Friday, December 14, 2012

Dum pukht Chicken biryani

Tonight's Menu
Dum pukht biryani
Cucumber raita
Salad greens
Dum pukht Chicken biryani
Dum pukht cooking (cooking with steam) has been a favourite of the royals since it travelled with the Mughal to India from the Middle east. Known as the food of the nawabs, it became popular in the courts of Awadh, Hydrabad and Kashmir, each giving its own twist.
The essence of dum pukth lies in its aroma, where meat rice and vegetables are allowed to infuse in rich spices by cooking them on a very slow flame in a copper or earthen pot covered with dough. This purdah (veil) style of cooking seals the pot with the dough allowing the food to cook slowly in its own juices and infusing the flavour all over. These dishes use a generous amount of ghee and are elaborate to make.
You can use either lamb or chicken, preferably with bones. Traditionally the dough is made of wheat flour, ghee and sugar. But its easier to use puff pastry as it saves a lot of time and tastes crisp, flaky and wonderful.
Dum pukht Chicken biryani
Ingredients: serves 5-6
2 lb bone in chicken legs and/or thighs
2 cups basmati rice
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 large red onions finely julienne
1 small tomato pureed
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp tandoori masala (recipe)
1 tbsp kasoori methi
2 tsp dry mint leaves
vegetable oil
salt and red chilli powder to taste
1/2 package frozen Puff pastry defrosted
whole spices : dry grind them coarsely
1 black cardamom
5-6 green cardamoms
1 inch cinnamon stick
5-6 cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  1. Clean the chicken and pat dry. Give it several slits to allow good marination. Make the marinade by combining half the yogurt with 1 tsp ginger garlic paste, tandoori masala and salt. Mix with chicken and refrigerate to allow marination for a minimum of 4 hours. 
  2. In a pan sauté the onions till they are golden brown. Keep aside. 
  3. Wash and drain the rice. In a pan heat 1 tbsp oil and add a third of the coarsely ground dry spices. Let them spatter for 3-5 seconds. Add rice and sauté in the spices for a minute to coat each grain with oil and spice. 
  4. Add 4 cups water and salt to taste. Bring to a rolling boil and simmer covered for 7 minutes till rice are two thirds done. Meanwhile cook the chicken. 
  5. In a large pan heat 2 tbsp oil and add the remaining coarsely ground dry spices along with kasuri methi, mint leaves and red chili powder and the marinated chicken. Cook on high stirring frequently till the chicken no longer looks pink, about 7 minutes. 
  6. Add tomato and remaining yogurt along with salt and continue cooking on high till oil starts to leave the sides of the chicken.
  7. Layering - Grease a large oven proof dish and start layering the rice and chicken in alternate layers. Cover the pan with rolled out puff pastry ensuring all edges are sealed. Place in a preheated oven at 350 F for 30 minutes till the pastry is golden and crisp on top.
  8. Dig out the yummylicious chicken infused rice along with a portion of the crisp dough and enjoy with raita and green salad.

Layer rice and chicken
Cover with puff pastry
Out of the oven

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