Danbauk or Biryani

This and the recipe following are of Indian and Muslim origin. using ghee (clarified butter) instead of oil. People from Old India have resided in Myanmar so long that decades ago such dishes were adapted and commonly used by the Myanmar People.

  • 2 (3-pound) chickens
  • 3/4  teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 cup curds or yoghurt
  • 5 cups raw rice
  • 2 ½ cups onions. chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon dried garlic chips
  • 5 large onions for slicing
  • 1 cup ghee (clarified butter)
  • 3 or 4 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 6 cardomoms
  • 1½ teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1 cup cream
  • 8 ounces raisins (optional. not favored by the Myanmar)
  • 2 ounces almonds. chopped

How to cook

Disjoint chicken; take pieces and rub with pinch turmeric. pepper. 1 ½ teaspoons salt. and soak in curds. Boil bony bits for stock. Wash rice and cook it in 5 cups water or less. till water is absorbed (i.e. rice must not be fully cooked). Pound the finely chopped onions. Soak garlic in 2 teaspoons water. Slice the 5 large onions evenly and finely. Heat 1/2 cup ghee. Fry in it sliced onion till light gold. Drain and set aside. Into ghee put bay leaves. cinnamon. cloves. and cardomoms.

When aroma rises. put in 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and pounded onion. garlic. and ginger. Fry over lowered heat till fragrant. Add chicken. stir. and cook over raised heat 5 minutes. Then add marinating liquid (curds). cover. and simmer till tender. To 2 cups stock add cream. saffron. and rest of salt and stir in. When meat is tender. melt rest of ghee separately and assemble on table the following: rice. fried onions. cooked meat. mixed liquid. melted ghee. raisins. and chopped almonds. Into a large pot put in evenly distributed layers a portion of each of the above in this order: ghee. rice. onions (and raisins and almonds if used). meat pieces. and mixed liquid.

Repeat once more but have some rice and liquid remaining. Cover with rice layer. Mix liquid with gravy from meat pan and pour it slowly to get all of it into pan of packed mixture. Cover pot and bake in moderately slow oven (325°) for half an hour at least. Or put over very slow fire with hot coals on flat lid.
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