Chicken Biryani Recipe
For Marinating the Chicken:
- 500 grams (1.1 lbs) of chicken, cut into pieces
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- Salt to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
For the Rice:
- 2 cups long-grain Basmati rice
- Water for soaking
- 6-8 cups water for boiling
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 4-5 green cardamom pods
- 4-5 cloves
- 2-inch cinnamon stick
- Salt to taste
For the Biryani:
- 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 2-3 green chilies, slit
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1/4 cup warm milk
- A pinch of saffron strands (optional)
- Ghee for drizzling (optional)
Spices and Seasonings:
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 2-3 dried red chilies (adjust to your spice preference)
- 2-3 black cardamom pods
- Salt to taste
- Fried onions (from step 10)
- Chopped mint leaves
- Chopped coriander leaves
Marinating the Chicken:
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken pieces, yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, salt, and lemon juice. Mix well to coat the chicken evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight for best results.
Preparing the Rice:
- Wash the Basmati rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Then, soak the rice in water for about 30 minutes.
- In a large pot, bring 6-8 cups of water to a boil. Add the soaked and drained rice, bay leaves, green cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, and salt. Cook the rice until it’s about 70-80% cooked (parboiled). It should still have a slight bite to it. Drain the rice and set it aside.
Frying the Onions:
- Heat about 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil or ghee in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add the thinly sliced onions.
- Fry the onions until they turn golden brown and crispy. Remove half of the fried onions and set them aside for layering the Biryani later.
Cooking the Chicken:
- In the same pan with the remaining fried onions and oil/ghee, add the marinated chicken pieces. Cook on medium-high heat until the chicken is partially cooked and the marinade dries up. This will take about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they become soft and the oil starts to separate.
- Now, add the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, fenugreek seeds, dried red chilies, and black cardamom pods. Sauté for a few minutes until the spices release their aroma.
- Mix in the chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves. Cook for a couple of minutes.
Layering the Biryani:
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, start by spreading a layer of parboiled rice at the bottom. Top it with a portion of the cooked chicken mixture and some fried onions.
- Repeat this layering process until all the rice and chicken are used up. Make sure to finish with a layer of rice on top.
- Dissolve a pinch of saffron strands in warm milk and drizzle it over the layered Biryani. You can also add a few dollops of ghee on top for extra flavor.
Dum Cooking (Slow Cooking):
- Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid or seal it with dough to create an airtight seal. This will help trap the steam and flavors.
- Place the pot on a low flame and let it cook on dum (slow cook) for about 20-25 minutes. Alternatively, you can place a heavy tava (griddle) on the stovetop and put the biryani pot on top of it to avoid direct heat contact. Cook on low heat.
- After 20-25 minutes, turn off the heat and let the Biryani sit for another 10-15 minutes without opening the lid. This allows the flavors to meld together.
Serving the Chicken Biryani:
- Gently fluff the Biryani with a fork to mix the layers. Garnish with chopped mint and coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with raita (yogurt side dish) or a simple cucumber and tomato salad.
Enjoy your homemade Chicken Biryani, a flavorful and aromatic dish that’s perfect for special occasions or a hearty family meal.