This is a delicious rice dish often reserved for very special occasions such as weddings. It normally has a lengthy preparation, but the pre-mixed Herbie's Spices take a lot of the work out of the preparation and the result is definitely worthwhile.
- onion chopped · 1
- Herbie's Biryani Mix · 1 tablespoon
- Herbie's Cardamom Pods - Green (whole) · 3
- Herbie's Cinnamon Quills (whole) · 1
- Herbie's Cloves (whole) · 3
- tomatoes peeled& chopped · 2
- chicken breast, cubed · 1 pound
- plain yoghurt · 1/3 cup
- frozen peas · 1/2 cup
- Chicken Stock · 1 cup
- Basmati rice · 1 cup
- Olive Oil or Ghee · 1 tablespoon
Preheat oven to 160C.
In a large pan heat ghee (or oil), add onion and spice mix then fry for 3 minutes on low heat.
Add chicken, seal on all sides, stirring occasionally, then add tomatoes and yoghurt. Cook over very low heat.
Meanwhile, place rice and stock in saucepan with whole spices.
Bring to boil, cover, simmer 7 minutes.
Remove from heat, remove whole spices and fork peas through lightly.
In an oiled, heavy-based lidded dish, place half rice in base.
Top with chicken, then the remaining rice.
Dot with small pieces of ghee or butter, then cover tightly with foil and replace lid.
Cook in oven for 20 minutes.
Chef Tommy's Tips
For biryani, always use long grain rice. Basmati rice with its thin, fine grains is the ideal variety to use.
Ghee is butter that has been slowly melted so that the milk solids and golden liquid have been separated and can be used in place of vegetable oil to yield a fuller taste.
Biryani denotes a dish where the rice (plain or fried) is cooked separately from the thick sauce (a greatly reduced curry of meat or vegetables).
The curry and the rice are then brought together and layered, resulting in a dish of the contrasting flavors of flavored rice, cooked separate with spices, and intensely flavoured sauce and meat or vegetables.
This separation is partly of necessity: the proportion of meat and/or vegetables to the rice is high enough to make biryani a one-dish meal but the cooking time of each of the main ingredients is significantly different from each other.
In a properly made biryani, the final dish is dry or minimally moist, with the individual rice grains separate, as opposed to a risotto, where the rice is of a creamy consistency.
Consequently biryani recipes call for the rice to be cooked for three-quarters of the usual time, followed by layering with the meat/vegetable base, and then a final slow-steaming until fully done. This approach allows all the flavors to blend and integrate.
We have been experimenting with the biryani spices and wines, applying persian spice mixes such as biryani to traditional Western (American) foods, hence our recipe for Holiday Toffee Baked Ham with Red Wine Pomegranate Sauce which uses our Herbie's Biryani spice mix to add flavor to a traditional baked ham.