Goodness, this post was supposed to go live at 3pm today, yikes!! My internet was acting up plus I had to run to town in the afternoon. Anyway now that I’ve finally gotten the time, here goes.
My fellow foodies and bloggers Cici, Wendy and I have started this cooking challenge where one of us gives us a recipe and then the rest of us try it out. The great thing about this challenge is that you can also participate. Our first challenge is chicken biryani, the idea is to try the recipe and take photos of your end result and post them on African Kaya.
I am normally not very confident in making Swahili dishes, I always fear that the taste won’t come out as expected. However, when Cici suggested we start with biryani, I was up for the challenge plus I’ve had several requests from some of you to make biryani.
I have to point out that this is an intricate recipe and requires some patience since the chicken will need to be marinated for at least 3 hours or better yet overnight.
Enough with the chatting, I used boneless chicken since that’s what I had on hand.
Start with marinating the chicken.
The marinade required fried onions, so I started by frying the chicken.
Since I was just cooking for two, I halved Cici’s recipe.
As the onions are frying, you can be assembling the marinade and chicken.
My cubed boneless chicken breast pieces.
Add half the fried onions.
Before stirring everything together, add one final ingredient, saffron.
Now, in case you’ve never heard of saffron, one interesting fact to note is that it’s one of the most expensive spices on earth. Yep!! Those tiny strings are sold by weight and cost a pretty penny. The great thing is, a little goes a long way so I say go out and buy some. I got mine from India, a friend of mine was there and I’d sent her some. You can however get the spice at Healthy U stores here in Kenya.
Add just a pinch and stir everything together.
After marination, we are ready to cook.
Biryani is normally served with rice, so start by preparing that.
As I had earlier mentioned I am on a healthy eating journey and I’ve tried to replace all the white stuff, so these days I make brown rice, yeah! I find it very filling and nutritious.
Soak the rice, either white or brown, in water for 30 minutes.
Now we are ready to cook the biryani.
Heat some oil in a sufuria add the rest of the fried onions.
Now add the marinated chicken.
As the chicken is cooking, prepare the water for the rice.
I normally cook the brown rice just as I would white. Since the rice is soaked prior to cooking, I maintain the 2: 1 ratio of rice to water.
Bring some water to a boil, add some whole spices, salt and some little oil.
As biryani recipes go, the rice is cooked twice, so the first time the rice is under cooked.
When the rice is cooked until 3/4 way done, turn off the heat and drain the rice.
The rice is then put back in the sufuria. At this stage the colouring of the rice is done, you can use red food colour on one side and orange on the other and also add the saffron soaked water and cook the rice over low heat until done.
Back to the chicken, ensure you keep stirring. The recipe called for addition of fried potatoes, I baked mine
Once cooked, taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Finally add some little garam masala.
As you’ll notice I sort of went overboard with the red food colour in my rice.
The recipe is pretty easy to follow, so what are you waiting for, give it a try and post way.