Kerala Chicken & Egg Biriyani by Atul Kochhar

Serves 6-8


3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp ginger
1 big green chilli
1kg chicken thigh & drumsticks
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground red chilies
1 tsp garam masala
5 tbsp vegetable oil
1.2lts water + 150ml cup water
30g cashew nuts
600g red rice or basmati rice
3 medium onions, sliced
3 tbsp raisins
3 tbsp ghee
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
4 cloves
4 cardamom pods
3g cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
Juice of 1 lemon
1 big tomato, chopped
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
6 eggs, boiled and peeled
2 tsp natural set yoghurt
1 tsp white wine vinegar or coconut vinegar
1 tsp rose water (optional)
15g coriander (cilantro) leaves

Step 1

Blend the garlic, ginger and green chilli, and 2-3 tbsp water to make a smooth paste.
Marinate chicken using half of the paste, ground turmeric, 1 tsp ground red chilli, 1/2 tsp garam masala and season for taste.
Keep it in the refrigerator for an hour and then shallow fry the chicken pieces in oil for 3-4 minutes – until light brown and sealed and set aside.

Step 2

Soak 7 cashew nuts in 150ml water and set aside for half an hour. Then grind the nuts into a smooth paste and set aside.
Soak the basmati rice in water for half an hour and set aside.
Heat some oil in another pan and fry 1 sliced onion, the rest of the cashew nuts and raisins separately. Set aside for the garnish.

Step 3

To prepare the rice for the biriyani:

Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a deep pan and sauté the fennel seeds.
Fry half an onion until translucent and then add cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Fry again for another 2-3 minutes.
Add 1.2lts of water along with the washed and drained rice.
Add lemon juice and season to taste. Let it come to boil.
Then turn down the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Once cooked, drain and keep it aside.

Step 4

To prepare gravy for chicken & eggs:

Heat oil in a pan and fry the remaining onions until golden brown. Then add the remaining paste and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, the rest of the spices, salt to taste and cashew nut paste. Fry again for 3-4 minutes.
Add chicken pieces along with 100ml water, cook for 10-12 minutes until chicken is cooked.
Finally, add the whole eggs, 2 tsp yogurt and 1 tsp vinegar. Cook again for a couple of minutes.

Step 5

To arrange the layers:

Take a deep heavy bottomed pan and place a layer of chicken. Then add a layer of rice and pour 1/2 tsp rose water.
Use chicken, egg and rice alternatively until finished, but make sure the top layer is rice. Pour 1/2 tsp rose water and 1 tbsp ghee to the top of the layer.
Garnish the biryani with the set aside fried cashew nuts, raisins, onions and chopped coriander leaves. Cover the pan with foil and lid.
Place the pan in a pre-heated oven at 200C, gas 6, for 10-12 minutes. Remove and serve hot biriyani with onion raita.