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What is Biryani, you may ask? Well biryani is a mixed rice dish originating among the muslims of the Indian subcontinent as rightly explained by Wikipedia. Biryani is usually a part of a lavish spread on occasions or functions. There are many variations to it, however in this blog post I will share with you my father’s recipe which is not only easy to make but also super delicious to the taste buds.
Chicken Biryani used to be our “Sunday staple food” back in India. It used to be my father’s favourite dish. Hence every Sunday he made sure my mother would prepare Biryani. Being a foodie amd a critique, he would love to see it being served in 3 layers (masala being the bottom layer with white plain rice in the mid-layer topped by biryani coloured rice) with the grains being long and non sticky, he paid close attention to detail. The first thing he did hen opening the vessel was taking a good sniff of the Biryani. He was an amazing chef himself and a self-made man who had been through alot of hardships in his life. My mother learned to cook from him. As she didn’t know anything about cooking when she got married. This is his recipe which was passed onto my mother and then to me.
The chicken biryani making process can be a little overwhelming but if you follow the recipe thoroughly it can be quite easy and this home-cooked chicken biryani can prove to be a crowd-pleasing meal irrespective of the gathering being big or small. This recipe practically can serve 7 adults. This recipe requires a lot of onions to be chopped, I usually use my handheld chopper to fasten things up and let me tell you it’s a blessing. Below is what I have been using.
Accompaniment with this Chicken Biryani
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Chicken Biryani: Best Home-Cooked Meal
- Cooking Pot
- Big Bowls
- 1 kg Chicken with bones washed and cleaned
- 6 medium Onion – 6 medium finely chopped
- 6 medium Tomatoes finely chopped
- 5 medium Potatoes peeled and cut into halves
Masala Paste (Grind the following into a thick paste using little water)
- 1 ½ inch Ginger
- 1 pod Garlic
- ¼ tsp Shah Zeera
- 3 tsp Red chilly powder
- 3 tsp Coriander powder
- 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
- 5 Cloves
- 4 Green Cardamom
- ¼ piece Nutmeg
- 4 Green chillies
Whole garam Masala – Chicken Masala
- 1 Bay leaf
- 4 Black pepper balls
- 4 Cloves
- 3 Green Cardamom
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick
Whole garam Masala – Boiling Rice
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 Javitri whole mace
- 3 Cloves
- 2 Green Cardamom
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick
- 1 Star anise
- ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
- 6 tbsp Yoghurt beaten
- 8 Cashew
- ¼ cup Coriander leaves chopped
- ¼ cup Mint leaves chopped
- 1 tsp Red food colour liquid form
- 1 tsp Orange food colour liquid form
- 3 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter) To be used in Chicken Masala
- 3 tbsp Ghee
- 3 tbsp Oil
- 4 ½ cup Basmati rice
- 3 tbsp Shan Sindhi Biryani If available in your country. If not, you can do without it
- Salt as required
- Firstly before you start preparing the masala for the biryani, wash the rice in water and rinse, repeat this 4 to 5 times until the water comes out clear. This process discards the extra starch. Soak the rice in clean water for 45 mins or so this will make the rice after being cooked long and non sticky. Set aside for soaking.4 ½ cup Basmati rice
- In a large cooking pot on a medium flame put ghee with oil. When oil is heated add “whole garam masala – For chicken masala” listed in ingredients3 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter), 3 tbsp Oil
- Once an aroma is released, add onions and fry them until light brown, then turn the flame to low and add turmeric powder and keep frying for 2 mins (this process reduces the onion smell)6 medium Onion – 6 medium, ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
- Add the potatoes and the “Masala Paste” that you ground earlier and fry by adding little water at intervals5 medium Potatoes
- Add the Shan Sindhi biryani masala3 tbsp Shan Sindhi Biryani
- Keep frying until the oil separates from the masala
- Add the tomatoes and cook on high flame until the water from the tomatoes dries up and it gets mushy6 medium Tomatoes
- Add the chicken pieces and cook on high flame stirring occasionally until the water from the chicken dries up1 kg Chicken with bones
- Make the flame on low and then add yoghurt. Stir well to combine. Cover and cook until the chicken is done.6 tbsp Yoghurt
- When the oil comes up check the chicken and potato they should be cooked thoroughly. Once done add cashews, coriander leaves and mint leaves (set a little leaves aside for garnishing). In case the potato or chicken is not cooked yet then continue to cover and cook. Add a little water if need be.8 Cashew, ¼ cup Coriander leaves
- In case the potatoes have been cooked before the chicken then you can take them out in a plate and set aside. You can add them back to the masala before you start layering the rice.
- The chicken masala should be thick and not the consistency of gravy. There should be little water in it as you will be layering the rice and then will be covering and cooking it again.
- Keep the water to boil on high flame, add “whole gram masala – Boiling Rice” to it as listed in the ingredients.
- Once it’s boiling hot and bubbling add salt and then add the rice (discard the water that it was soaking in before adding it to the hot water to boil).
- Cook it until its 3/4th done. Turn off the flame and strain the rice.
- Divide the rice into 2 bowls. In 1 bowl of rice mix a little food colour and stir it around with a fork.1 tsp Red food colour, 1 tsp Orange food colour
- Now it’s time to layer the rice on the chicken masala.
- First, put in all the white rice which you had kept separately, spread it around nicely over the chicken masala. Over it sprinkle some salt, ghee, coriander and mint leaves.3 tbsp Ghee
- Over this now, add the entire batch of coloured rice and sprinkle some salt, ghee, coriander and mint leaves.
- Cover the vessel with a lid and make the flame extremely low.
- Place a simmer mat at this stage below the vessel so that the masala doesn’t stick and burn.
- Cover and cook for at least 20 mins until you see all steam collected on the glass lid. If your glass lid has a whole for steam to escape then cover it with a piece of foil.
- After 20 mins you can switch of the flame and the biryani is ready to be served.
- You can serve it with raita, papad and pickle.
- If you need help with any Herb or Spice listed in this recipe then refer to the guide: List of Herbs and Spices
- You can even boil 3 eggs, slice them evenly and place them on the top before serving.