To some the very mention of Chicken Biryani spells a lot of work.
Honestly, with the life I lead – kids, home, cakes, meals….. already so much to do.
So yes, Biryani or rather Indian food is not a very common meal.
Having said that I absolutely love Indian food and am very happy that my kids though away from India still love Indian food.
My son use to call Chicken Biryani the “cleaning rice” because he’s always fishing out the whole spices Actually a few of my non-Indian friends are afraid of the whole spices in Biryani too.
For us Indians we get use to these spices but a non- Indian biting into these whole spices can be strong on the tongue.
So, I do use the whole spices but I do not mix the whole spices in the marinade or the rice. Trust me there is enough flavor in there that is enough for you to eat the rice without having to check every morsel you put in your mouth.
I also add a tad less Ghee/oil to my recipe, but feel free to add more if you please. After all Biryani is a once in a while treat.
Here’s what you’ll need.
8 boneless chicken thighs or 800 grams chicken
2 Cups Basmati Rice
2 large onion – about 2 cups sliced or diced.
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup Cilantro/ Coriander leaves
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup mint leaves (Pudina)
1/4 cup warm milk
1 tsp Saffron / Zaffran
2 tbsp Ghee or Oil +
1 tbsp oil for the rice.
Whole Spices for Rice. 6 cloves, 2 green cardamons, 2 black cardamons, 3 bay leaves, 2 cinnamon sticks, a piece of mace/javitri, one star anise and one tsp of caraway seeds/ shahi jeera
1 1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste.
2 bay leaves
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp Cumin powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
Chilly Powder – 1/4 tbsp for less spicy, 1/2 tbsp for medium, 1 tbsp for fairly spicy
3 tbsp Lemon juice
2 tbsp Ghee / Oil – I usually use Oil
Salt to taste.
Post updated with Video
Clean, wash and pat dry the chicken pieces (dry so there will not be too much moisture in the marinade)
Cut Chicken into large bit size pieces. I usually cut each thigh into 6 pieces.
Place the yogurt and all the marinade ingredients in a bowl – stir well.
Add the chicken pieces, ensure the chicken is coated well in the marinade.
Cover with Plastic/cling wrap and let rest in the fridge for a couple of hours or over night
Place the sliced onions in a pan with one tbsp canola oil and 1/2 tsp salt.
Saute and cook on medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
This is still half way done.
About two hours before you need to serve your Biryani.
Remove the Chicken form the fridge and let it rest at room temperature.
Clean, wash and soak your Basmati rice for about half an hour.
Mean while place a large pot of water on the stove. Add Salt.
Cover the pot and let it come to a boil.
In a cheese cloth – add the whole spices.
Tie it into a double knot tight such that it will not open.
Add it to the boiling water, with the oil and let the water boil away for about 20 minutes.
Next add in the rice and par boil the rice. Half cook the rice.
Rice test – If you press a grain of rice between two fingers,
first it will still be hard and break into small pieces.. that’s still not half way,
next it will be a little softer and crumple into small pieces, this is half way.
If it is soft and gets mashed between your fingers, you passed half cooked.
Drain the rice when it is half cooked and set aside. Discard the bag of whole spices.
Warm the milk and add the saffron / Zafran. set aside for a while
Add the 1/2 cup Coriander leaves, 1/2 cup mint leaves and the cooked onions to the marinated chicken.
Layer your Biryani.
Use a wide bottom pan with a tight lid if you have.
Place your marinated chicken in an even layer.
Top with half the rice.
Add half of the balance cilantro and mint leaves and half the Saffron milk.
Top with more rice and add the balance leaves, Saffron milk and Ghee or oil
Take two paper hand towels, make them wet and drain all the water.
Now place the paper hand towels on the top of the pan like so..
It has to be large enough to fit the rims of the pot. Cover with the tight lid.
The paper hand towels will prevent moisture from escaping.
Cook Biryani – 5 minutes on high, 15 minutes on medium low, and 15 more minutes on the lowest setting.
By the end of the cooking time you should have the house filled with the smell of Biryani.
Another indication is when you have a nozzy neighbor check on what’s cooking in your kitchen.
Switch the gas off – do not open the pan. Let rest for at least 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes – check the Biryani
If you follow my cooking times and gas settings – you will not have any browning or over drying in your Biryani.
Traditionally they serve Biryani with a side dish. I just serve it with a Yogurt salad/Raita.
I do hope you try this method of cooking Biryani.
Thanks for stopping by.