Turkey Biryani

Biryani is a festive and fragrant rice dish popular throughout the Middle East as well as Southeast Asia.  It is often served with chicken, but it is a perfect use for leftover turkey.  You can find a jar of Biryani paste in the international aisle of many supermarkets, but this recipe is just as easy.

Turkey Biryani

  • 1 1/2 pounds leftover roasted turkey, cut or shredded into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon grated gingerroot
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 6 tablespoons ghee, clarified butter, or vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, sliced thinly into half moons
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups turkey broth or chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 6 cloves
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 2-inch stick of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs, shelled (optional for serving)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro lea es and tender stems, roughly chopped
Yogurt Sauce
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or put through a garlic press
  • Pinch of kosher salt

To make the yogurt sauce, place the yogurt in a cheesecloth lined strainer and drain over a bowl for one hour.  Mix with garlic and season with salt to taste.

Meanwhile, combine turkey, yogurt, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, cayene and 1 teaspoon of salt.  Mix well and let sit for 30 minutes.

Now wash and rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear.  Let rice soak in cold water for 20 minutes, then drain.

Melt 4 tablespoons of ghee in a Dutch oven overmedium high heat.  Fry the onions, in batches, until crisp and brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Drain on paper towels and season lightly with salt.  Return half the onions to the Dutch oven and reserve the

Once the onions begin to sizzle, stir in the turkey mixture and het through.  Stior in the tomato , then 1 cup of the broth.  Cook 2 minutes after it returns to a simmer, then add remaining broth and return to a gentleboil.  At this point if you taste the broth it should be nicely salted and highly seasoned.  Add the peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Stir the drained rice into the pot and cook, uncovered for 8 minutes.  Sprinkle reserved fried onions on top, cover pot tightly, and place in the oven for about 20 minutes.  Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before removing lid.

Take a small skillet and melt 2 tablespoons of ghee over medium high heat.  Cook the raisins until a little puffed, one minute.  Put in a small bowl.  Lightly toast cashews in same skillet then add to raisind.  Season with a little salt..

Pile biryani on a serving platter.  Top with raisins and cashews.  Garnish with hard cooked eggs snd cilantro.  Serve with yogurt sauce.

Serves 6

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