I am feeling rather smug with myself just now. I’ve just made the most amazing chicken tikka biryani I’ve had in aaaages. OK, so I had a biryani this weekend, and good it was too. But it wasn’t chickeny and I’ve had a craving for this for aaaaages.
I should probably explain a couple of things before I tell you about my recipe. First, I’m not a vegetarian as perhaps some of my posts may suggest. I do eat, and LOVE all kinds of meat, but I only eat free range meat and sustainably sourced, line-caught fish. Adam eats the same, and I have called our dietary preference ‘Ethicureanism’.
The other thing is that Adam is intolerant to chicken.
Cue major lack of chicken eating opportunities.
We manage to eat plenty of meat at home because Waitrose is so wonderful in providing us with Ems-approved products. And we even get to eat meat out someimes too, as great places like Smiths of Smithfield only serve free range meat. But I hardly ever get to eat chicken because it’s not what I’d go for first on a menu, and it’s not really worth the bother for one.
But I’ve been craving a chicken biryani for so long now, that this evening I decided enough was enough! And so, I got myself a nice free range chicken breast, and Adam a nice free range pork steak, and made one myself! Here is how……
Ingredients (to make enough for two)……
- 1 chicken breast or pork steak per person, cut into 2cm chunks (ish)
- 6 tbspn tikka curry paste (or whatever curry paste you like)
- 1 large potato, cut into 1.5cm cubes (ish)
- 1 large carrot, cut into 1.5cm cubes (ish)
- 2 tbspn rapeseed oil
- 1 large red onion, chopped finely
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 1 small chunk of ginger (about as big as your thumb), chopped finely
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped finely
- 2 cups of basmati rice (I actually used Tilda’s basmati and wild rice mix, which I love)
- 4 cups hot chicken stock
- 1 tspn coriander seeds, ground together with…..
- 1 tspn vanilla salt (or 1/2 tspn of rock salt if you can’t get it)
- 1 tspn cumin seeds
- 1 tspn dried parsley
- 1/2 tspn chilli flakes
- 4 cardomom pods, broken with the blade of a knife (carefully!)
- 1 star anise
- 2 small bay leaves
- handful of flaked almonds (and/or sultanas)
- a little creme fraiche to serve
How to make it……
- Marinade your meat in the curry paste for at least an hour. I used 1 chicken breast (for me) and 1 pork steak (for Adam), which I marinaded and cooked separately
- Boil the potatoes and carrots so that they are half cooked, then drain and set aside
- Heat half the oil in a large sauce pan and fry the onion, garlic and ginger
- Add the part cooked carrots and potato, and stir in, adding the pepper too
- Stir in the rice, adding a little oil if the mixture is a dry
- Pour over the hot stock and stir well, keeping the pan on a medium heat so that it simmers
- Add the salt and spices, stirring through and ensuring that the mix doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan
- Whilst the rice cooks, heat a shallow pan with a little more oil and cook the chicken or pork, keeping the marinade with it. I had two pans on the go to cook both my chicken and Adam’s pork
- The rice will take about 15 to 20 minutes, but keep stirring occasionally and checking to see if the rice and potatoes are tender. You may need to add a little extra water to ensure it’s all cooked
- Once the rice is cooked and the stock has all boiled away, tip the rice mixture into the shallow pan with the cooked meat
- Keep this on a medium heat whilst you stir, and until the rice starts to golden
- Mix in the almonds (and/or sultanas if you like) and serve with a dollop of creme fraiche