Guest post: A delicious Sindhi Biryani

“Chicken biryani is a full meal by itself – basmati rice slowly cooked with succulent pieces of seasoned chicken with onions, tomato, ginger, garlic, yogurt, and a splash of lemon juice. It’s spiced with Shan’s Biryani mix for a punch of Sindhi flavour with an additional touch of fresh coriander leaves.”

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These are the words of the illustrious Sentil, a good friend of mine and a fabulous cook to boot. I recently travelled to Dublin to visit a few friends, and this Saturday night biryani (plus the midnight/3 am snack…) was one of the things that stood out most – it is definitely worth making the trip to Ireland more often! This recipe is entirely his, and I can take no credit for anything except eating a large proportion of it…

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Careful lemon squeezing to avoid seeds in our biryani

Serves 7-8 people

  • 2-3 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • 3-4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp ginger paste (or fresh)
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic paste (or fresh)
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed through your fingers to avoid seeds
  • 4 tbsp yogurt
  • Salt, to taste
  • 700g chicken thighs, with bone and without skin
  • Shan Sindhi Biryani mix (you can get this at most Indian/Asian supermarkets)
  • Large handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • Large handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups Basmati rice (ideally Tilda)

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  1. Soak the basmati rice in water and keep it aside
  2. In a very large saucepan/pot, fry the ginger and garlic paste on low heat until fragrant, but not burnt
  3. Add the onions and fry until translucent
  4. Add the tomatoes and salt to taste (be generous, it’s a large dish), as well as the entire pack of Shan biryani mix
  5. Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the chicken pieces and toss until slightly brown
  6. Squeeze the lemon into the pan
  7. Add the yogurt, fresh coriander and mint.
  8. Add 2 cups of water and cover the pot tightly with a lid.  Cook at low heat for a minimum of 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked
  9. Now strain the soaked rice and add this to the mix along with another 2.5 cups of water. Cook at low heat for a minimum of 20-25 minutes, tightly covered
  10. Take off the heat and let it cool down for another 10 minutes with lid open
  11. Now you can garnish the lovely Biryani with coriander leaves and serve it with raita or even plain yogurt.

There are so many different ways of making biryani, and this version tastes nothing like my mother’s, or the ones I eat in Kolkata. But I love them all, and this one will always remind me of a crazy Irish weekend!

Don't forget to garnish

Don’t forget to garnish

 

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