Cooking under pressure – Chicken Biriyani

Kathy, I hope you enjoy making this in your new pressure cooker. Thanks for requesting this recipe. Chicken biriyani when made the traditional way takes hours. The prep alone is enough to prematurely grey your hair. But the dish is a beaut and wildly popular at my house. The best part? It is a one dish meal, combining meat, sometimes veggies, and rice in a delicious blend that works on its own or with a simple yogurt salad.

Over the years, I have found a few ways to minimize the effort yet produce a great tasting meal. The pressure cooker is your friend. Yeah, the steam can be scary and the dog usually goes nuts when the pressure cooker lets off steam, but take my word, it is the easiest way to fool guests into thinking you sweated over a hot stove for hours. Embrace it.

In this recipe, the dish is done when the cooker releases steam just once. Remember, I am using the Indian style cooker which has a weight that lifts slightly to release steam.

TIPS
Use only Basmati rice
The ratio of rice to water is 1:2 (1 cup of rice to 2 cups of liquid)
The ratio of rice to meat is 1:1 (1 cup of rice to 1 cup of meat)

You will need
1Cup Basmati rice, washed, and drained
1 cup of washed and drained bone-in chicken
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water, less 1 tbsp (the tomatoes add about a tbsp of liquid)
1 onion sliced thin
1/2 tomato sliced
2 sprigs of mint leaves, washed and drained ( Fresh only. Dried herbs ruin this dish)
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste (Local Indian store will carry these)
1 inch cinnamon, broken
3 pods of Cardamom, slightly smashed
2 star anise
3 cloves
4 pepper corns
4 green chilies or 2 dried red chilies
salt
1/4 tsp turmeric

GARNISH
chopped cilantro
toasted cashew nuts
1 tsp ghee
saffron
Method

Wash the rice, drain and set aside. Wash chicken, drain and set aside. Heat the pressure cooker on medium. Add 2 tbsp of canola oil. Fry onions until soft. Add dry spices, mint and ginger garlic paste. Fry until fragrant. Add the tomatoes. Cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook until the flesh isn’t pink anymore. Add turmeric and salt. Toss to coat the meat. Add the rice and toss again to combine. Add the liquid. Cover the cooker and secure the weight. Cook on medium heat until the cooker releases steam JUST ONCE. Remove from stove. The rice will continue to cook until and the cooker cools enough to allow you to remove the weight. Garnish with chopped cilantro, toasted cashew nuts the ghee and if your budget allows, saffron.

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