Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chicken Biryani

I love Indian food, and Chicken Biryani is one of my favorite dishes. Biryani originated in Persia and/or Arabia, but it is found in a number of cuisines today. It is an exotic, aromatic rice dish of layered flavors made with spices, meat, and vegetables. Biryani usually denotes a dish where the rice is cooked separately from the other ingredients. Traditional biryanis are a labor of love, requiring much time and effort to prepare…much more than I am willing to put forth quite yet. I found this simplified recipe in Cooking Light and thought I’d give it a shot.

As I was cooking this dish, adding the spices to my pan, the aroma was tantalizing. It smelled like the biryanis I’ve ordered in restaurants! I was skeptical about the cooking time after adding the rice, and I was right. It took much longer for the rice to become tender than the recipe called for. In the end, the flavor was clearly not the same as those that I’ve had before, but for an abbreviated recipe, this was pretty tasty.

Source: Chicken Biryani, Cooking Light, January/February 2009

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion (1 medium onion)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped plum tomato (about 2 tomatoes)
1 cup uncooked basmati rice
⅓ cup golden raisins
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup sliced almonds
4 lime wedges

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add onion and jalapeno; sauté 3 minutes. Add ginger, garam masala, cumin, salt, and garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add tomato, rice, raisins, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in cilantro. Sprinkle with almonds; serve with lime wedges.

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