These colors on my plate make my heart sing. I’m a big fan of warm tones. Warm aromas and warm food. Which unfortunately I generally never get. Remember, I told you of the food bloggers curse.
So until I take so many pictures .. I keep the food waiting … then the food becomes cold.. I don’t remember the last time I ate piping hot food. But I absolutely adore taking pictures.
Pastels and pale colours don’t work with me. You make me feel as though something is missing. So my food also needs to look vibrant. All the bright colours from the pantry need to be on the plate. That’s why my plates are also warm toned. That I just realised. So this biryani, that I made has no real hot spice. Which, for our family is not really something we do often. My boys like spicy. But you do need to make a few changes ,else life becomes “same old, same old”.
So we tried this less spicy and version more fragrant of a biryani using the Afghan Biryani Essence from Ossoro.
Afghani food as compared to our national Punjabi dishes are pale, rich and extremely aromatic. They use a lot less red chilli and a whole lot of milk, butter ,cream ,nuts and berries. All because their climate allows them to indulge. We on the itehr hand need the fire to burn up the metabolic furnace and thin the blood .Yup,that’s what red chilli does, it helps keep your blood thinners and flowing in your veins. Otherwise,your blood would be flowing like jam in your veins. Think how fast you’d be running then…
So this basically is an ultra organised assembly production.
Make, set aside, make set aside, fry ,set aside ,layer… Wait till it’ll boil over kind of cooking.
I generally avoid nuts and too many spices in my daily food. Simple reason being,my boys don’t relish nuts in food. Also they’re almost always spitting out whole cardamom pods and taking out pepper corn and cloves. So I decided to try the Ossoro Afghan Biryani Essence. It’s mildly Flavoured and extremely aromatic.
I avoided using whole spices it garam masala. I find that when you add too much garam masala powder the gravy or the curry acquires a different texture all together. It’s grainy and the sweetness of the onions is lost. So I wanted to avoid that texture in my curry. Oh ,and then suggestions flew in for a Biryani.
So we made this biryani. Light on the tummy, something that even a two year old can relish. But extremely aromatic and a total party in the mouth as regards to texture. There’s a bite of rice, a little cheweyness of the meat and then the nuts . And then the tartness if the berries. Super fun .
I threw some cardamom and cinnamon to make the biryani look like a biryani. Because you wouldn’t have found it pretty other wise.
We did’nd need a spicy gravy. Just a Raita like tzatziki to make the taste a little mellow.
Also I added some rose petals and rose buds.
There’s a perfect word in Punjabi for that..
Sometimes you should do that. I binge watch Netflix like that only. I’d rather take a cab than drive,just because I am watching a series. I’m watching Suits right now. I swear,random people react in horror when they suddenly see me doubling up with laughter and snort and laugh hysterically. Then they see the ear pod and sigh in relief.
I swear,I’m not weird. Honest.
So make this biryani with chicken or mutton or even vegetables. Just remember to use a stock cube for the vegetable biryani.
Don’t scrimp on the nuts. Also use Cranberries or black raisins. They go well with this . Use the best rice you can buy. And invite someone to share your calories. After all you deserve the complements. Also if you’re too few at home, you will over eat.
Don’t tell me I didn’t warm you.
Afghan Biryani with Ossoro
500 GM’s chicken boneless or 750 GM’s with bone.
500 GM’s or 2 cups long grain basmati rice
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup Cranberries or black raisins
1/2 tsp Ossoro Afghan Biryani Essence
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper powder
1/4 cup ghee or butter
1/4 cup fried onions or birista
1 tsp oil
Mint leaves,Rose petals and Coriander for garnish
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
4 tbsp Greek yogurt or hung curd
1/2 cup warm milk
2 cups prepared wheat dough for sealing
Wash , clean and Pat dry the chicken.
In a bowl, place the curd, ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp salt, pepper and oil and whisk.
Mix in the chicken and allow to marinate overnight,or at least two hours.
Wash and soak the rice in a litre of water.
Boil 3 cups of water. Once it comes to a rolling boil, place the chicken in a steamer in a single layer over the boiling water. Allow the chicken to steam at least 12-15 minimum. Cool and set aside.
Boil 6-8 cups of water with the spices and once the water comes to a rolling boil at in the rise and half teaspoon of salt. Allow the rice to boil till al dente.
Drain out the Rice and spread in a large plate and allow it to cool. Remove the spices.
You can use a glass Pyrex or Borosil casserole, find one with a lid. You can seal the lid. Else a cast iron casserole or a cast aluminum casserole or even a heavy bottom saucepan. The saucepan must be of minimum 2.5 l capacity. Aluminum foil will not be enough able to make the biryani. The LID is of prime importance.
I use a cast iron casserole.
In the pan or casserole you’re planning to make the biryani in, heat the ghee. Add the nuts and saute till light golden. Remove the nuts and set aside. In the same bowl casserole and hot ghee, add the chicken pieces and saute till light golden brown. Turn off the heat.
Over the chicken, spread half the rice. Spread the fried onions and birista. Sprinkle half the berries and nuts.
Over the layer now sprinkle few well washed rose petals(4-5 only) and mint leaves.
Spread remaining rice and layer the remaining berries, birista, nuts, and rose petals( 4-5 only) and mint leaves.
Add the Afghan Biryani Essence to the milk and pour over the layered biryani evenly.
Place the lid tightly. Now roll the atta or dough into a rope and seal the lid to the casserole trying to ensure minimum steam escapes.
Place the casserole on low flame for 20 minutes. As the casserole heats ,a tiny slit will form on the cooking dough and some steam will escape. Allow that to tantalise your taste buds.
Now place the casserole on a griddle or a large saucepan or cast iron skillet and for 10 more minutes on low heat. Turn off the heat and allow the biryani to sit for at least 10-15 minutes.
Set your table, lay the plates, set out the music and enjoy the wait.
Bring out the casserole, use a knife to slit the dough. Remove the lid and enjoy the aromas wafting. Remember,you added no garam masala. That’s the magic of the Afghan Biryani Essence.
Fluff up the rice.
And serve, digging up the chicken pieces with the rice .
If you like you can add more nuts and berries before serving. We had this with a Cucumber Raita. Rose petals and coriander sprinkled over make this look really pretty.
If you’re using a Pyrex dish or a Glass casserole, preheat the oven to 180C. Bake the biryani by sealing the lid for 30-35 minutes on 180C and then reduce the temperature to 130 C for another 10 minutes.
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