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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chicken & Cashew Biryani

Visiting family and friends during the week is both enjoyable yet tiring. Once you get home from work, more often than not you just want to put dinner on and then put up your feet without having to consider any sociable aspect other than conversation with your immediate family.

But sometimes we sacrifice our leisure and after work we race off to visit family or friends for whatever reasons. After all, they’re family and friends and they deserve our time and affections, even if we’d rather be at home with a good book! It’s just unfortunate that not all social occasions fall on the weekend, such as today’s social adventures.

It’s our nephew’s birthday today, and turning the big 4 we had to visit his family and give Mister 4 his present. Of course, mind you, we had time for a quick chat and cup of tea. However, unable to stay for dinner due to my partner’s heavy workload at the moment, our bellies rumbled and we couldn’t wait to be home to eat a home cooked meal.

But you get home late, you’re tired and irritable, and you want some quick comfort food that takes 5 minutes to prepare, and twenty minutes to cook. As mentioned in an early entry of mine, pilaf can’t be any more simple nor comforting, and biryani’s are just as sumptuous. So I hope you enjoy this variation of this wonderfully spicy Indian dish.

What Will I Need?

2 tbs Peanut Oil
300g Chicken Thigh, diced
1 Onion, diced
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Garam Masala
2 Cardamom Pods
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Tumeric
2 Bay Leaves
1 cup Basmati Rice
1 cup Chicken Stock
½ cup Water
½ cup Cashews, roughly chopped

What Now?

1.      In a saucepan, heat 1 tbs oil over a medium high heat and then add the chicken. Cook the chicken until it is just turning brown, and then remove from saucepan, and set aside in a bowl.

2.      Using the same saucepan, turn the heat to low and add the rest of the oil and allow to heat through. Now, add the onion and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes until the onion is transparent.

3.      Add the spices, excluding the bay leaves and stir through the onions and garlic.

4.      Next, add the chicken and the rice and stir everything until the chicken and the rice are covered in the spice mixture.

5.      Last but not least, add the stock and water and stir before adding the bay leaves, turning the heat to high and bringing to a boil.

6.      Once boiling, pop a lid onto the saucepan and then reduce the heat to low for twenty minutes.

7.      Whilst the Biryani is simmering away, add the chopped cashews to small saucepan and toast (with no oil!) over a medium heat. The cashews should gain a light golden colour on some sides – it’s not necessary for them to be completely golden brown, just partially.

8.      After all liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, add the cashews and stir through the rice using a fork.

9.     Serve with some raita and naan.