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Traditional Swahili Wedding Recipe : Chicken Biriani/Biriyani

Biriani is traditional Swahili wedding food. It is usually cooked overnight before the wedding day, so that is ready to be served at lunchtime.

Ingredients needed (serves 6-8 people)

For the stew:
Half a raw papaya
A glass of fermented, sour milk (Maziwa Mala)
6 big tomatoes
6 big onions
5 cloves of garlic
A stem of ginger (or approx. 100 grams)
100 grams dried cumin seeds
2 small tins of tomato paste
Salt to taste

For the rice:
1 kilogram of rice
Yellow or orange food colouring

Preparing the stew:

Grind the dried cumin seeds to a powder

Slice the tomatoes; grind the garlic, ginger and papaya.

Put the tomatoes, garlic, ginger and papaya in a blender, together with the tomato paste and 2 cups of water.

Blend the ingredients to a smooth paste.

Cook the paste on medium heat, including the cumin seeds, for about 10 minutes.

When the stew is boiling, add the chicken and the sour milk and add salt to taste

Let the stew cook until the meat is very tender (the sour milk and raw papaya soften the meat).

Peel the potatoes and let them soak for a few minutes in food colouring, so that they get an orange glow.

Fry the potatoes in oil, like crisps, but do not slice them up; simply cut them in two's or four's depending on the size of the potato.

Add the fried potatoes to the stew.

Slice the onions and fry them in the same oil as the potatoes.

Add three quarters of the fried onions to the stew, save the rest to add to the rice as decoration when serving it.

When the potatoes and onions are fried, add a cup of the oil used to fry them to the stew.

Add (little) water and/or salt to taste, depending on the texture of the stew.

Preparing the rice:

Wash and clean the rice if necessary.

Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet.

When the rice is almost dry, add a little food colouring to it by making a small hole on top and putting in the food colouring. Spread out the food colouring over different parts of the rice, but not everywhere. When the rice is ready, gently stir it so that the colour is spread out.

Sprinkle the leftover fried onions on top as decoration.

Serve the rice and stew separately. You can serve this dish with fresh chilli paste and a salad. Bon appetite!

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Submitted by:

Ken Lukongodo

Ken Lukongodo is a Director at http://www.africanvoyages.com and can be reached at articles@africanvoyages.com. Comments or Enquiries to be submitted at http://www.africanvoyages.com/enquiries/contactus.asp.





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