Zafrani Biryani Recipe

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Ingredients:
Basmati Rice – 2 1/2 cups, long grain variety
Chicken – 1 kg
Yoghurt – 3 cups
Saffron – a pinch
Milk – 1/2 cup
Mint Leaves – 2 tsp
Green Coriander – 2 tsp
Water – 20 cups (4 Litres)
Bayleaves – 2
Green Cardamoms – 10
Cloves – 10
Salt to Taste
Butter – 3/4 cup, unsalted
Black Cardamoms – 2
Cinnamon – 4 one inch sticks
Mace – 1 tsp
Caraway Seeds – 1 1/2 tsp
Onions – 1/2 cup, sliced
Ginger Paste – 2 1/2 tbsp
Garlic Paste – 2 1/2 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
Lemon Juice – 2 tsp

Method:
1. Clean, skin and cut the chicken into 8 pieces.
2. Wash the rice and soak for at least half an hour.
3. Whisk the yoghurt in a bowl and divide into two equal portions.
4. Dissolve the saffron in warm milk and cream.
5. Add one portion of the yoghurt to it.
6. Add the mint and green coriander to this.
7. Preheat oven to 150C/300F.
8. In a saucepan, boil 4 litres of water and add a bayleaf, 2 green cardamoms and 2 cloves.
9. Add the washed rice and salt to taste.
10. Boil for a few minutes until the rice is half cooked.
11. Drain the rice with the whole spices and keep hot.
12. Heat butter in a pan, add the remaining whole spices and caraway seeds and saute over medium heat.
13. Add the onions and saute until golden brown.
14. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and red chilli powder and stir for 15 seconds.
15. Add the chicken and salt to taste and cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes.
16. Add the second portion of plain yoghurt along with approximately 200 ml water.
17. Stir and bring until the chicken is almost done.
18. Stir in lemon juice and check the seasoning.
19. Grease a large baking dish.
20. Spread half the chicken mixture.
21. Sprinkle half the saffron/yoghurt/mint/coriander mixture over this.
22. Now spread half the parboiled rice. Repeat the same process for the remaining half.
23. Cover with a moist cloth and seal the dish with dough.
24. Slow bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
25. Remove and garnish with fried almonds.
26. Serve hot.

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