Home-style Chicken Biryani in Pressure cooker

Biryani is synonymous with celebration and today happens to be women’s day. I am posting an easy home style chicken biryani that can be cooked entirely in a pressure cooker. I am dedicating this biryani recipe to all women (Can dedicate songs, films, match victories, awards and what not? Why not biryani recipe?). I am specially dedicating this recipe to all those time-pressed moms and wives who are always in a rush, who have a hundred items on their to do list and another hundred on their mind, who are constantly putting things back in their places, who are badly in need of a pedicure and haven’t really read the newspaper in a long time (shocking, but I haven’t really read the newspaper since sometime in 2009 when my daughter was born – a cursory glance of the headlines doesn’t count). I hope this recipe helps ease biryani making for you. This is a home style biryani, fragrant and spicy with strong ginger tones. The rice turns out beautifully long and perfectly cooked and the chicken is juicy. Two things to keep in mind are the amount of water and the time you cook the biryani. Watch the amount of water you add at the end and use the index-finger thumb-rule (Ha.. but pun not at all intended). Switch off the stove after 10-12 minutes whether or not you hear the whistle. Follow these steps and you won’t go wrong. Happy Women’s Day! Preparation time – 20 minsCooking time – 30 minsServes: 4-6 Ingredients Chicken – 1/4 kgBasmati Rice/Long grain rice – 2-1/2 cupsOnions – 2 chopped fineTomatoes – 2 choppedGinger paste – 3 tbspGreen Chillies – 4 slit lengthwiseCurd/Yogurt – 1 cupFennel seeds/Sombu – 2 tspCardamom – 2Cinnamon – 1 inch stickCloves – 3Marathi Moggu – 1Star anise – 1Bay Leaf – 1Turmeric powder – 1 tspRed chilli powder – 2-3 tbspGaram Masala powder – 1/2 tspSalt to tasteGhee – 3 tbsp + 1 tbspOil – 2 tbspWater Method 1.      Wash and clean the chicken and cut into fairly large pieces. 2.      Rinse Basmati rice/long grain rice in 2-3 changes of water till the water runs clear. Soak basmati rice in water for 1 hour. 3.      In a pressure cooker, pour in 3tbsp oil and 2 tbsp oil and when hot, drop the fennel seeds. Let fry till fragrant. Then throw in the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, Marathi moggu, star anise and bay...

South-Indian style Chicken soup – Kid friendly version

The Chicken soup I am posting today is an ideal introductory chicken dish for toddlers. It is mild, delicately flavoured and easy on little tummies. This dish is super quick and super easy and it can easily be transformed into an adult version with a few extra spices. I usually serve this soup with rice or as a side with idli. My 3 year old likes chomping on the chicken pieces. For my 1 year old, I dump the rice, soup and a few chicken pieces in the mixer and give a quick blitz, a very quick one so that it is a coarse mixture and not pureed all the way. It’s a good alternative to the usual paruppu saadam (rice and dal). I don’t  usually cook separately for my kids, but sometimes I do. I think once in a while, they deserve their own custom-made meal. I think the entire cooking in the house has in general become more kid friendly – we’ve cut down on the chillies, totally eliminated channa dal from all our  tempering (my kids don’t like biting into the dal), we make more Kormas/dal based curries (which are milder) and there is always idli maavu (Idli batter) in the fridge which is so reassuring. Long day, frenetic action for a function the next day, or the day after the frenetic function, kids sick, maid on leave, power shut-down, or even better – power shut-down and no water in the tank – whatever the odds, as long as you have idli maavu, you can manage.   On holiday trips, I remember how grateful we’d be for the puliche idlis (however sour and rubbery) that Taj served at around 100 rupees per idli (Yes 100!). Most hotels don’t serve idli at dinner buffets or even on order. My kids are by now so attuned to “an idli a day, everyday” routine that nothing else would do. They want their idli. No “kid friendly” macaroni and cheese for them. By the way, nothing is kid friendly when served on porcelain plates or in fancy wineglasses. Not a lot of moms on these hotel decision making panels, I think. Preparation time: 10 minsCooking time: 20 minsServes: 2-3 Ingredients Boneless Chicken pieces – 10 small cubesOnion – 1 choppedTomato – 1 choppedGinger – 1/2 an inch pieceGarlic – 5-6 pods peeledCoriander powder – 1-1/2 tspChilli powder – 1/2 tspTurmeric – 1/4 tspBlack pepper...

Indian style easy Grilled Chicken

Chicken is the family favourite. Chicken in any form is loved at home. We could negotiate for a separate account at KFC, we’re that regular there. My daughter loves KFC’s chicken strips and making an oven baked version of these strips is on my long list of “To try recipes”. Yeah, I know I am not a very good mom by circle of moms standards, I let my kids eat junk food but I think it’s ok if it’s once in a while. Coming back to this recipe, this is by far the easiest, most basic grilled chicken recipe. The marinade is an Indian style tandoori chicken type masala which is simple and tasty. The key to grilling chicken in an OTG is making sure it’s not overcooked. When chicken is overcooked it gets dry, stringy and chewy. So start checking from the halfway point. You could serve these as starters or as a side with biryani. Preparation time: 10 minsCooking time: 40 mins -1 hourServes: 5 Ingredients Chicken – 5 leg piecesGinger – 2 inches peeledGarlic – 7-10 podsGreen chillies – 2-3Red chilli powder – 2 tbspTurmeric powder – 1 tspLemon juice – from half a lemonSalt to taste Method 1.      Clean chicken and make oblong cuts in the chicken so that the masala can sink in. 2.      Grind together ginger, garlic and green chillies to a smooth paste. In a bowl, add the ground ginger-garlic-green chilli paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, lemon juice and salt. Add water to make a smooth marinade neither too runny nor too thick. 3.      Throw the chicken pieces into the marinade and mix well making sure to rub the marinade into the slits in the chicken. Cover and let the chicken marinate for a minimum of 2 hours. 4.      Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Cover the crumb tray with aluminium foil to protect the tray from drippings. You can discard the aluminium foil once the chicken is done; saves you from washing the crumb tray. 5.      Transfer the marinated chicken to the oven and grill/broil for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Turn over the chicken halfway through and baste with remaining marinade. Start checking the chicken from 30 minutes onwards to make sure it isn’t overcooked. Serve hot with cut onion rings and lemon wedges. Notes 1.      Once the chicken is cooked, if you’d like the outside to be crispier, cook...
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