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Remove the cardamom seeds from the pods and grind the star anise, cloves, cardamom seeds and black pepper. You can do this with a mortar or a coffee grinder. Mix in the turmeric, chilli powder, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and garam masala.
Mix the herbs with the yoghurt and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and coat the chicken legs. Make sure the chicken legs are completely covered and leave them to marinate. For best results, let the chicken marinate overnight, but a shorter time is fine.
Peel and mash the ginger and garlic. You can do this with a mortar or small blender. Add a little neutral oil if needed to make it easier.
Peel the red onion and cut it into thin half-moons. Finely chop the green chillies, you can remove the seeds first if you wish.
Cook the rice until almost cooked through and then drain. Heat the milk and if you are using saffron, place it in the warm milk and let the colour bleed out.
You can also colour the milk yellow with a little ground turmeric. Stir the yellow milk directly into the rice, but do not mix it completely.
Heat a dash of oil or ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan. Fry the red onion over high heat until it is coloured. The onion should become quite dark and crispy.
Fry the ginger-garlic paste and green chillies together with the cinnamon stick (possibly broken in half) and the bay leaves for a few minutes in the pan.
Fry the chicken legs together with the marinade until they are nicely browned. Then lower the heat and add a good splash of water to gently cook the chicken legs for about 30 minutes with the lid on the pan.
Remove the lid from the pan and add the rice along with the finely chopped mint and cashew nuts. Let the biryani simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes, but don't stir it like you would with a paella.
Serve the rice with 2 drumsticks per person and optionally raita, a yoghurt sauce. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves, enjoy!
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What rice do you use for biryani?
Biryani is traditionally made with long grain basmati rice. This is available at most supermarkets.
Can I add vegetables to a biryani?
Yes, for example, you could add cauliflower, carrot, green beans and/or peas to this biryani.