I ♥ India & Chicken Biryani

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I think my love for all things Indian is quite apparent by now so I won’t even go there again. I must have been a Bollywood princess in my previous life because never has there been a 100% Boeremeisie that loves Indian food as much as me. I love it so much that I’m planning an entire Indian feast for my 24th birthday next week. I have contemplated turning our dining room and lounge into a Indian palace but I don’t think my family will be too chuffed if I staple pink and orange draping to our ceilings and walls. I also wanted to get a few Indian CD’s for ambiance but once again, my Afrikaans family will probably think I’m trying to convert them to Hindu so I’ll settle for some channel on DSTV audio. I am however planning beautiful decor and loads of candles in little indian votive glasses which should create the atmosphere I’m after.

I have worked on the menu and have contemplated doing many different curries but I’ve settled on two of my favourites. This is the menu that I’ve decided on:

Mango Martini on Arrival

Lamb Korma
Butter Chicken
Jasmine Rice
Home-made Naan bread
(Possibly Roti, not sure yet)
Chopped fresh chillies
Fresh Coriander

Chocolate mousse
Coconut Birthday Cake

I’m really getting excited as I always have a theme for my birthday dinner. It’s very tricky to come up with innovative ideas every year, especially as my birthday is in Winter, but I think I have a winner this time.

So to kick off the Indian Celebrations, I made a Chicken Biryani last night. This one is a cheat’s version and I take a lot of short cuts, but check out the Lamb Biryani if you’re interested in something more authentic.

Chicken Biryani

Serves 6-8

1kg Chicken breasts, cut into big chunks
500ml Fat free, Plain yoghurt
2tbsn Ground Coriander
1tbsn Ground Cumin
2tsp Paprika
2tsp Turmeric
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp each Ground Nutmeg & Ground cloves
2tbsn Garam masala
2cm piece fresh ginger, grated
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1tsp Salt
2tsp Sugar

  • Combine all the ingredients and marinade the chicken for atleast 1 hour.
  • Place the marinaded chicken in a large saucepan with the marinade and allow to simmer gently for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is almost cooked.

2 cups Jasmine Rice
4 cups Water
1 cinnamon stick
3 Cardamom pods
1tsp Peppercorns
1tsp Coriander Seeds
1tsp Saffron
2tsp Turmeric
1tsp Salt
1 tin drained and rinsed Lentils

  • Combine all the ingredients (except for the lentils)  in a pot and allow to come to a gentle simmer. Cook the rice for 10 minutes until almost cooked. Drain and mix with the lentils. Set aside.

4 Large white onions, halved and finely sliced
6 Large potatoes, cubed

  • Fry the onions in 3tbsn oil until soft and golden. (About 7-10 minutes)
  • In the same pan, fry the potatoes until golden, crisp and almost cooked.

To assemble the Biryani, place half of the rice in a well-greased oven dish, place the chicken and potatoes ontop. Scatter half of the caramelised onions ontop of the potatoes. Add the rest of the rice topped with the rest of the onions. Pour 2 cups water slowly over the biryani and cover tightly with foil and a lid if possible. Place in a 160°C oven for 1 hour. Serve with Buttermilk Mix and extra chopped chillies.

Buttermilk Mix:

1 cup Buttermilk
1tsp Ground Cumin
1 ½ tsp Ground Coriander
½ tsp Turmeric
½ tsp Chilli powder
1 tsp Salt

  • Combine all the ingredients and serve with biryani.

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Alida Ryder
Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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  • http://www.thecreativepot.net Marisa

    Love theme parties! We try do do one every couple of months featuring a different country and it’s always a lot of fun. You should consider making burfi for an Indian type dessert – it’s really easy and super tasty.

  • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

    I’ve googled so many Indian desserts as well as ask family and friends but I am constantly craving Chocolate mousse. Thinking of putting an Indian spin on it though. Maybe flavoured with cardamom or something. And I want to do that Henna stencil thing! Just gorgeous!

  • Neilo

    Maybe its better you marry and Indian guy who can cook up a storm

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