Last evening, hubby dear and sonny boy went for a bit of weekend shopping at the local supermarket. My eldest had an accident in her school when a chair fell on her foot, therefore we girls stayed back. As I was unpacking the shopping, my eyes fell on a packet of biryani masala (something which was not on the shopping list).
It so happens that Dinesh is quite a fan of biryani- but yours truely has somehow been a bit wary of trying out this otherwise tasty dish. He probably thought that the masala would spice up my enthusiasm to try it out (I usually do not like to use dish-specific spices, I would rather assemble them myself).
Anyway, I thought it was high time I gave it a go. My friend P, an Andhraite, had given the recipe ages ago, but I have shied away on the pretext of my cooking pan’s bottom not being thick enough.
Well, today, I did go ahead with cautious steps( what with hubby having a peek every now and then to find out how it’s been going on!!). But the end result did surprise and give me a boost (I changed it a bit here and there to suit my taste) I usually love to cook and do try out different dishes now and then. And it is rewarding when it turns out just as one expects. Well, hubby dear seems to be satisfied enough and could’nt fault it. He seemed to be a happy man. Whoever said that the way to win a man’s heart is through his stomach, could’nt have been more right!!!
For the record, this is how I went on to win my other half’s heart at lunch today-
To get started, I assembled the following-
1 and a 1/2 glasses of basmati rice, washed and soaked in water for 30 minutes
a few strands of saffron added to a cup of milk and set aside for later
8 large chicken pieces
For the marinade-
1 cup of yoghurt
1 and a 1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tblsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tblsp cooking oil
salt to taste
With the ingredients at hand, I got started-
I marinated the chicken pieces with all the above for one and a half hours.
The rice was then half cooked in salted water and all the water was drained off and rinsed with cold water.
An onion was sliced , fried in 1 tblspn of oil till translucent, along with a handful of cashews.
I next heated 3 tblspns of butter to which was added 1tspn of cumin seeds and 2 bay leaves. The marinated chicken was added to it and cooked in its juices until completely done and the gravy thickens.
For the last stage , I added 3 tblspns of butter in a heavy pan (the heaviest I had) and added a layer of rice toped with few of the chicken pieces, some of the fried onions and cashews and drizzled a little of the saffron milk. This same process was repeated again and a final layer of rice was laid over which was sprinkled the last remains of the fried onions and cashews and the saffron milk.
The pan was then covered as tightly as possible and put on low heat to cook for around half an hour.
The end result was a pan of delicious, aromatic biryani waiting to be savoured (you bet, Dinesh did just that) !! And hey, cheers for me (!!) I did make it after all!!!