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I am a professional and a cook,rather a cook by choice and passion.Cooking is something I fantasise about.When I first thought of starting a blog,a thousand ideas coursed through my mind,albeit,none stood the sands of time.Except for the thought of a food blog accompanied by subtle nuances from daily life and from the world around me!

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Quick-n-Easy Chicken Biriyani

Caught up with the movie 'Coco before Chanel' yesterday! This 2009 movie is a biographical account of the life of famed fashion designer Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel who turned out to be one of the greatest fashion trend-setters in the early 1920's thereafter leaving behind a remarkable fashion signature that demands recognition to this day.The movie,originally in French (Coco avant Chanel), has been directed by Anne Fontaine and chronicles the life of Gabrielle from the time she was left at an orphanage by her father to her becoming the doyen of the Chanel empire.Fontaine takes the audience through a determined young woman's emotional journey and depicts how Chanel tweaked her amorous dalliances with rich French gentry to create her own niche in French upper class society.Her perseverance of her dreams and beliefs led her to carve out a fortune, using her immense talent and razor-sharp business acumen.Acclaimed French actress Audrey Tatou plays the title role and is quite convincing as the naive,yet determined Coco.It was a good watch with ample food for thought!

Check the link from YouTube for the movie trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvkzPlWqTqQ

It happens often,that after a good movie,my heart craves for good food!Yesterday was no different,and I felt like having something sumptuous but simple.It was then that I remembered that a half-used pack of Shaan Biriyani Masala has been nestling idly in my kitchen cabinet for quite some time now.Why not rustle up a plate of piping hot Biriyani!The heart and stomach echoed connivance, and I was on my way!!

Quick-n-Easy Chicken Biriyani (Serves 4)

You will need:
Chicken (boneless) - 350 gms;Small-sized pieces would be good
Onion - 2 medium (for the chicken);1 medium for the rice.
(For the chicken,finely chop the onions;for the rice,the onion needs to be sliced finely)
Green chillies - Finely chopped
Garlic paste - 1 tablespoon 
Ginger paste - 2 tablespoons
Tomato - 1 whole chopped;Tomato puree can also be used.
Capsicum - Half a capsicum (Finely chopped for the chicken and sliced for the rice;same as onions)
Basmati rice - About 200 gms
Eggs - 4(optional)
Yogurt (or curd) - About 4 tablespoons
Oil for cooking

Spice
Turmeric powder - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder- 1 teaspoon
A packet of Shaan Biriyani Masala

How to cook:
Step 1:We will first cook the chicken.

1. Wash the chicken pieces very well and add half tablespoon garlic paste,1 tablespoon ginger paste,a pinch of both cumin and coriander powders and the yogurt.Mix well so that the chicken pieces are well-coated with the condiments and let the chicken marinate for about 2 hours.

2.Heat about 2 tablespoonfuls oil in a wide-bottomed spacious container.When the oil is hot enough, add the chopped green chillies and the rest of the ginger paste and garlic paste.Stir well and then add the chopped onions and capsicum.

3.Fry well and then add in the chopped tomatoes.Mix the masala well and then add the marinated chicken.Mix the chicken well with the masala and then add about 1 teaspoon of Shaan Biriyani Masala.Give a good stir and then cover to let the chicken cook for about 10 mins.

4.Check in between and if the chicken appears to be too dry,add a little water and cover again.When the chicken is tender enough,it is done.

Step 2:Next we will cook the rice for the biriyani

1. Wash the rice well under flowing water.You will know that the rice is ready to be cooked when the water ceases turning cloudy.Soak the rice in clean water for about 30 mins.

2.Cook the rice in a spacious container,and when about 3/4th cooked,drain the water well.Take care not to let the rice turn mushy.That will totally ruin the texture of the biriyani!

3.Now spread out the rice on a wide-surfaced area for about 10 mins to remove the moisture.Next, add the rice to the cooked chicken.Add another 2 heaped tablespoons of the Biriyani Masala and mix well.Take care to just turn over the rice and chicken while mixing without breaking the chicken pieces.


4. Hard-boil 4 eggs.Shell them when done and cut longitudinally into halves.Serve with the piping hot Biriyani and have fun!

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