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Chicken Biriyani - Tamilnadu Style

I am a Biriyani freak and I love to experiment in all possible ways;) After all its biriyani...I know but each and every  measurement change also matters and here is my family favorite recipe.I was just trying to recreate one of the biriyanis which I tasted in one of the South Indian restaurants over here.I always have a big hestitation, adding coconut milk and ghee/butter to biriyanis.Those who all have the same hestitaion,dont worry this recipe is definitely a lip smacker and there is not much of those ingredients.I am giving you all the brand of the products I have used,since for this particular recipe they work out so well.

Its been more than a year to have  my DH for lunch during weekdays.After moving to our new home,I started packing lunch for him in the morning itelf.But last week,one day he was working from home and elder one was also at home and I wanted to make something they enjoy eating hot.So this Biriyani,Chicken curry(recipe
coming next),and raitha was in the menu card. And they did enjoy :)
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Ingredients
2 1/4 cup White Basmathi Rice(Royal Brand).(I used the electric cooker measuring cup)
1 Big Onion roughly chopped(Yellow preferred)
a small bunch of Mint finely chopped
one fistful of Kasoori methi.
3 tbsp Coconut milk(I used canned coconut milk,I feel the cans in american stores give a sweeter taste,I prefer buying it from a desi store)
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 Bay leaves
2 Thai green chillies(whole)
1 Blade of mace.
2 Bay leaves.
1 tbsp Ghee.
3 tbsp or more of oil.
1 tsp lemon juice.
Red Chilli powder(as needed-I used Shan Brand.)
Salt
To grind
2 small tomatoes or 1 Big tomato.
1 tsp poppy seed(white)
2 Green cardamom
1 inch cinammon stick
1 tbsp chopped onion(red prefferd,yellow is fine too)
For the marinade
1 lb bone in skinless chicken(It always the organic meat,which i prefer.Two reasons-One being my kids health and another being-they are tender atleast for my eyes.I always leave two chicken drumsticks and rest all cut into medium size)
a tbsp of ginger garlic paste.
2 to 3 tbsp plain yogurt.
a tbsp or two of red chilli powder
1 1/2 to 2 tsp garam masala powder.(Eastern)
some salt
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Method
1.Wash the rice in running water.Take care not to break the rice.Drain and keep it aside.
2.Grind all the ingredients asked to grind  without adding water.
3.Wash the chicken(NEVER  in the hot water.) and Drain.Let it sit aside for 2 to 3 minutes,the remaining water must be left in the bowl,Drain again and marinate with the ingredients given and keep it aside for 30 minutes
4.Heat a big size dutch oven (nonstick preferred with heavy bottom something like this)and add oil and ghee to it.Once its hot,add the onions and saute until it turns translucent.
5.Now add the chopped mint and saute for few seconds.
6.Once done,add the ground tomato mixture and saute for half a minute.
7.Now add the marinted chicken and saute .let it be on low medium flame for about  3 to 4 minutes.
8.Then add the rice,coconut milk followed by 4 cups of water(Yes,chicken leaves out additional moisture,it is always just enough for me).Mix it up with turmeric powder,additional salt needed,some red chilli powder,lemon juice,kasoori methi and two whole thai chillies.
9.Keep the flame on low medium flame and allow it to cook for about 12 to 15 minutes or until u the water almost drained.Now lower the flame to the least setting and wait until the rice grains looks separated.Also take care that the rice does n't get burnt at the bottom.
10.Garnish with chopped corainder leaves.
11.Serve it hot with raitha and any curry that goes well with biriyani.

Note
This Biriyani doesn't give the brightest colors.But they really do taste yummy.(I have quit eating chicken,since last year.But once its done,I do taste the rice,to check if its perfect)Trust me...This one tastes awesome when done accordingly!!!
Read the entire recipe here

Lemon Cake

My elder one was asking me to make cake bread(lol)-Pound cake and this recipe from Readers Digest caught my eye, as the ingredients and process were so simple.The cake came out super moist ,obviously the reason for posting the recipe here :)

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Ingredients
1 2/3 cup All Purpose flour
1/3 cup Corn flour
2 tsps baking powder
2/3 cup White sugar(granulated)
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Butter(Unsalted)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups Icing Sugar

Method
1.Use a 9 1/2 x 6 inch loaf tin.Grease and flour tin.
2.Preheat the heat to degree 350 F.
3.To make the batter,mix flour,cornflour and baking powder in a bowl.
4.Add sugar,eggs,butter,lemon zest and juice(retaining 2 tbsp for the icing).
5.Using the electric or hand beaters,beat until smooth and pale.
6.Place mixture in the tin;smooth the top.Bake for 45 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean(I always use the metal bbq skewer for testing ;) ).
7.remove cake from oven and leave to cool slightly;turn out onto a wire rack.
8.Mix the remaining 2 tbsp juice with the icing sugar.Pour over the cake while still warm.Leave cake to cool completely.

Notes
For clean removal of the cake always put a parchment paper or wax paper at the bottom of the pan at its size.
Read the entire recipe here
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