Persian saffron rice cake with Thalassery touch

Persian saffron rice with Thalassery touch

This special rice cake is prepared not using all-purpose flour, eggs or even a beater but using basmati rice and chicken. The traditional Persian saffron rice has been given a Thalassery twist here by adding the flavoursome local masala. This rice cake is extremely tasty and could be enjoyed as a main dish. Try this unique recipe of Persian saffron rice with Thalassery chicken masala.

1 ½ cups basmati rice
Water to cook the rice
Salt as required
Half of a small onion (sliced)
¼ tomato (diced)
250 gms chicken
2 onions (fried)
2 tomatoes (diced)
1 ½ tbsp crushed ginger
2 tbsp crushed garlic
8 crushed green chillies
A palm full of coriander leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp rose water
2 tbsp yoghurt
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
¼ tsp biryani masala
3 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp ghee
1-2 eggs
¼ cup ghee/unsalted butter
A pinch of saffron (soaked in lukewarm water)
¼ cup sunflower/ canola oil
Salt as required
½ cup yoghurt
10 raisins
Wash the basmati rice until the water runs clear
Soak the washed rice for at least 30 minutes
Boil water with salt, onions and tomatoes in it
Add the soaked basmati rice when the water begins to boil
Cook for 6-8 minutes on high flame; however, do not overcook the rice
Drain the rice and keep it aside
To prepare the chicken masala, heat 2 tbsp oil and 1 tsp ghee in pressure cooker
Add the tomatoes; cook on a medium flame for 2 minutes with the lid on
Add crushed ginger and garlic when the tomatoes are nice and mushy
Mix well
Now add the fried onions, turmeric powder and Kashmiri chilli powder for colour
Into it add the chicken pieces and salt
Mix well for at least 1 minute
Add 4 tbsp water, 1 tbsp lemon juice and rose water
Cook on medium flame until two whistles
After two whistles, open the cooker lid and add biryani masala and yoghurt
Add coriander leaves and salt as well
Boil until the gravy thickens up
Meanwhile, beat the egg with ½ cup yoghurt in a bowl
Add ghee/butter
Add sunflower/canola oil
Mix well
Now add the soaked saffron and water as required
Add the cooked basmati rice into this egg mix
Add cashews and raisins as well
Mix until the rice is coated well in the egg mix
Preheat the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degree Celsius
Grease a glass or non-stick baking bowl/tray with ghee
Spread the base layer of flavoured basmati rice
Press using a thick glass tumbler to spread the basmati rice evenly
Now add the chicken masala filling
Add some fried onions and raisins above the filling
Add the rest of the flavoured rice on top of the filling
Make sure that the rice is spread evenly over the chicken filling Cover using aluminium foil
Keep it on the lower rack of the oven and bake for at least an hour
This would make the lower layer of rice golden and crispy
After an hour, transfer the dish into a flat tray
Cut the Persian saffron rice into pieces and serve hot
You could also prepare this dish without baking it in an oven
Heat 4 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed non-stick pan
Spread a layer of flavoured basmati rice
Press using a spatula to spread it evenly
Add the chicken masala filling and other ingredients
Now add the remaining rice and spread evenly
Cook on medium flame with the lid on
Cook until steam begins to come out of the pan
Now cover the mouth of the pan using a piece of cloth without lifting the lid
Make sure that the steam doesn’t escape now
Cook on low flame with the lid on for at least 45 minutes
Transfer the cooked dish into a tray and enjoy

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