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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Quinoa Biryani

Yield: 12-13 servings (6 oz each)

What You'll Need:
For the Chicken:
2.25 lb boneless chicken thigh, trimmed and cut into large pieces (about 3 pc per thigh; you can use breast meat as well)

1 c. white onion, finely chopped or sliced
1/2 c. low-fat plain yogurt
1/8 c. water
3 Tbs. coriander powder
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs. olive oil (I use extra virgin from Trader Joe's)
1 Tbs. garlic powder (granules)
2 tsp. ginger powder
1.5 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder (use more/less according to heat preference)
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
1/4 tsp mace powder
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
1/4 tsp clove powder
a dash of cinnamon powder
7-8 cardamom pods, with seeds
7-8 cloves, whole
1 bay leaf
3 drops kewra (flavoring; available at most Indian grocery stores)

For the Quinoa:
2.5 c. organic white quinoa
5 c. water
6-7 cardamom pods, with seeds
6-7 cloves, whole
1 stick of cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf
                                                                                                         
In a separate bowl:
1 Tbs water
1 tsp olive oil
2 drops kewra



What To Do:
Preheat oven to 350ยบ

For the Chicken:
Heat 1 Tbs oil over med/high heat; add garlic and ginger powder and saute until the powder begins to turn slightly golden brown. Add 1/8c water and chopped (or sliced) onion. Continue to saute until the onion begins to turn transparent and starts to brown slightly (about 3-4 minutes); if spices begin to stick to the pot, add water (2 Tbs at a time) and scrape the bottom of the pot. Once onion is ready, add cubed chicken meat; cook until chicken slightly browned from the outside (about 4-5 minutes).



Sprinkle all remaining spices (salt, chili, coriander, turmeric, paprika, nutmeg, mace, cardamom, cloves, pepper, cumin, cinnamon and bay leaf) over chicken; mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes (add additional water, 2 Tbs at at time, if needed to prevent spices from burning). Add lemon juice.


 

Turn up heat to high; once heated add 1/2 c. yogurt, in the center of the pot (directly touching the bottom of the pot). Stir quickly; once yogurt has turned to liquid, mix so that all chicken pieces are coated with the yogurt/spice mixture; cook, stirring frequently, until the yogurt/spice mix begins to thicken and begins to form a thick curry. Reduce heat to med/high (should be at a med/fast simmer); cook chicken, covered, for 8-9 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Turn off heat, add 3 drops of kewra and stir well; remove from heat and set aside. (Taste: the chicken mixture should be slightly salty).



For the Quinoa:
Thoroughly rinse and drain quinoa. Place all ingredients (quinoa, water, salt, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaf) in a shallow pan. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat so that the water is at a med/fast simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa has sprouted/spiraled; turn off heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and allow to cool slightly.

 

Putting it Together:
In a shallow baking pan or glass dish, layer half of the cooked quinoa on the bottom of the pan followed by the chicken and curry; top with remaining quinoa. In a small bowl, mix together 1 Tbs water, 1 tsp olive oil and 2 drops kewra (note: traditional biryani recipes add yellow food coloring in this step; I leave out the coloring). Sprinkle water/oil mixture over biryani and tightly cover pan (or dish) with foil; bake for 20 minutes. Once the biryani is baked, carefully mix the quinoa and chicken/curry together so that all is evenly mixed. Serve with raita.

  
 
Tips:
* You can make the same recipe using brown rice; use 2c. brown basmati rice with 4.5c. water. Cook covered for 30 minutes, or until water is evaporated.
*The amount of salt may need to be adjusted based on personal preference and/or sodium intake restrictions.






Calories per 6oz

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