The UK celebrated the 21st annual National Curry Week last week.
While COVID restrictions may have prevented people visiting their favourite restaurant, it may be an opportunity to recreate those flavours at home.
Here’s a simple, foolproof, even-I-can-do-it, biriyani recipe from my mum’s kitchen.
150g of butter unsalted
2 medium size onions finely chopped
2 teaspoons garlic paste
2 teaspoons ginger paste
Half a tin of chopped tomatoes
Just under half a teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 teaspoons of coriander powderChopped fresh green chillies to taste
Salt to taste
1 kg skinless chicken pieces preferably on the bone
200 grams of plain yogurt
2 tablespoons of Laziza biriyani mix (available from any Asian cash and carry)
Half a bunch of fresh coriander finely chopped
1kg of Basmati rice slightly undercooked
4 hard boiled eggs sliced
1 large finely sliced onion fried until crisp but not burnt
Raita (yogurt sauce)
1 small red onion finely diced
Half a cucumber finely diced
1 diced fresh tomato
1 teaspoon garam masala
300 grams of plain yogurt
Salt to taste
Melt the butter in a large pan on a low heat
Add onions and fry for about 15 minutes until brown
Add the garlic and ginger, salt, chillies, turmeric and coriander power and tomatoes.
Fry until oil separates
Add the chicken and fry until golden
Add biriyani mix and fresh coriander and mix well.
Add half the yogurt, mix well, add the rest and mix again.
Then add a few tablespoons of water and simmer on low heat until chicken is cooked through.
When the sauce is the same consistency of a curry, it’s ready.
Put a third of the sauce into another large pan then cover with a third of the rice.
Add some garnish
Cover with another layer of sauce, followed by rice and garnish again.
Repeat this until everything is used up.
Make sure rice is your last layer.
Cover the pan with a folded tea towel and put the lid on.
This will absorb excess water and prevent rice going soggy.
Place on lowest heat for 10 minutes.
Mix the chopped onion, cucumber, tomatoes, salt and garam masala into the yogurt.
Serve biriyani fresh off the stove with raita or, even better (my personal recommendation), have seconds the next day when the flavours have spread through evenly and intensified. Mmmmm!