This Hyderabad chicken biryani is also known as dumb biryani. Made with chicken marinated with yogurt and Indian species cooked under aromatic basmati rice. It also includes golden fried onions and saffron or food color for that vibrant authentic look.
2lbs(900g)Boneless chicken thighs and legscleaned and cut to bite size pieces
Saute Onions - In a saute pan add 2 tablespoon cooking ghee, saute the sliced onions with a pinch of salt until caramelized and golden brown. The onions will take about 10 to 15 minutes. Add half the onions to the marinated meat and use the rest to sprinkle between the layers of rice and top of the finished biryani. Alternatively, you can deep fry the onions in oil until they are golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.
Herbs - Chop the herbs and divide them. Add half to the marinated meat and keep the rest to sprinkle between the layers of rice and top of the finished biryani - set aside
Saffron - Soak the saffron in the milk and let it steep for 10 minutes to 3 hours - set aside. The longer the saffron steeps the deeper the color of the saffron.
Rosewater - Have the rose water measured and ready to use. Set aside
Step One - Marinate Chicken
In a large marinade safe bowl add all the marinade ingredients. Yogurt, ginger garlic, spices, lemon juice, oil, bay leaves, salt, pepper, etc. Then, add the chicken pieces and combine well. Cover and leave to marinate for an hour on the counter or overnight for up to 12 hours in the fridge.Pro tip - Always use a marinade safe bowl such as glass or plastic, not metal. Metals like aluminum can react with the acid in the recipe causing it to discolor food and give it a bad taste.
Step Two - Partially cook rice
Rinse - Measure the rice in a large bowl. Fill with water at least 2 inches more than the rice. Swirl the water around and gently rub the rice with your hand. The water will become very cloudy. Drain the water and repeat the process at least 3 times more or until the water is clear. Drain well. Pro tip - Rinsing the rice will wash away the starch and reduce stickiness. However, if you purchase pre-washed rice you can skip the rising process.
Soak - Place the rice in a large bowl and fill it with clean water, at least about 2 inches more than the rice. Leave to soak for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, drain the rice and cook using your preferred method.
Rice water - Simultaneously, place a large pot of water on the stove and add the spices. Let it simmer for 20 minutes - the color of the water will change because of the spices. Pro tip- You can tie the spices in cheesecloth before adding them to the pot. That way you can remove them once the rice is cooked. I prefer to keep them.
Boil - To the water, add the salt, oil, lemon juice, and rice, stir and let boil. Cook rice for about 3 to 4 minutes until 70% cooked. Drain and set aside.Pro tip - We want the rice cooked only 70% as it will continue to cook with the steam over the chicken later. I like to drain my rice in a colander lined with cheesecloth.
Step Three - Layer and Cook
To the marinated chicken, add half the chopped herbs, half the caramelized onions, and oil. Then, spread the chicken into a wide heavy bottom pan or Dutch oven in an even layer.Pro tip - it is important that the meat is all in a single layer touching the bottom of the pan so it cooks evenly.
Next spread half the rice over the chicken. Sprinkle the remaining herbs and onions over the rice. Drizzle half the saffron milk and rose water. Top with the remaining rice. Sprinkle with remaining saffron milk, ghee, and rose water.
Seal the pot - Cover the pot with a lid make sure it is sealed well. You want all the stem to stay in. Pro tip - I use two sheets of aluminum foil one on the rice and the second on the lid. This ensures a good seal making sure all the dum/steam stays in.
Cook the chicken Biryani- 5 minutes on medium-high heat. This will get the chicken juices released - 10 minutes on medium-low heat. This will ensure the juices cook off without too much gravy - 15 minutes on low heat. This will ensure the chicken will not burn on the bottom.Pro tip- if you find that the heat is still not low enough, use a heat diffuser or heat tamper below the pot/skillet.
When the cooking time is done. Don't open the pot just yet - let the residue heat tenderize the chicken and absorb all the excess moisture for another 15 minutes Pro tip - by the aroma, you will know the chicken biryani is cooked. Don't be tempted to open it immediately. This resting time will make sure the steam stays in giving you a moist light and fluffy juicy biryani.
Marinate the chicken for as long as you can but no more than 12 hours.
Traditionally bone-in chicken is used but you can also use boneless. Having said that, chicken thighs and legs will be more flavorful than chicken breast.
Saffron is a huge deal and adds a nice flavor to the biryani but it is also very expensive. While it does make a big difference it is not an absolute must ingredient in a biryani.
Biryani is made with long grain basmati rice, this can be easily found in most supermarkets these days or in Indian shops. You can buy basmati rice specially for biryani which is aged well and gives the biryani a wonderful aroma.
The whole spices - A biryani is made with lots of whole spices. You don't eat them of course. You can add the whole spices in a muslin cloth to the rice water, and in powder form in the marinade. That way, you can take the muslin cloth and not have the itty bitty spices mixed in the rice. I like to leave them in.
Ghee - Traditionally, this dish is loaded with ghee. I do add but not as much. A good biryani is about good meat, good flavors, and good quality rice. Once you have those three taken care of, the lack of saturated fat does not seem all that bad.
Deep-fried onions - Traditionally onions for biryani are known to be deep-fried and add a caramel taste. I still get the onions to caramelize but by slow cooking in little oil rather than deep frying. The slow-cooked golden onions in this dish add a wonderful taste and aroma. I think you will enjoy it. But, you can certainly deep fry the onions and drain them on a paper towel.
Rice Test - How to cook rice just right for this Biryani
Cooking the rice right plays a huge part in how good your final biryani will turn out. So here's a little guide.
At about 3 minutes into boiling, you will start to check the rice.
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 there.
Next, it will be a little softer and crumple into small pieces, this is it
If it is soft and gets mashed between your fingers, you passed 70%
Drain the rice when it is 70% cooked and set aside.
What pan works best for biryani?
Now you don't need a special Indian pan to make biryani. In fact, you can make biryani in any wide heavy bottom pan. The two most important things to consider when choosing the pan is to make sure it's a wide and heavy bottom. Why?
Well, wide because you need the meat to be spread out in an even layer so it cooks are at the same time and quickly. Since we can't stir the meat here any meat on the top will take longer to cook.
The heavy bottom is to prevent the meat from getting burned at the bottom. Since we initially cook the meat at high encouraging the meat to release its juices, the heavy bottom ensures it does not burn.
How to make cucumber raita?
1 cup yogurt
1 cup cucumber diced.
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning. If the yogurt is not sour add ¼ teaspoon lemon juice. Serve alongside any rice pilaf or biryani
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you