 cup chopped tomatoes or 2 tbsp tomato paste
12. 1 cup milk + 1/2 cup of water
13. 1 tbsp milk + few pinches of saffron powder
14. 1 tbsp ghee
15. 2 tbsp cashews + 2 tbsp raisins
16. 1 tbsp oil
17. Whole spices - cumin seeds, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, star anise
18. 2 Cups of basmati rice washed and soaked in water for 1/2 hour
19. salt to taste
1. Marinate the chicken pieces with yogurt, chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, 1 tsp each of ginger and garlic and set aside for 1 hour.
2. Bring water to boil and soak the rice in it for 5-10 minutes, drain and set aside.
2a. Soak the saffron in warm milk and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375F if finishing in the oven.
3. Heat oil in a pan and fry the potatoes till golden and set aside to drain
4. In a pot(that can be put in the oven at 375F) you will be finishing the cooking heat the 1/4 of the ghee and the rest of the oil. Add the whole spices and when they turn brown.
5. Add the onions and saute till they turn translucent, add the chilies, ginger and garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
6. Add the coriander and mint leaves and saute till they are wilted.
7. Add the chili powder and salt. Now add the tomatoes and saute till they are soft, if using tomato paste mix it in.
8. Add the chicken and let it cook gently for 8-10 minutes. Add the peas if doing so.
9. Now layer half of the rice on top of the chicken.
10. Then make a layer of the potatoes and layer the rest of the rice on top.
11. Sprinkle the water all over the rice. Make holes in the rice and pour the saffron flavored milk into the holes. Place the rest of the ghee on top.
12. If using the oven, cover the pan with aluminum foil. Else close the pan with the lid.
13. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Or in the oven for 15 minutes.
14. Heat a tsp of ghee in a pan and roast the cashews and raisins.
15. When the biryani is cooked toss the rice gently and garnish with the nuts.
The preparation more or less similar to the regular pressure cooker biryani and if you want to use the pressure cooker that should work too.