I decided it’s time to learn the secrets of Indian mothers’ cooking, starting with chicken biryani. On Saturday, I called both moms over to the house. Sometimes, it’s easier to learn by live demonstration than by fussing with a recipe by yourself.
- Season raw chicken with salt, pepper, chili powder, turmeric, ginger, garlic and mustard seeds.
- Steam 4 cups of basmati rice with a touch of butter, 6 cups of water and salt.
- A dash of turmeric turns the rice yellow.
- Here’s a trick: use the handle of your wooden spoon to make a hole in the center of the rice. If the handle is wet, keep steaming til the water’s gone. If the handle is dry, the rice is ready.
- If you like peas and carrots, you can steam those with the rice. Or cook them separately and add them in later.
- Somewhere in there, we should have added ghee.
- Saute onions, garlic and ginger in vegetable oil.
- Brown your seasoned chicken in a separate pan with vegetable oil.
- Throw in some tomatoes and cilantro.
- Then, add the chicken to the sauteed vegetables.
- Sprinkle some coriander powder into the mix.
- Roast cashews and set them aside.
- Layer a pan with the steamed rice.
- Then, add a layer of chicken.
- Layer with more rice.
- Add the rest of the chicken.
- Sprinkle the cashews and some chopped cilantro over the finished product.
- Pour any leftover chicken sauce on top. Deliciousness ready for consumption.