One of my closest friends while I was growing up was a beautiful girl called Sakina. We were very close and played at each other’s homes all the time. Our parents too were very close because ours was a relatively close knit neighborhood. Like nearly every African country, one home’s celebration is the entire neighborhood’s celebration. So whenever there was a party or celebration at Sakina’s place, it was the entire neighborhood’s celebration. I absolutely loved to go to their place because Sakina’s mum always whipped up the most decadent and exotic meals I would have in a long time. Served in generous portions, she made sure that all guests had their tummies full. The parties at Sakina’s home were not to be missed. Period! The very first time I had biryani was at their home, and it really blew my breath away. Today, I relived those fantastic memories and made this unforgettable chicken biryani. This recipe is so fantastic, it will make people want to move in with you.
There are numerous variations to the biryani recipe, I actually believe everyone has their own. After researching, I came up with my own too, with little twists, but still playing up the exotic flavors of this dish.
For the biryani
3 cups of basmati rice
2 chicken breast
3 finelly chopped bell pepper
2 grated tomatoes
1 chopped onion
½ teaspoon of Turmeric powder
1 heaped teaspoon of Garam masala
1 heaped teaspoon of Cardamom spice
1 heaped teaspoon of Ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon of Ground coriander
1 heaped teaspoon of Black pepper
For the chicken marinade:
Put your chicken in a bowl, then add your crushed garlic, rosemary leaves and roughly chopped coriander. Then, add your two table spoons of soy sauce and apple cider vinegar and mix. Cover with cling film and allow it to marinate for 4 hours or more, but preferably overnight.
We talked about the benefits of marination here, and why it makes a huge difference in your meat dishes. Lets now make a deal. Lets agree to always serve beautifully marinated meat, and never serve it in its plain state. Because it is the little things that will always make a difference in your cooking.
After you are done marinating, cut your chicken into small pieces. I prefer to cut mine into strips. Always cut your chicken breast against the grain.
The first picture shows how you would cut the chicken along the grain. This makes the chicken tough and chewy. But in the second picture, you are cutting against the grain, shortening the protein strands in each bite hence making each piece tender.
It is very important to make sure your rice is singular. For that reason, I chose basmati rice because not only is it aromatic, but its long grains ensure that when it is cooked, the grains remain separate, light and fluffy. And this is key to achieving the perfect biryani.
This is one dish that is guaranteed to make even grown men weep from sheer delight. This mouthwatering dish goes particularly well with gravy, coleslaw or just on its own.
Download the recipe and try it!!