Story by Dadesab

Eid celebrations meant going out for family picnics. Our parents would take us siblings to the different lakes each year where we would play and cook all the while. Our mother used to cook chicken biryani while we took breaks from our kabbadi or badminton sessions to chop the onions or chilies. She would make sure each ingredient was fresh. Even the masalas were prepared at home by freshly grinding them the morning of the picnic. Going out for lakeside picnics was a family custom which we looked forward to eagerly.

As we grew older, we spent more and more time with friends. All us brothers had huge gangs of friends coming over to our place. And the family picnics were replaced by outings with friends. We even went out for trips with cousins sometimes. But no matter who my company was, we always went to lakesides and riversides as my native, Ilkal, is surrounded by water bodies. When out with friends, our usual menu consisted of fried chicken, chicken curry and kadak roti and chicken biriyani no doubt.

This year I went to Sanapur Lake in Hampi with friends. Although chicken biryani is an absolute necessity during our trips and we have been making it for years now, it has never turned out like the chicken biryani my mother used to make by the lakeside. Her lakeside chicken biryani islegendary amongst all our cousins and friends. Ours don’t turn out so well, maybe perhaps because we have replaced the freshly ground spices with biryani masalas available in the market. Even then we are brave enough to go ahead at cooking the dish every outing.

Recipe for Donne Chicken Biriyani

Ingredients

  • 500 grams of chicken
  • 2 cups of jeeraga samba rice
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoon of biriyani masala
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 inch of cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of curd
  • 1 bunch of coriander leaves
  • 1 bunch of mint leaves
  • 10-12 green chillies
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt as per taste

Directions

  1. Marinate the chicken for the curd and salt for 45 minutes.
  2. Blend coriander and mint leaves with green chillies. Add some water to make it a smooth paste.
  3. Now, wash and soak the jeeraga samba rice for 20 minutes.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the whole spices for a minute or so.
  5. Saute the sliced onion till they turn soft.
  6. Then fry the ginger-garlic paste and the green paste of coriander and mint leaves with green chillies for about 2 minutes.
  7. Fry the marinated chicken till it turns white.
  8. Now add the biriyani masala powder and salt. Fry them till smell wafts off from the mix.
  9. As the masala comes to a fry, add about 3 cups of water and the rice. Mix all the ingredients together and put the biriyani on dum for about half an hour at low flame.
  10. After the biriyani is done, let it rest for 10 minutes and serve it with some lemon halves.

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