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Chicken Biryani and what else?

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I am thinking of making chicken biryani and chickpea pulao from Mangoes and Curry Leaves for a dinner party on Sunday. I was looking at a tomato, onion, cucumber salad to serve with it but am at a loss as to what else to serve. I haven't cooked much Indian food, although I have cooked the biryani as a meal for two before. I am looking for something that can be done earlier and hold easily so that I don't have to cook too much when they get here. Any ideas for food to munch on when they get here? Thanks in advance for any help/advice!

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  1. Looks like you need something with a gravy...how about a simple khadi to offset the rich biriyani? Since I don't make mine the same way twice, I found a recipe online.

    http://www.hitcook.com/2006/12/22/guj...

    However, I'd skip the cinnamon & the coriander in the paste process. And in the seasoning, I'd add 1/4 tsp. cloves & 1/8 tsp. fenugreek (seeds).

    For starters, I sometimes serve boiled peanuts. A Persian friend of mine recently served walnuts which had been soaking in salted water overnight which reminded me of this golden oldie.

    raw peanuts (shelled), boil until tender to bite, drain
    add finely chopped red onion
    finely chopped green chili to taste
    chopped coriander leaves
    fresh lemon juice
    salt optional

    I also have a recipe for chicken kabobs (ground); please let me know if you'd like the recipe. I am ALWAYS asked to bring this. Hope this helps.

    1. How 'bout cauliflower, seasoned with perhaps a dry garlic chutney, and roasted at 400. Or whole okra with oil, cumin, cayenne, and salt, matchsticked fresh ginger and scallions, also roasted until crispish and browned.

      1. You can't serve biryani without raita -- it's criminal! I'd also think about making a wet curry, whether vegetarian or non instead of a pulao. Since chicken biryani tends to be milder, perhaps a spicier rogan josh, saag paneer and a chickpea and onion salad. All hold well and compliment the masala in chicken biryani.

        For munchies, you can't go wrong with spiced cashews, masala fried shrimp, samosa, pappadum and chutney. Chicken tikka masala lollipops might be a little more impressive.

        4 Replies
        1. re: JungMann

          Mr. Dumptruck feels the same about raita with biryani: it's a must!

          1. re: JungMann

            I third the raita. It's like a requirement to have raita on the side. My mom always serves sliced beets too -- the earthiness of the beet goes nicely with the spices of the biriyani. Indian style salad is good too and a must in our house -- sliced onion, tomato, cucumber and radishes, tossed with a little lemon juice. You eat it with bites of rice.

            I personally wouldn't do a chickpea pullao along with biriyani -- it's serving rice with rice. Make the biriyani the meal event, with raita and salad as the sides.

            For appetizers, you could do mini cocktail samosas (the Deep frozen ones are great), or pakoras (like veggie tempura with a chickpea flour batter). Both go nicely with mint and tamarind chutneys for dipping (or do mint chutney and ketchup for the non-adventurous types).

            1. re: boogiebaby

              How does your mother prepare the beets? I've never had Indian-style beets before! Also does she serve this specifically with chicken biryani or just biryani in general?

              In regards to your appetizer suggestions, I prefer coriander chutney for my samosas, but I have to confess that as a kid, I always put tons of ketchup on my pakora!

              1. re: JungMann

                She doesn't do anything to them -- she just puts them nicely on a plate! LOL For tomato sauces, I like the Maggi Hot Sweet sauce -- it's like ketchup and chilli sauce in one. Great with pakoras and samosas, as well as fried egg/onion/green chilli sandwiches.

                There is a south indian beet preparation I've had before at SI restaurants here in SoCal and also in Singappore. It's like a stirfried dish with onions and dried chillis. Really good but I don't know the same unfortunately.