Lectin-free Chicken Biryani

Introduction

If you trace back history, its been said that biryani was invented when Mughals invaded India in 15th century. The word “biryani” originated in Persia and it means fried before cooking. There are several other similar Mughlai rice-pilaf based dishes; however biryani stood out in time and history. If you ever travel to India, you can experience different types of biryani. Each region of India cooks using different style, spices and aroma. It’s hard to cover the similarities and differences of each type in one article; it deserves a book in itself.

MyHealth team always tries to see how to make any dish healthier and safer for all, especially for folks suffering from any autoimmune conditions. Based on public feedback and requests we worked on making a healthier version of biryani.

We focused on reducing the lectin content of biryani by using Indian origin basmati rice from plains of Ganges. Indian basmati is low-glycemic and has inherent resistant starch, which acts like a pre-biotic and feeds your good gut-bacteria. It also has low lectin and pressure-cooking the rice can further reduce the lectin content. We also suggest soaking the rice for 20 minutes before cooking. Also to increase resistant starch we suggest cooking the biryani one day before and refrigerating overnight.Using de-seeded and un-skinned tomatoes removes most lectins from tomatoes and pressure-cooking them further reduces its lectin contents.

If you are pre-diabetic, diabetic, or have insulin-resistance or PCOS condition, we suggest not consuming more than half a cup serving of rice. As your gut gets better, your insulin resistance will get under control over time. Biryani is usually cooked in India on special occasions so you could definitely relish this dish once a while.

How to make

Marinating chicken

- Wash the mint and cilantro leaves thoroughly and puree them in a mixer
- Marinate chicken with some salt, turmeric and mint-cilantro puree
- Set aside for at least 45 minutes


Prepping rice

- Rinse and soak organic basmati imported from India in water for 20 minutes
- Drain the water
- Add 2 cups of filtered water , 1 teaspoon of salt (adjust to taste), 1 teaspoon ghee and to the rice water and mix well. Pressure cook the rice in instant pot for 4 minutes
- Natural release the steam


Prepping chicken

- Click on Sauté mode on Instant pot and set it to Medium setting
- Generously coat the pot with some oil. We prefer either Extra virgin avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
- Once the oil is hot, add bay leaves and whole garam masala to the oil and let the spices temper
- Add about 2 lbs. of diced red onions and cook them until they turn golden
- Add some salt, ginger, garlic and some tomato puree imported from Italy or de-seeded and un-skinned pressure-cooked tomato
- Cook ingredients for few minutes
- Add the marinated chicken and stir for few minutes
- Cancel Sauté mode and pressure cook chicken for six minutes on normal pressure
- Natural release the steam
- Click again on Sauté mode and set it to Low setting
- Adjust salt and cook for few minutes
- Click Cancel and add some grounded/powdered garam masala


Soaking Saffron

- In a small bowl add some water and soak a pinch of saffron strands, we will use this during layering-process


Caramelizing onions

- Click on Sauté mode on Instant pot and set it to Medium setting
- Generously coat the pot with some ghee
- Add about 1 lb. of diced red onions
- Add some salt and cook the onions until they turn golden


Layering biryani

- Preheat oven at 350 F
- Take a bake ware and coat it with some oil and parchment paper
- Take half of the cooked rice and layer it as the bottom layer
- Splash some filtered water on rice, this will keep biryani moist
- Now sprinkle some of the saffron water over the rice to add color and flavor
- Spread chicken pieces over the rice and spread them evenly; you shouldn’t need more than half of your prepared chicken. We will serve the remaining chicken with biryani as a side dish
- Also spread some of the gravy from the chicken in empty pockets
- Take remaining half of the cooked rice and layer it on top of the chicken layer
- Now splash some filtered water again on rice to keep this layer moist
- Now sprinkle some of the saffron water over the rice for additional flavor
- Take some of the gravy from the chicken and using a spatula spread it on top of the rice layer
- Take the caramelized onions and spread it using the spatula to make it the top most layer
- Now cover the dish with aluminum foil and heat it in oven for 15-20 minutes
- Remove from oven and let it cool
- You could serve immediately; however we recommend leaving it in refrigerator overnight. This increases the flavors inside the biryani and also increases the resistant starch in basmati rice
- To re-heat biryani tray, preheat the oven at 350 F
- Splash some filtered water on the biryani to keep it moist before placing in oven. Alternately you could re-heat in microwave
- Serve with the extra chicken preparation as a side dish

Ingredients

•  2 cups organic basmati imported from India

•  2 cups water to cook rice

•  2 lbs. pasture-raised chicken

•  3 lbs. organic red onions diced

•  2 bunches of fresh and organic cilantro leaves

•  2 -3 bunches of fresh and organic mint leaves

•  Organic iodized salt to taste

•  Organic turmeric powder

•   Indian bay leaves

•  Whole garam masala- mix of cinnamon sticks, green cardamom pods, cloves and black peppercorns 

•  Organic grounded/powdered garam masala

•  Organic minced garlic

•  Organic freshly grated ginger

•  Tomato puree imported from Italy or de-seeded and un-skinned pressure-cooked tomato

•  Extra virgin avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil

•  Grass-fed organic ghee

•  Organic saffron strands

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