Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Proud Kitchen Moment: My first Biryani

Biryani is pretty big in Bahrain.  Originally a South-Asian dish, it became increasingly popular in Bahrain and surrounding Gulf nations.

Nobody can deny the influence of South-Asian cuisine on ours, and fortunately - spices are in abundance - ever since the days of Indian trade.

So Indian/Pakistani cuisine has become an essential part of our Arabic cuisine, and thank God for that.  Or I would not have been introduced to...

The subject at hand...

The Biryani.

I served it for my family at fitoor a few days back and let me say I had everyone lipsmacking and asking for more.  What a relief.

I am also proud to say that not one drop of oil was used in the making of this biryani.  Healthy-meal: check!

I also used to dread making it for fear it was too complicated, or worse - would come out uneatable.  But it was so delicious there was hardly any rice particles left in our plate.

The recipe is off the Nestlé website

Basically you need the following: 
2½ cups basmati rice, washed
3½ cups water
Spray oil 
1 medium white onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon grated ginger
500 g skinned chicken breast fillet
2 cubes Maggi bouillon 
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and pureed
½ cup low fat yoghurt (equivalent to one Almaraie container)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1½ tablespoons ground garam massala
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons coriander leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
Pinch of saffron, soaked in ¼ cup water

Cook the 2 1/2 cups rice with 3 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan and cook with stirring until it boils. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until rice is cooked. Set aside.
Meanwhile, spray a large saucepan (I like to use a wok), cook the onion until golden brown in color. Add garlic and ginger and stir. Add chicken and stir until it’s cooked.

Add the Maggi cubes, tomato, yogurt, lemon juice, tomato paste and spices. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium pot, place half the quantity of the prepared rice and the chicken mixture on top. Sprinkle the chopped coriander and mint over the chicken mixture and cover the top with the remaining rice.
Pour the saffron water on top. 
Cover firmly with the pot lid and cook over low heat for 30 minutes or until rice is completely cooked.

When serving, try to scoop out the white rice and later on the bottom of your serving plate. Follow with chicken on the very top. 
Sprinkle nuts and fried onions. Serve with yogurt (mixed in with sumac and fresh mint) and a side salad of tomato and cucumber with lemon. 

Now turn around and pat yourself on the back. 

Bon appetite!

No comments:

Post a Comment