Heat oil in a pan, big enough for both the chicken and rice and which has a tight fitting lid. Add the chicken, turn the heat to high for 5 min and then to medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir it a few times. Chicken should be almost half done.
Wash and soak the rice for about 30 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, boil 6 cups of water. To this add salt, bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, shah jeera(fine cumin), and soaked rice and cook only until its half done.
Strain the rice in the colander and keep aside. Reserve the drained water.
Add half of the cooked rice over the chicken. Drizzle clarified butter/ghee and saffron milk. Sprinkle fried onions, mint, cilantro/coriander leaves and green chillies. Repeat the same with one more layer of rice.
Cover the lid. Ideally the lid is sealed with any kind of dough so that the biriyani is cooked with pressure of steam inside. Another option is to cover the the pan with aluminum foil and fit it with a lid.
Turn the heat to medium and place a skillet or roti tawa and place the pan on top. This method ensures that the chicken and rice won’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium after 10 minutes and let this cook for another 10-20 minutes.
To check if the biriyani is done, open the lid and insert a ladle with a big handle into the side of the pan to the bottom and scoop out the mixture. Chicken should be cooked and the bottom of the pan should be dry and not watery.
In case its not done, keep it cooking for some more time.
Recipe entirely Updated: Friday August 12 2016 (Its a must try now)
- 1/2 kg 1 pound chicken
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- FOR FRYING CASHEWS AND ONIONS:
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 3 medium size onions finely sliced (yields 3 cups), for frying (You can also use store brought)
- 1/8 cup oil
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- CHICKEN MARINADE:
- 1/2 cup thick yogurt or greek yogurt Refer notes
- 1 tablespoon red chilly powder Use kashmiri chilly powder/paprika for less heat
- 1 tablespoon biriyani masala I prefer Shaan
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon amchur powder or chaat masala
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 green chillies slit
- 1/8 cup ginger garlic paste
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
- 1/8 cup roughly chopped mint leaves
- 1 cup fried onions (from above)
- TO COOK CHICKEN:
- 1/8 cup oil
- 1 tablespoons ghee
- TO COOK RICE:
- 6 cups Water
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon shahi jeera
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon ghee
- 2 cloves
- 2 cardamoms
- 1 bay leaf
- ADDITIONAL FOR ASSEMBLY
- 1/2 cup drained rice water
- 1/2 tablespoon ghee
- pinch of saffron crushed and soaked in 1/8 cup milk
- 2 green chillies
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped mint leaves
- fried onions (from above)
- fried cashews (from above)
FOR FRYING CASHEWS AND ONIONS:
Add 1/8 cup oil + 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan. Fry the cashews till golden brown and keep aside. After that add the onions to the same pan and fry on medium heat till golden brown and crisp. Drain and keep aside and reserve the oil to make biryani.
Wash and drain the chicken well. Transfer into a mixing bowl.
Add yogurt to another bowl and add the chicken marinade ingredients upto ginger garlic paste. Mix well and add it to the chicken and mix well again. Add coriander leaves + mint + fried onions. Cover and keep this aside from anywhere for 1 hour to 8 hours.
Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Meanwhile gather the ingredients needed for assembly and for cooking rice in separate plates for ease.
TO COOK CHICKEN:
Place a dutch oven or a large non stick pot big enough to hold the chicken and rice, on medium hight heat. Add 1/8 cup oil + 1 tablespoons ghee + reserved oil from fried onions and add the marinated chicken. Stir and let it cook till 75 % done and till oil is seen on top. Taste and adjust the salt if necessary.
TO COOK RICE:
While the chicken is cooking, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add salt as needed (When you taste the water the salt should be slightly more than what you normally need). Add all the ingredients mentioned in TO COOK RICE to the water and then add the soaked and drained rice and let the water come to a boil. Reduce the heat and stir the rice and cook it only till only half cooked (very important step or else the rice will be mushy and sticky).
Drain the rice in a colander and reserve little water.
To the chicken pot, add half of the drained rice. Top with 1/2 of the items mentioned in ASSEMBLY. Add the remaining rice and top it with the remaining assembly items.
Cover with an aluminum foil and place the lid on top. Place something heavy on the top of lid so that the steam does not escape.
Reduce the heat to minimum and let it cook for 20 to 30 minutes.
To check if it done, open the lid and slide a laddle alone the side of the pan and scoop out the chicken. If there is no water content, it means the biriyani is ready.
Serve with raita/salad, papad and pickle.
Planning ahead makes it easy to put together.
Take all the spices needed for marination in a bowl. Chop cilantro and mint and fry onions in advance if not using store brought. Do all this a day in advance. So all you have to do is cook and assemble.
Use 2-3 more tablespoons of ghee to drizzle over rice for that added richness.
Biriyani always makes a perfect leftover. So double the ingredients if you want.