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How to cook… Sindhi Biryani

Serves 4 as a main dish

Biryani is a rice-based dish, where all the spices, meat and vegetables are slowly cooked together over a long period of time. Although Biryani is a popular dish all over the world there are many variations – this is the version from the Province of Sindhi in Pakistani Punjab.

What you need…
• 400g potatoes, cut into 4cm chunks
• 2 drops yellow colouring
• 10 Tablespoons ghee• 2 onions, roughly chopped• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 500g chicken thighs and legs, on the bone
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 250g yoghurt
• 4 tomatoes, cut into halves
• 100g plums
• small handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
• 5 mint leaves, roughly chopped
• 5 green chillies, with a small slit in each
• 300g rice
• 3 Tablespoons rose water
• 0.5 teaspoon nutmeg powder

Spice Mix
• 2 cloves
• 2 cardamoms (cracked but not crushed)
• 10cm piece cinnamon stick
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 Tablespoon chilli powder
• 1 Tablespoon turmeric powder


How to make it…
1. Boil the potatoes in water with a drop of yellow colouring until they are nearly cooked. Drain the potatoes and pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Heat 1 Tablepoon ghee to a medium heat and fry the potatoes until they are crisp and starting to brown. Remove the potatoes and set aside.
3. Add 2 Tablespoons ghee and the onions, and fry until golden brown.
4. Add the ginger paste, garlic paste and the chicken, and stir fry for 5 minutes.
5. Add the Spice Mix and salt and cook for 3 minutes.
6. Add the yoghurt and fried potatoes, mix well, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
8. Add the tomatoes, the plums, coriander leaves, mint leaves and chillies, and mix well. Remove the pan from the heat.
9. Wash the rice until the water is clear. This will take 6–7 washes, maybe more. Boil the rice in fresh water, with a little salt, until cooked.
10. Drain the rice andspread it evenly on top of the chicken mixture.
11. Dissolve a drop of yellow colour in rose water and spread it, with the rest of the ghee, on top of rice. Allow this to dissolve for 30 seconds. Sprinkle the nutmeg powder on top of the mixture.
12. Return the pan to a medium heat and simmer, covered, for 8 minutes.
13. Remove the cover, allow the steam to escape for a couple of minutes and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Zaynub Mahmood. Photo below: Miansari66 CCA.

CHEF’S TIP There are quite a few ingredients in this dish so get everything ready before you start cooking.

If you like this you should try our
Medium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken Bhoona

Never rush a biryani… it’s not a rice.