Chicken Casserole (Murgh Ki Biryani)
1 recipe Chicken Curry (page 95)
2 cups basmati rice
4 cups water
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
2 tablespoons minced mint
½ cup mixed, unsalted, roasted nuts (slivered almonds, cashews, and pistachios)
1 tablespoon raisins (optional)
½ teaspoon Roasted Saffron (see recipe on page 16)
Prep Time: 5–10 minutes
Cook Time: 45–55 minutes
These casseroles are meals in themselves and can be served with a raita or small salad of your choice.
1. If you are using Chicken Curry that has been prepared earlier and refrigerated, warm it for a few minutes before proceeding.
2. Rinse the rice at least 3 to 4 times with water. Drain and set aside.
3. In a deep pan, combine the rice with the 4 cups of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Cook, uncovered, until the rice is almost cooked but still firm. This should take about 8 minutes. Drain the rice and set aside.
4. Preheat oven to 325°.
5. In a deep, ovenproof pan (with a lid), add a layer of rice (about ½ of the rice). Layer about ¼ of the Chicken Curry over the rice. Add another layer of the rice (about 1 cup), and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon each of the cilantro and mint. Add a layer of the remaining chicken curry. Add a final layer of the rice. Sprinkle with the remaining cilantro and mint. Sprinkle with the mixed nuts, raisins, and saffron.
6. Cover and cook in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the rice is completely cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed. Serve hot.
Raisins are used quite often in Indian cooking. They are added to rice dishes, salads, meat dishes, and are even used to prepare chutneys.