Jeerakasala Biriyani

Jeerakasala Biriyani

In a World of Flavours, Explore the Jeerakasala Biryani

Introduction:

Greetings, fellow culinary enthusiasts! Today, we embark on a journey to the captivating flavours of the Malabar Coast, where a symphony of spices and aromatics converge to create an unforgettable culinary masterpiece – Jeerakasala Biryani. This aromatic rice dish, renowned for its delicate aroma and fluffy grains infused with the warmth of spices, has captivated the hearts and taste buds of food lovers worldwide.

Jeerakasala Rice: The Star of the Show

The foundation of this culinary delight lies in the unique Jeerakasala rice, also known as Kaima rice. Hailing from the Malabar region, this short-grain rice boasts a distinct aroma and flavour profile that sets it apart from its counterparts. Its plump, pearl-like grains, when cooked to perfection, lend a delicate texture to the biryani, while its subtle nutty flavour complements the rich spices seamlessly.

A Culinary Journey Begins with Preparation

Before we embark on the culinary adventure, let's gather our ingredients:

For the Jeerakasala Rice:

  • 2 cups Jeerakasala rice
  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • ¼-½ tsp fennel seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 ½ cups hot water

For the Chicken Masala:

  • 1 kg chicken, cut into medium-sized pieces
  • 1 cup thick curd
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste

Aroma and Flavour: The Essence of Jeerakasala Biryani

Let's begin with the aromatic rice:

  1. Wash the Jeerakasala rice thoroughly under running water until the water runs clear. Drain the rice completely and set aside.
  2. Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the bay leaf, star anise, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, and fennel seeds. Sauté for a few seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add the drained rice to the pot and stir gently to coat the grains with the spices.
  4. Pour in the hot water, adding salt to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through but still retains its individual grains.
  5. Turn off the heat and let the rice rest in the pot for a few minutes.

Infusing the Chicken with Flavour

Meanwhile, let's prepare the chicken masala:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken pieces with the curd, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and garam masala powder. Mix well to coat the chicken evenly.
  2. Cover the bowl and marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight for deeper flavour penetration.

A Culinary Symphony: Bringing the Dish Together

Once the chicken is marinated and the rice is cooked, it's time to assemble the Jeerakasala Biryani:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. In a large, deep ovenproof dish, spread half of the cooked rice.
  3. Top with the marinated chicken pieces, ensuring they are evenly distributed.
  4. Pour the remaining rice over the chicken, ensuring the layers are well-defined.
  5. Sprinkle a generous amount of ghee over the rice.
  6. Cover the dish with aluminium foil or a lid and place it in the preheated oven.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is heated through.
  8. Remove the dish from the oven and carefully fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains.
  9. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and serve hot with raita and your favourite pickle.

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