By Douglas Habecker Translated by Ann Li
Chef: Suresh Kumar
Indian Chef Suresh Kumar has only been at The Splendor Hotel's Euro A restaurant for a few months, but has a decade of kitchen experience in establishments as far away as Tanzania. A native of the southern Indian city of Chennai (Madras), he introduces a savory Indian dish, Chicken Biryani, which can also be made with lamb or vegetables. The following ingredients make enough for three to four diners.
Basmati (or local) Rice (600g); Boneless Chicken (600g); Chilli Powder (2g, about 1 tablespoon); Turmeric Powder (2g); Cinnamon Sticks (3g); Green Cardamom (3g); Cloves (30g); Green Chilli (1 piece); Bay Leaves (2g); Garam Masala (5g, see instructions below*); Onion Jullianes(thinly-sliced onions) (200g); Tomato Slices (100g, 1 tomato); Coriander Leaves (6 sprigs); Mint Leaves (6 sprigs); Ghee or any cooking oil (20g); Ginger Paste (50g); Garlic Paste (50g); Yogurt (200ml).
*To make garam masala, gently roast cardamom seeds, cinnamon sticks and cloves over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until a darker shade. Allow to cool, then peel cardamom seeds, add to other spices and grind to a fine powder with clean coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.
Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Heat a deep pan with ghee (or any cooking oil), add cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom and cloves, and leave them until they crackle. Add onion jullianes and green chilli and saute until golden-brown. Then add ginger and garlic paste, followed by chilli and turmeric powders, coriander and mint leaves, and yogurt. Cook for a little and then add garam masala, chicken pieces and tomato slices.
Add water equal to the amount of rice (600 grams of water for 600 grams of rice) and bring to a boil. When water begins to boil, add the soaked rice and continue to boil until three-quarters of the water has been absorbed by the rice. Then sprinkle with more garam masala and move pan to a hot griddle for 20 minutes, sealing it (a wok weighted with a water-filled metal bowl works). When steam starts escaping from around the edges, the rice is ready.
Remove from griddle and leave for five minutes. Then uncover the pan and mix the Chicken Biryani without mashing the rice. Garnish with fried onions and coriander leaves before serving.
Note: According to Suresh, almost all of the ingredients, including cardamom, turmeric powder and chilli, can be found in local markets and shops. Indian restaurants like Kohi-Noor may be able to source uniquely-Indian ingredients like ghee and Basmati rice.