Posted by Peggy on November 3, 2011
* If possible purchase from an Indian grocer; others are bleached and loose flavor.
** You can use saffron instead of the food coloring for a more subtle color and added flavor. Use the best quality Spanish saffron you can find and warm the milk. Stir in 1 tsp. of saffron (crumble the strands to release more color) until the milk is a light orange and use as you would the food coloring. You can add a pinch of food coloring if you want a brighter orange.
Biryani Assembly: Put half the rice on a large platter, ladle hot chicken and sauce over it. Place the remaining rice over the top and garnish with swirls of the orange milk. With a large spatula, turn the biryani bottom to top, so you have some white and some orange rice showing. Sprinkle with the onions, almonds and raisins and cilantro, if using, and serve.
Make ahead tips: Make the dish, with the exception of the rice, up to 48 hours in advance. Or, make and assemble the entire Briyani (undercooking the rice) several hours in advance. Cover tightly with foil and a lid, then place in a 200 degree oven until rice is tender, about an hour or so.
Number of servings (yield): 1 of 7 recipes comprising an Indian Feast to serve 16.