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Recipe for Homemade Chicken Biryani

Murgh Biryani is an indian chicken curry recipe, mixed with rice, from Hyderabad in India. This type of curry is also well known and served in many countries around the world; it is a slightly more complicated dish to make as there are many steps and we won't be using any easy spice mix pastes...






Ingredients (for four to six guests):

- 1 (2 lb.) chicken, cut up in pieces
- 2 teaspoons garlic paste
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 inch ginger root, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, cleaned
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 small tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- Salt
- 4-5 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 lb. spinach

For rice:
- 3 cups (600 g) soaked Basmati rice, in water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 5-6 cloves
- 25 cardamom seeds, powdered
- 6 cups liquid chicken stock

Other spices:
- 4-5 tablespoons oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
- 2-3 green chilies chopped
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron
- 1/4 cup milk (50 ml)
- 1/4 teaspoon rose essence

Preparation:

1) Heat up 3 tablespoons oil in a pot with tight fitting lid, mix in the cloves and cardamoms, then the soaked rice then cook the rice in oil for about 4 minutes. Add liquid chicken broth, water and salt. Cook the rice until it has absorbed all the water. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Reserve.

2) After this, we prepare the garnish ingredients: Heat up 4 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan, then fry the almonds until they get a nice roasted finish; reserve separately on a plate. Also slightly cook the raisins, the same way; then add in the chopped onions and fry them. Press in the saffron in 2 teaspoons of milk, and mix; add remaining half cup of milk. Pour in about 1/4 teaspoon rose essence and mix; reserve all this in a bowl.

3) Pour 4 tablespoons oil In the same skillet, start frying the chicken; add cloves and cinnamon; when they change color and form, add the chopped onions and fry until the onions turn brown; keep warm. In a bowl, press in the garlic and mix with the minced ginger, chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric and salt, and 1/2 cup water and pour all this in the skillet with the chicken. Cook 2-3 minutes, then, only at the end add the whisked yogurt and diced tomatoes.

4) Cook 5-8 minutes then add 1/2 cup hot water. Cover and cook until the chicken is done. The sauce should completely cover the chicken.

5) Pour 1 cup of water again after 10 minutes, cover and simmer about 40 minutes over low heat. When the liquid in the pan has reduced by about half (about 15 minutes), add spinach. Simmer the remaining time. Last step: Use an oven baking dish, pour 1-2 tablespoons of oil at the bottom of the dish.

6) Preheat the oven to 300 ˚F; divide the rice into three equal parts; divide the chicken curry in two parts. Pour one part rice at the bottom of dish. Pour a little mixture of rice and saffron over, then sprinkle with fried onions, raisins, spices, green peppers, chopped cilantro and mint leaves. Cover with more rice and repeat this operation. Then spread on top a little saffron and arrange the ingredients you have left over the rice.

Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil; bake in the oven at 300 ˚F, about 30 minutes.