Thalassery Chicken Dum Biryani or Biriyaaani :-DFriday, February 10, 2017
MFB Challenge for this month was to make Biryani. I needed it to overcome my "somewhat" feeling associated to preparing biryani. I don't know to explain the feeling, it is to do with the fact that my few attempts at making biryani were not perfect like moms. I could not tag them to any region as it used to be a mix of everything. :-) which is why a biryani recipe never appeared on my blog until now.
Thalassery Biryani or what we address as biriyaani was the last thing I wanted to try as I never considered it to be one. How can ghee rice with some chicken masala become biryani? :-P That was my 20s thoughts and the reason why we never craved for it as I always believed making biryani has to be complicated. :-D
As we grow older, we tend to go back to the roots, and I was craving for my hometown Biryani that is served in weddings and what better time than for MFB challenge!
When it is biryani day, then mom makes a surplus to see through the next meal too. So we always had biryani for lunch and dinner and some days even the next day. :-D I am glad it is the same practice even at my in-laws. If this recipe could make Mr. F utter "tastes just like the wedding biryani" :-) it means I have nailed it. :-P Now, that is the kind of motivation I was aiming - the appreciation that makes you want to do again and try different types of biryani. InshaAllah.
This Thalassery Chicken Dum Biryani is easy to prepare as the masala and rice are cooked separately and then layered for dum cooking. The dum cooking process infuses the flavour of the Jeerakasala rice and the masala lending an aromatic biryani. All you need to remember is to cook the masala first and then the rice. You can even make the masala a day ahead if you are pinched for time. Prepare the rice only towards the end and ensure to keep the dum cooking at least for 30 minutes. You can always re-heat the biryani with the same dum process that will help retain the moisture of the rice.
Thalassery Chicken Dum BiryaniServes 2 hungry people
2 medium sized onions, chopped
Grind together: OR use as instructed
7-8 freshly crushed and minced garlic
2" ginger, grated
5-7 green chillies, finely chopped
2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
Handful chopped coriander leaves
2 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon whisked yoghurt/curd
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (more for layering before dum cooking).
2 to 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
Salt as required
8 to 10 cashews
1 tablespoon golden raisins
1 onion, chopped and dusted with a teaspoon of cornflour just before frying
2 tablespoon ghee plus 2 tablespoon oil to fry
2 cups Double Horse Jeerakasala rice, washed and drained
3 cups water
1 medium-sized red onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 cardamom pods
2" cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup melted ghee
Salt to taste
- Heat oil in a curry pot or pressure cooker or any pan to make the masala
- Sauté the chopped onions, and the ground ginger, garlic, chillies paste along with salt until the onions become translucent.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes starts to soften and oil separates
- Add the chicken pieces, pepper powder, coriander powder and cook until you are left with a thick gravy.
- Sprinkle the lime juice, chopped coriander and mint leaves.
- When the chicken is completely cooked, switch off and stir in the whisked curd
- Sprinkle garam masala and close the pot to infuse in the flavour.
- Heat ghee in a pan, fry the cashews, keep aside
- Fry the raisins, keep aside
- Add more oil and ghee and fry the onions, keep aside (stay and keep a close watch on the onions to prevent it from getting burnt)
- Boil enough water in the kettle
- Heat ghee in a deep pot
- Add onions and all the whole spices like cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon and cumin seeds and sauté for a minute until fragrant.
- Add the required amount of boiling water and salt
- Tip in the rice slowly and cook on high heat by keeping the lid open until there is no water on the surface and you see only rice. Then reduce the flame to lowest and close the lid tightly and let it cook for around 5 to 8 minutes. Now, you have to stir and bring the bottom part of rice to top so that the rice gets cooked evenly. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes and then switch off and open only after 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare your Dum cooking pot ready. Have a deep, thick bottomed pot that has a tight-fitting lid ready by greasing the bottom with ghee.
- Once the rice is completely cooked, open and fluff it using a fork carefully and do the assembling for dum cooking while hot
- Line the counter like this - Prepared rice pot - Dum cooking pot (greased with ghee) - masala pot - garam masala/fried onions/cashews and raisins
- Layering should start and end with rice, topped with the garnish items.
- Layer the bottom of the Dum cooking pot with enough rice. Sprinkle a good pinch of garam masala and spread some biryani masala all over the rice. Repeat this till the masala is over and end with a layer of rice.
- Cover the entire pot with foil and close with a heavy lid tightly.
- Keep a comal or a thick flat lid or a flat pan on the flame and then keep the` biryani pot over this.
- Dum cook on lowest flame for 30 minutes
- Before serving garnish with fried onions, cashews and raisins.
- Serve with any yoghurt dip, pickled onions, coconut mint chammanthi, pickle and pappadams!
Apart from a sink full of dishes to wash, I also lose my appetite by the time I serve biryani. But the good news is this or any biryani gets better the next day. :-P So, let the folks enjoy and we can have a better serving later on.. :-D
After this, I made Malabar Chemeen (Prawns) biryani too...Thanks to Rafeeda who had advised me loooong ago stating "Aim to learn one type of biryani at a time and do it often!" Yes, Ma'm! Now I totally understand the "somewhat" feeling towards preparing biryani - it is the starting trouble - now no one can stop me! :-D