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Christmas recipe: Chicken Biryani and Macaroons

December 25, 2016 08:31 IST
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We'd asked you, dear readers, to share your family's Christmas recipes.

Here, Chitra R shares this special Christmas recipe from her hometown Kanyakumari.

Tamil Nadu style Chicken Biryani

chicken biryani

Photograph*: Rupamdas75/Wikimedia Commons

Serves: 3


  • 250 to 300 gm chicken (with or without bones)
  • 2 cup Basmati rice (or) Seeraga Samba rice (soaked in water for 20 mins)
  • 3 medium sized onions finely chopped
  • 3 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies slit
  • 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder (or) chicken masala powder (optional)
  • 1 cup whisked curd / yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 cloves
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 2 to 3 bay leaves
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


For Chicken Masala 

  • Marinate chicken pieces with turmeric powder and keep aside for 10 minutes.
  • Heat 4 tbsp oil in a pan or handi.
  • Temper cloves, cinnamon, star anise, bay leaf and cardamom.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and saute a while.
  • Add 1 tbsp curd and cook for a minute on low flame.
  • Add marinated chicken and little salt.
  • Cook it covered on low flame for 10 mins. Remember to not add water, since chicken will cook in its own water.
  • Add chopped onions and green chillies. Cook for a minute.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and mash the pulp.
  • Add mint leaves and coriander leaves. Saute a while.
  • Add red chilli powder, coriander powder and remaining curd.
  • Mix well everything and let it cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer masala to another bowl.

For rice

  • Soak rice for 20 minutes. Boil 9 cup water in a vessel. Once it starts boiling, add washed & drained rice to it.
  • Add salt to taste, 2 tsp and sprinkle lemon juice. Cook it on medium-low flame till it is half cooked (may take around 8-10 mins).
  • The rice grains will be long & firm but not hard. And the grains will be separate. At this stage, remove from the heat and drain the water completely. Keep it aside.

For Dum

  • Take the same pan in which you have cooked chicken masala.
  • Pour a ladle full of masala to the pan and spread it nicely.
  • Now spread another layer of half cooked rice. This way, prepare layers of chicken masala and rice.
  • Heat a flat frying pan or tava.
  • Keep the pan on tava and cook on low flame for 20-30 mins.
  • Switch it off and remove from tava only at the time of serving. Mix everything well and serve hot.

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

IMAGE: paige_eliz/Flickr/Creative Commons


  • 2 medium sized eggs
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut (shredded/flaked)


  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and keep it ready. If you do not have parchment paper, grease the baking tray with little butter and dust it with flour.
  • Powder the granulated white sugar and keep it aside.
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C for 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs until frothy.
  • Add powdered sugar and salt to the egg mixture.
  • Add vanilla extract and mix well using a whisk or a fork.
  • Add desiccated coconut and mix well.
  • Drop ½ tbsp of the mixture, one inch apart on the baking sheet.
  • Bake at 180 degree C (bottom coil -- 15 to 20 minutes and finally top coil for just 1 or 2 minutes to give a nice brown shade on the top) for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • After 10 minutes, rotate the tray and continue to bake until done.
  • Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
  • Place it on a rack to cool. 
  • Macaroons taste best when served warm.
  • Once they cool, you may also store them in an airtight container.

Note: For eggless version, mix ½ cup condensed milk with 1½ cup of desiccated coconut and ½ tsp vanilla essence until well combined. The egg less coconut macaroon mixture is ready. Continue baking as mentioned above.

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