500 grams onions,
500 grams chicken
1 tablespoon chopped garlic,
1 tablespoon chopped ginger,
125 ml vegetable oil, plus 2 tablespoons extra for cooking rice,
1 teaspoon black cumin seeds,
220 grams plain yoghurt,
1 tablespoon salt,1 teaspoon garam masala,
1 bay leaf,
60 ml single cream,
2 tablespoons chopped coriander.
For the rice:
315 grams long-grain basmati rice,
1/2 teaspoon black cumin seeds,
2 green cardamon pods,
1 small piece stick cinnamon,
1 teaspoon salt,
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads in 2 tablespoons warm milk.
- Put the rice in a fine sieve and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Put the rice and enough water to cover in a bowl and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice 250 grams of the onions, put aside and finely chop the remainder. Cut the chicken.
- Put the garlic and ginger in a mortar and use the pestle to pound together to form a smooth paste. Alternatively, use the side of a wide-bladed knife to pound together.
- Heat 60 ml oil in a heavy-based saucepan or flameproof casserole over a medium heat and fry the sliced onions for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dark brown and crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onions to kitchen paper.
- In the same oil over a high heat, stir-fry the black cumin seeds, garlic and ginger paste and chopped onions until the onions are tender.
- Add the chicken and continue stir-frying until all the pieces look opaque and slightly fried. Cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in 250 ml water, the yoghurt, salt, garam masala and bay leaf, then cover the pan again and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the chicken is tender. If all the liquid is absorbed before the chicken is tender, stir in a little more water and continue simmering. If the chicken is tender before all the liquid is absorbed, remove the pieces and cook the mixture, uncovered, over a high heat, stirring occasionally to evaporate excess water until a creamy consistency is obtained. Then return the chicken in.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cream, crisp onions and chopped fresh coriander. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, while the chicken mixture is simmering, drain the rice. Heat the oil in another heavy-based pan or flameproof casserole over a high heat and add the cumin seeds, cardamon pods, cloves and cinnamon.
- When the seeds splutter, add the drained rice, stirring to coat each grain in oil. Stir in 750 ml water and bring to the boil. Cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer for about 8 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and grains are almost tender.
- Meanwhile, soak the saffron threads in the warm milk. About 30 minutes before you want to serve, set the oven to 150 degrees centigrade.
- Put half the chicken mixture in the washed-out casserole or an ovenproof dish with a tight fitting lid. Top with half the rice, then layer with the remaining chicken mixture and rice. Spoon the saffron and milk over the top. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
Source: Madeleine's recipe : Bryani
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