Shift scene to dinner time in the office. I am having my dalia. A smart young man stops by, says a hi & then,' I sent you friend request on Fb twice, you did not accept it.' The tone is accusatory, the look innocent. 'Oh really, I'm so sorry, man, I must have missed it. I'll check.' 'It's ManTom.' I almost choke on the bland dalia. 'Manish Tomar, it's YOU. Gawd, how am I supposed to identify that kinda name with no photograph!!!'
ManTom is a dynamic youngster with a sense of humour that's enviable. He was the sharpest guy in his training batch & has an edge that distinguishes him from the mediocre. He is tolerant cz when he asks you for a barbecue recipe & you give him sambhar instead, he does not splash it on you. Instead, he makes it himself & shares pics with the world.
When I made Chicken Biryani, East African Style, I thought of ManTom. And today I see him in the Food Stall. Talk of telepathy!
There are 3 layers in this biryani. Note the Ingredients layer-wise.
The 4th/bottom layer:
1. 1 cup long grained rice
The 3rd layer:
1. 1 large onion finely chopped in jullienes(see pic)
2. 2-3 green chillies(optional)
The 2nd layer:
Same as 4th layer
1. 250gms chicken pieces
2. 2-3 small potatoes- whole
3. 1 medium onion -grated
4. 3 cloves of garlic- grated
5. 1 small piece of ginger - grated(use 1 1/2tsp ginger garlic paste instead of 3&4, if you want)
6. 1tsp whole garam masala(cardamom, cinnamon,clove)
7. Biryani masala(I swear by Shan/Laziza)- 2-3tsp
8. 1/2 cup coconut milk
9. 3/4- 1cup water
10. 1tsp sugar
11. Ghee/oil- to cook
12. Salt-to taste
1. Boil rice in an open pan by adding a tsp of ghee & a pinch of salt. Strain the starch & put one layer of the cooked rice in a serving bowl.
2. Fry the chopped onions & green chillies & put on top of the rice layer.
3. Heat ghee/oil & add sugar. When sugar caramalizes, add the potatoes & fry for 3-4 mins.
4. Allow whole garam masala to crackle & then add the grated onion & saute on medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
Add the ginger & garlic paste/grated after the onion has fried for a while.
5. When oil leaves the pan, add the chicken & fry well. Add the biryani masala & fry for 3-4 minutes.
Add the coconut milk & 3/4cup water & give the chicken one whistle.
If you are making the chicken in a wok, cover & cook till chicken is tender.
6. Decorate another layer of rice on the fried onion layer. Top it up with the chicken.
The rich gravy will permeate into the rice & make the biryani so mouth-watering, you will not want to share it!
In the Indian style, we arrange the layers & give the vessel a 'dum', cook it on slow heat for 10-15 minutes.
In the East African, the layers are arranged & biryani served. No further cooking.
Serve hot with raita.
Hey guys, this Holi watch Paan Singh Tomar. Amazing movie. What makes it unmissable is the last name. Tomar ;)
Man/Paan Tomar ki jai!