Marinate the chicken with the first 8 ingredient for about 6-8 hours maximum or one hour minimum. Keep it covered in the refrigerator during this process.
Start by pouring 1 tbsp oil into a large heavy bottomed non-stick frying pan and fry the almonds and cashew nuts till they are golden brown. Remove them into a bowl.
In the same pan add 8 tbsp oil and add the sliced onions. Fry them till the onions are brown and crisp. Make sure not to burn them. Remove from heat.
Drain the fried onions onto a paper towel. Keep aside some of the fried onions for garnishing.
Take out the chicken from the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature.
In the pan with oil and fried onions, dump the whole bowl consisting of the marinating chicken and all its juices into it and put the pan on medium high heat. Let it cook uncovered until the gravy is dry and dense and the chicken is done. Keep stirring occasionally. This might take about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside.
Meanwhile take half a cup of warm milk, and add a few strands of saffron. Let it soak for an hour.
Wash and soak the rice in water for preferably half an hour. Later, drain the rice in a colander and keep aside.
Boil 8 cups of water, add cinnamon sticks, caraway seeds, bay leaves, green cardamom and salt. Once the water is boiling, add the strained rice, give it a stir and let the rice soften up a bit.
Once the rice is half done, strain the rice and discard the water. Discard the bay leaves and the cinnamon stick.
Arrange half the amount of rice as the bottom layer in a large dish. Next, add the chicken mixture prepared earlier in a layer. Now add the remaining rice above the chicken layer, covering it completely.
Garnish with mint, coriander leaves, fried onions, slit green chillies, and fried nuts. Now pour evenly the milk with saffron strands and two tablespoons of ghee over the layered and garnished rice. Cover the dish with a lid or aluminium foil.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and put the dish in the oven for 10-12 minutes, till a nice steam has formed inside the dish, and the rice has been done.
Recipe Courtesy: Mareena's Recipe Collections
Bawarchi of the Week
Chitra Ramachandran is a very talented home cook who is enthusiastic about South Indian Vegetarian cooking styles.