Saturday, November 02, 2019

Chicken Keema Biryani

Chicken Keema Biryani
Biryani is a rich and wholesome dish that takes center stage at any festive meal. It consists of layers of fluffy, aromatic Basmati rice, a rich meaty base and loads of fried onions, herbs and aromatic spices that are steamed in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. 

This chicken keema biryani uses ground chicken that is cooked first, separately from the rice. I've cut down on the processing time by using a ready-made spice mix called Shan Pilao Biryani mix whose strong and spicy flavours works its magic on the ground chicken which serves as a base layer for the biryani. Basmati rice is soaked for 20 minutes, drained and air-dried before being spread evenly over the chicken base and topped with cilantro, mint and deep fried onions. Heated chicken broth is poured carefully around the edges of the saucepan and this one-pot dish is simmered over low heat for 25 minutes until all the liquids are absorbed by the rice.

This main dish is best accompanied by a cool and soothing Raita along with vegetable sides such as Green Beans Posto and Tomato Chutney.

2 (6 oz.) cups Basmati rice
2 (8 oz.) cups chicken broth

1 lb. ground beef, lamb or chicken
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cinnamon sticks
2 black cardamoms
1 tsp. shah jeera/cumin seeds
4 onions, cut in thin slices
1 Tbsp. ginger paste
1 Tbsp. garlic paste
1/2 tsp. Kashmiri mirch/paprika
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
3 oz. Hunt's tomato sauce (not ketchup)
1/2 (1.76 oz.) pkg. Shan Pilau Biryani spice mix
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup deep fried onions
1/2 bunch cilantro, minced 
1/2 bunch mint, minced
2 green chilies, minced
1 cup green peas
salt to taste

  1. Reserve some cilantro and mint for garnishing.
  2. Wash and soak rice for 15 minutes, drain and air-dry in a colander for 20 minutes.
  3. Microwave 2 cups chicken broth to boil.
  4. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and sputter cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods and cumin seeds.
  5. Add onion slices and stir-fry until translucent.
  6. Stir in ginger and garlic pastes, paprika and turmeric powder and stir well.
  7. Add tomato sauce, ground meat and Shan spice mix and stir until meat is coated thoroughly with sauce.
  8. Simmer over medium heat until oil resurfaces and meat is almost cooked.
  9. Layer rice evenly over meat mixture and top with minced cilantro, mint, green chilies and deep fried onions.
  10. Pour heated chicken broth carefully around edges of pressure cooker, adjust salt to taste and bring to a boil.
  11. Cover pressure cooker without applying the weight valve, lower heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  12. Remove cover, fluff rice with a fork, top with green peas and continue simmering for 5-10 minutes over low heat until liquids are absorbed by rice.
  13. Remove from heat, transfer to a serving dish and garnish with reserved cilantro and mint.
Serve as a main dish accompanied by a vegetable dish, raita and chutney.

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