A traditional Northern indian rice dish. Formed of boiled rice, layered with a spicey sauce and then baked in the oven!
If necessary, skin and bone the chicken thighs.
Finely dice the chilli.
Grate, puree or finely dice the ginger and garlic.
Mix together the yoghurt, ground spices, lemon juice, maldon salt and yoghurt.
Add the chicken pieces and allow to marinate for 30-40 minutes.
Top, tail and half, then finely slice the onions lengthwise.
Cut the pepper into 2-3cm dice,remove the stalks and cut the okra into 2.5 cm sections.
Remove the stalk from the tomatoes and dice.
Keep all vegetables separate.
In a large thick based pan with a fitted lid, heat the oil to a medium hot heat.
Add the sliced onions and allow to fry, stirring until golden brown and pungent.
Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to drain the onions on kitchen paper.
Remove the oil, leaving about 4 tablespoons.
Heat again to high, this time adding the okra and stirring quickly to sear off the edges. Scoop out again and add the whole spices, bayleaf and green pepper, and cook out gently for 2-3 minutes.
Increase the heat and add the chicken pieces, retaining any extra marinade.
Caramelise the outside of the chicken before stirring and then add the tomato, again stirring the curry.
Add any remaining marinade and cook the mix until the water first comes out of the vegetables, then forms a coating sauce to the chicken.
Remove the mix from the pot and add to the okra.
Wipe the pot with paper towel
In a large saucepan bring the water to the boil with the table salt.
This should be at an approximate ratio of 1 teaspoon to 1 liter of water to ensure that the Biryani is seasoned well.
Pour the rice into the boiling water and bring back up to the boil, then turn down to a simmer.
The rice should be cooked sufficiently in 5-7 minutes, test by taking out a grain.
The rice grain should be firm enough that when squeezed,it starts to just crumble on the outside but retains it's shape.
Rub the base of the pan with the butter.
With a slotted spoon, cover the base of the pan with the still warm, drained rice.
Spread over half of the meat mix and then sprinkle with a third of the onions.
Repeat again, finishing with a layer of rice on top and the last of the onions.
Place the pot over a moderate heat and warm until you can here the butter sizzling.
In a small saucepan, bring to the boil the water and saffron and trickle across the top.
Wait until you can see the steam rise and then close the lid and turn down to a low heat for approximately 15-20 minutes to allow the rice to heat and infuse.
Slice the coriander and serve sprinkled on top.
«The difference in the degree of cooking of the rice and the amount of moisture left in the meat and sauce, means the difference between a light fluffy biryani and something very stodgy! Remember to keep the sauce rich as it needs to flavour the rice.»