Malabar Koyi Biriyani(as we malabaris fondly mispronounce the 'Kozhi' or chicken!)is perhaps one of the most loved,most common dish for all the Malabaris.Any celebration in Malabar would be incomplete without its Biriyani. If you ask me how different it is from other Biriyanis,I'm not so much an expert on the topic...I just know this is the way my mom cooked, this is the way our 'Mammadka'(our muslim chef for exclusive get togethers)cooked and this is how I have been cooking!!Well, of course each of us would have definitely added a little bit of our whims and fancies,but this dish has always topped our list of favourites .When I thought of sending an entry(though I cd not send it in time) for
So here goes the recipe which many of my friends here had earlier requested:
Chicken - 1 kg
Basmati rice - 1 kg
Onion - 500 gm
Garlic - 50 gm
Ginger - 50 gm
Green chillies - 100 gm
Poppy seed/Khuskhus - 2 tsp
Coriander leaves - 1 bunch
Mint leaves - 1 small bunch
Fresh Curry leaves-2 sprigs
Curd - 1 cup
Juice of one lime
Ghee - 250 gm(You may mix oil,if u r health conscious)
Sliced cashew nuts - 20 gm
Raisins - 20 gm
Rose water - 2 tbsp(optional
Saffron - 1 gm(optional)
Biriyani masala - 2 tsp
Salt - as reqd
For frying chicken
Cut the Chicken into big pieces and wash.Make small gashes on the pieces.Marinate it with turmeric powder,chilli powder(optional) and salt and keep it aside.(You may fry the chicken pieces marinated with just salt too) Slice the onion very thin.
Heat a little ghee in a wok.Roast the cashews and raisins to a golden brown tinge and keep it aside.Now add half the onions and fry them to brownish texture(Almost caramalised look),strain off the ghee and keep it separate.In the same ghee shallow fry the marinated chicken pieces slightly.(This enhances the taste of the chicken, and moreover keeps the chicken pieces intact during the cooking process,especially when cooking large quantities).
Grind together green chillies, garlic, ginger and poppy seeds( poppy seeds should be soaked in water for 10 minutes) into a coarse paste. Heat a heavy-bottomed vessel. Add half of the ghee. Add half of the sliced onions and fry till they become transluscent.Add chopped tomatoes and then add garlic- ginger- chillies- poppy seed paste and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the curd,salt and lemonjuice.Now add the fried chicken pieces.When the chicken is half cooked, add chopped coriander leaves,mint leaves,curry leaves and the garam masala.(I generally grind them too,but not with ginger-garlic) Cook till the chicken is tender and the water, absorbed and the whole masala coats the pieces. Remove from the fire and keep it aside.
Clean the rice and drain it in a colander.Leave it for 10 minutes. Heat the remaining ghee in a vessel.Add the rice and sauté it for 4-5 minutes,till the grain becomes slightly soft on biting. Add double the quantity of hot water with salt added and cook till the rice is soft and the water is absorbed. Remove from the fire.
Now take a big mouthed vessel which has a proper lid.Layer the chicken pieces and masala.Put one layer of cooked rice on top of the chicken.Sprinkle a little garam masala powder, fried onions, cashew nuts, raisins and a little saffron mixed in rose water.(When saffron was not available,people generally used the food colour mixed in rose water, I have not added any for we dont like saffron and rosewater smell in the biriyani, so it is purely 'apna choice'!) Finish it off with two more layers of rice, garam masala, fried onions, cashew nuts and raisins. Cover with a heavy lid.Seal the lid with Maida. Place some embers of coconut husk on top and some below as well, and leave it for 15 minutes.This is the traditional 'Dum'.Since we cant afford to do this in our UK home or US home,jut place the dish in a hot oven(150 degree celsius) for about 15 minutes.Finally mix the biriyani carefully and serve it hot with boiled egg in the middle, and Onion Raita,Onion in Vinegar Salad(UlliSurka),Biriyani Chammanthi,Dates pickle and a Suleimani Tea as accompaniments, in the Malabari style!(I was in a hurry to send my post to Indira,my egg is half boiled and is delicately perched on the biriyani mountain and the presentation was honestly a mess,but taste compensated!!);)
Biriyani masala powder
Cinnamon - 2 gm
Cardamom - 1 gm
Cloves - 1 gm
Nutmeg - quarter
Fennelseed - half tsp
Cumin seed - half tsp
Shahjeera - half tsp
Mace - 2 gm
Dry these ingredients and make a fine powder and this can be stored in airtight containers.
Ulli surka is all about mixing thinly chopped onions,green chilli and vinegar well and then adding some thinly sliced tomatoes to it.
Coconut - 1/2 cup(grated)
Ginger- 3/4 inch piece
Mint, coriander- a handful all together,
Salt (preferable sea salt)-1/2 tsp
Grind fresh grated coconut into a coarse paste.Add mint,coriander,ginger,and green chilli and salt.Just give a few whisks enough to grind the leaves..It should be a very coarse pasteFinally mix the ground paste with thick curd.For an alternate version pl check
Mixed Biryani-a medley of vegetables,meat& sea food
Happy Independence day to everybody!!