This Indian chicken biryani based on rice, is normally prepared for special occasions, since it takes a long time to make. There are a multitude of recipes for biryani and each one has a uniqueness about it.
2 chickens, 1.5 kg each, cut into portions
375 ml oil
12 medium onions, finely chopped
12 medium potatoes, cubed
600 g rice
250 ml red lentils
15 ml ground coriander
5 ml saffron
2 sticks cinnamon
5 ml cumin seeds
15 ml turmeric
15 ml chopped chillies
3 tomatoes, skinned and coarsely chopped
125 ml lemon juice
10 ml salt
8 cloves garlic
500 ml plain yogurt
2 pieces fresh root ginger, crushed
8 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and thinly sliced
Heat oil in a frying pan and brown onions. Remove and set aside.
Add potatoes to pan and sauté until lightly browned. Remove, drain on absorbent paper and set aside.
Cook rice in salted boiling water until almost tender but still firm.
Boil lentils for a few minutes in salted water, then drain.
Combine rice, lentils and a quarter fried onions.
Rub salt into chicken pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.
Combine coriander, saffron, cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, chillies, tomatoes, lemon juice, salt, peppercorns, remaining fried onion, garlic, yoghurt and ginger in a bowl. Pour over chicken and leave for 30 minutes.
Invert a heavy dinner plate in a large saucepan to cover bottom completely.
Arrange ingredients on top of plate as follows:
9.1. half browned potatoes, sprinkled with 5 ml oil
9.2. chicken and marinade
9.3. hard-boiled eggs
9.4. rice and lentils
9.5. remaining potatoes
9.6. rest of oil sprinkled over contents.
Close tightly and simmer, without stirring, for 1½ hours.
Cuisine: South African/Indian