Chicken biryani

November 16, 2009

This recipe is for a very gharelu (homely) chicken biryani – meant only for the family or friends who are family 🙂 !

Ingredients: (for 2 adults)

  1. Chicken              – 1/2 kg (boneless or otherwise)
  2. Basmati Rice         – 1 cup
  3. Curd            – 1 or 1.5 cup
  4. Tej patta (bay leaves)    – 2 or 3 nos.
  5. Badi Ilaichi (cardamom)    – 2 nos.
  6. Dalchini (Cinnamon)     – 2 or 3 sticks
  7. Kali mirch (Pepper)           – 4 – 5
  8. Biryani Shahi Garam Masala    – 1 tea spoon
  9. Dried red chilli (saboot) or green chillies   – 2 no.
  10. Ginger             – 1/2 inch ginger
  11. Garlic             – 2 or 3 nos.
  12. Onions            – 1 or 2 medium size
  13. Potatoes            – 1 medium size
  14. Ghee/Butter            – 1 tea spoon
  15. Sugar            – 1 or 2 tea spoon
  16. Salt            – 2 tea spoon (or according to taste)
  17. Turmeric            – 1/2 tea spoon
  18. Cooking oil         – 2 or 3 table spoon (whichever cooking oil you use at home – groundnut/soya bean/sunflower oil)

Preparation:

1) Marinate the chicken for 20min.  Basically mix chicken, dahi, salt and pinch of turmeric and keep it aside for 20min.
2) Cook the rice just so much that it does not stick and stays firm.  It should not be completely cooked as otherwise it will start sticking to the pan when it is mixed with chicken and cooked further.  Drain all the water and cool down the rice.
3) Crush or grind the ginger, garlic, onion and keep the mixture or paste aside
4) Peel the potato and cut it into two pieces

Cooking procedure:

  1. Heat 2-3 table spoon cooking oil in a pan
  2. When the oil is heated, add the crushed ginger, garlic, onion to the oil and turn it till it turns red/brown.
  3. Add tej patta, slightly crushed badi ilaichi, dal chini, kali mirch and green/red chilli and turn them in the oil.
  4. Add chicken and turn it and mix it properly and keep turning for a while on slow flame.
  5. Add water and bring it to a boil.
  6. When the water evaporates add salt, sugar, a pinch or quarter tea spoon turmeric and biryani shahi garam masala and make the chicken completely dry.  The chicken should be completely cooked by now.
  7. Add rice and mix well.
  8. Add a tea spoon of ghee or butter, lower the flame, cover the pot and let the rice cook in steam – this cooking takes only 2-3 minutes.  If the rice starts sticking before you are done just switch off the gas and keep the lid closed.  The rice will cook in the steam.
  9. Your Biryani is ready!  You can garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and/or fried onions.

Bengali khichadi

November 15, 2009

Ah, well! I know, I know, I know – no one writes down the recipe for khichadi because you are just supposed to know it.  But, the family likes its khichadi exactly the way its recorded here, so you know…!  Yes, we are like this only 🙂
Ingredients: (for 2 adults)

  1. Moong dal (without chilka)     – 3/4 cup
  2. Rice             – 3/4 cup
  3. Tej patta (bay leaves)    – 2 or 3 nos.
  4. Badi Ilaichi (cardamom)    – 2 nos.
  5. Dalchini (Cinnamon)     – 2 or 3 sticks
  6. Jeera (cumin seeds)        – 1/2 tea spoon
  7. Jeera powder        – 1/2 tea spoon
  8. Dried red chilli (saboot)    – 1 no.
  9. Ginger             – 1/2 inch ginger
  10. Potatoes            – 1 medium size
  11. Tomatoes            – 1 or 2 medium size
  12. Ghee/Butter            – 1 tea spoon
  13. Sugar            – 1 or 2 tea spoon
  14. Salt            – 2 tea spoon (or according to taste)
  15. Cooking oil         – 2 or 3 table spoon (whatever cooking oil you use at home – groundnut/soya bean/sunflower oil)

See the number of ingredients themselves required one to put pen to paper or rather needed one to hit some keys!

Preparation:

  1. Even before you wash the moong dal, roast it slightly till it turns light brown.
  2. After the moong dal cools down, wash it thoroughly along with rice.
  3. Crush the ginger and keep it aside
  4. Peel the potato and cut it into four pieces
  5. Chop the tomatoes into 4-8 pieces

Cooking procedure:

  1. Heat 2-3 table spoon cooking oil in a pressure cooker
  2. While you are preparing masala for khichadi, boil around 6/7 cups of water on another gas.
  3. When the oil is heated, add the jeera to the oil.  When the jeera settles down, add the crushed ginger to the oil and turn it till it turns brown.  Add tej patta, slightly crushed badi ilaichi, dal chini, red chilli and turn them in the oil.  Add tomatoes and turn them till they become soft.  Sprinkle the jeera powder on the masala mix.  Add potatoes and slightly fry them.  Add washed rice and moong dal and fry it a bit and mix it with the masala in the pan.  If at any point you feel that the oil is less, you can add a bit of oil, say 1 table spoon.  But, in general you should not see too much oil in the pan.
  4. Pour hot water into this mixture.  Add 2 tea spoon salt, stir the water a bit so that the salt dissolves and close the lid of the pressure cooker.
  5. Initially the gas should be on high flame.  After 2 or 3 whistles, lower the flame and let it cook for 3/4 minutes.  Switch off the flame and let the pressure cooker release the steam completeley.
  6. Open the lid and add a tea spoon of ghee and 1 or 2 spoons of sugar and mix it well with the khichadi.
  7. In general this khichadi should be kept a little wet and it is to be eaten while it is still hot.
  8. The khichadi can be eaten with curd or pickle.  Bengalis like to eat their khichadi with ‘begun bhaja’ or ‘patol bhaja’ or ‘aaloo bhaja’, the recipes for which will be given some other time.