Easy oven-steamed chicken biryani

8 servings Prep: 15 mins, Cooking: 2 hrs 30 mins, Chill/rest/proof: 12 hrs
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By Independent Contributor November 27 2020
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Ingredients (24)

1 kg chicken thighs and drumsticks — skinless
1 tsp saffron threads
2 cup basmati rice — cooked
2 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp salt
1 cup black lentils — masoor
4 onions — finely sliced
1 cup oil
6 small potatoes — peeled and halved
1/4 cup butter — melted
For the marinade
2 cup plain yoghurt
2 tbsp fresh garlic — minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger — minced
4 green chillies — sliced lengthways
1 medium tomato — peeled, grated
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 cup fresh mint
1/4 cup fresh coriander
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Place the chicken in a large bowl and add all the marinade ingredients. Using your hands, make sure the meat is completely coated. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.

Gently toast the saffron threads over a very low heat until crisp. Using the back of a spoon, gently crush into a fine powder. Steep the saffron powder with 2 tablespoons of warm water.

Boil the rice with cardamom, cinnamon and salt until firm and not completely cooked. Drain and set aside.

Mix 4 tablespoons of the cooked rice into the saffron infusion and set aside.

Boil the masoor until soft but firm. Drain well and set aside.

In batches, fry onions in ¾ cup of oil until golden. Remove from the oil and set aside, reserving a quarter of the onion for garnish. Add the rest of the fried onions to the chicken mixture.

In the same oil, fry potatoes until golden and set aside.

In a large pan, add the remaining ¼ cup of oil and place on medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and marinade and gently cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water if it starts to catch at the bottom.

In a large oven-safe dish, layer the chicken pieces, half the rice and half the masoor. Top with the potatoes, and then cover with the remaining rice and masoor.

Sprinkle with the reserved fried onions and saffron rice. Pour melted butter over the top and cover the dish with foil. Place in a 180°C oven and cook for one hour.

This recipe was created exclusively for Food24 by Nikita Singh.

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