Today is the last day of the Lockdown Chef. 60 days of cooking has been a long yet rewarding journey. I have decided to end my series of lockdown recipes as the reason why I wanted to start this blog has been fulfilled – lockdown rules are easing and Dad has become quite a proficient cook. This however does not mean that the blog is closing – I want to keep the possibility of posting sometime again in the future open!
When I started out with this blog, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I had a fairly simple objective which was to help my dad learn how to cook and possibly others who were in the same situation as him. Never did I imagine the scale that this blog would reach with over 23,000 views or the amazing connections I would make with people across the world from over 60 countries. It has been really encouraging and uplifting to read your messages and comments, all of which gave me an extra push to stay dedicated. Cooking has helped keep me engaged under lockdown and I have learnt so many new things, not only from my mom, sister and Nani but also from the community of followers.
I hope that this blog has helped you in some way and that you have enjoyed these recipes as much as I have loved making them. I would greatly appreciate if you would let me know your thoughts in the comments below (scroll till the end)
1. 3 cups half cooked rice
2. 500g chicken breast boneless
3. 5 medium onions – chopped
4. 2 medium tomatoes – chopped
5. 1 tbsp fresh ginger garlic paste
6. 1 tbsp chopped garlic
7. 1 tbsp chopped ginger
8. 2 tsp coriander powder
9. 1 tsp haldi/turmeric
10. 1 tsp chilli powder
11. 2 tsp biryani masala
12. 1 tsp salt
13. 1/2 tsp garam masala
14. 1/3 tsp sauf
15. 3 tbsp oil
16. 3 tsp ghee
17. 1/2 chopped fresh coriander
18. 3-4 green chilli’s
19. 2/3 cup fried onions
20. 2 tbsp cranberries
21. 2 bay leaves
22. 1 tbsp whole jeera (cumin)
23. 1 stick cinnamon
24. 3-4 cloves
25. 3-4 whole black peppers
26. 1 black cardamom
27. 3 green cardamom
28. 2 tbsp lemon juice
29. 3-4 strands of kesar soaked in 3 tbsp of warm milk
1. Wash, drain and cut chicken into 1.5” pieces. Marinate it in 1 tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, ginger garlic paste and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Keep overnight in the fridge.
2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large wok. Add cumin/jeera, bay leaves, both cardamoms, cinnamon, black pepper and cloves and stir for one minute.
Then add the ginger garlic paste and stir for another minute before adding the chopped onions. Stir for about 10 minutes.
Now add the dry masalas (8-14) before adding the chopped tomatoes. Stir for 15 minutes or so. This is the masala paste Switch off gas.
3. Take a wok and put it on high heat. Add 1 tsp of ghee and then add the marinated chicken. Stir for about 3-5 minutes and then add the masala paste made earlier. Stir well till the chicken is well coated and absorbs some of the flavour. Add the cranberries and green chilli’s and stir.
4. Take half of the rice and mix the kesar milk in it so that it gets the yellowish – orange tint to it. Keep the other half aside (remains white)
Put 1 tsp of ghee at the bottom of a heavy based pot. Spread half of the white rice and then add the chicken masala.
Add some chopped coriander and fried onion.
Now layer with kesar soaked rice.and repeat the process till the last layer on top is the kesar rice. Garnish with fresh coriander and fried onions. Put one tsp of ghee on the sides. This gives a lovely aroma along with the kesar.
Seal the lid of the pot with atta. This way the rice will get fully cooked while absorbing the flavours of all the ingredients. The pot should not be placed on direct heat. Put it on a pan and keep the heat at low.
Switch off gas after 20-30 minutes and crack open the atta only when you’re ready to eat. Garnish finally with the leftover fried onions and some lemon juice.