Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Chicken Biryani (bir-ya-nee) offers flavors that practically dance and sing on your tongue! Every bite boasts melt-in-your-mouth chicken, softened onions, and the rich aromatic tastes of garlic, cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. With a fluffy foundation of Basmati rice absorbing all of these flavors, you have a potent dish that beautifully balances sweet, savory, citrus, and earthy notes. Topped with a light, tangy, and creamy cilantro coconut sauce, you'll be singing this delicacy's praises from the rooftops!
In a large dutch oven (with a tight-fitting lid), melt the ghee over medium-high heat on the stove-top.
Add in the cloves, cinnamon sticks, diced onion, and smashed cardamom pods. Sauté for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, blend the cilantro, mint, yogurt, garlic, and ginger in a blender. If necessary, add water to the blender in small increments to help with the mixing. Set aside.
Add the kosher salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chili powder into the dutch oven with the onion mixture. Stir for 1-2 minutes, then pour the blended yogurt mixture into the dutch oven.
Add in the split chilis and diced tomatoes. Cook over medium-low heat until the oil separates, about 10-15 minutes.
Season the chicken with salt. Because the chicken is cut into pieces, avoid a heavy hand when salting.
Add the chicken to the pot, cooking and stirring occasionally until the chicken slightly browns and becomes tender, about 15 minutes.
Slowly stir in the 1/4 cup of oil.
Add the washed Basmati rice and chicken stock to the dutch oven. Occasionally stir, then bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue simmering over medium heat, uncovered, until the liquid has mostly evaporated.
Reduce the heat to the lowest setting possible.
Add in the cashews and raisins. Then cover the top of the dutch oven with a moist cloth, and return the lid over top, pulling the corners of the cloth towards the lid handle.
For 40 minutes-1 hour, continue to cook on the lowest heat. Once the rice is nice and tender, the Chicken Biryani is done.
Give it a good stir and then adjust the salt, to taste, if needed.
While the chicken and rice cook, make the cilantro coconut yogurt sauce by mixing the coconut, yogurt, cilantro, chilis, ginger, and salt in a blender.
Place the sauce in a bowl and set it aside.
To make the tempering oil, begin by heating the 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil in a small skillet.
Add in the black gram dal, mustard seed, cumin seeds, chili flakes, asafoetida powder, and a few fresh curry leaves.
After about 30 seconds, the mustard seeds should begin to pop. Once that happens, pour the oil on top of the yogurt sauce you previously made.
Serve the Chicken Biryani with the tempered yogurt sauce on the side and garnish with fresh cilantro!