Excellent Chicken Biryani

Here it is! Rudaba aunty’s biryani recipe. Try it, some effort is involved, but its worth it! I had made this biryani for about 15 people. I have this recipe written in steps, and the ingredients listed with it.


Step I:
about 25-30 Chicken pieces(any kind, I had used drumsticks)
salt as per taste,
black pepper powder (use more for spicy biryani),
2 tbsp garlic paste(use fresh garlic),
2 tbsp ginger paste(use fresh ginger),
2-3 lemons

Mix all the above ingredients with the chicken(cut slits in the chicken) and marinate for atleast 3-4 hours. I marinated 12 hours.

Then in a wok(or kadhai) type pan, fry the chicken pieces till the outside is brown(not fully cooked). Keep aside.

Step II:
Slice about 8 big red onions and fry till brown and crispy(be careful not to burn them). Keep aside.

Step III:
8 cardomoms,
8 cloves,
2 red onions,
bay leaf,
4 tbsp garlic paste,
4 tbsp ginger paste,
salt as per taste,
3-4 tsp red chilli powder,
3 tsp garam masala,
1 tsp cinnamon powder,
1 tsp nutmeg powder,
Enough yoghurt to coat all the chicken pieces(almost 16-18 oz),
Fresh cilantro chopped about 2 handfuls,
Fresh mint(pudina) about 1 handful,
About a cup of cashew soaked in hot water, then blend them to make a fine paste.

To make the gravy, add the whole spices in the oil and after they splatter, add the 2 chopped onions. After the onions are red, add the ginger and garlic paste. Fry and add salt, red chilli powder, and then the fried chicken pieces from step I. Add the cashew paste to this. Add the garam masala, cinnamon and nutmeg powder to the yoghurt and mix well. Add this to the chicken. Mix well but carefully. Add the fresh cilantro and the mint to this. At this point the gravy should look orangy brown. Now add the half of the fried onions from step II.
Let simmer closed for about 20-30 mins.

Step IV:
Boil water, add salt, then add about 8 cups basmati rice to it(wash the rice first). Cook open till the rice is almost done. Then drain the water and keep it aside.

Step V:
This is the fun part of this recipe. For making the layers of the biryani, we need:
1)about a cup of yoghurt, salt, and garam masala. Mix well.
2)the leftover fried onions, abt handful fresh chopped cilantro, about handful fresh chopped mint(pudina) leaves, lemon juice, garam masala, salt. Mix.
3)the rice,
4) the chicken gravy made in step III
5)saffron soaked in a cup of hot milk.
6)ghee (or clarified butter)

To make the layers, use a oven safe really big wok, if you do not have a oven, a non stick or heavy metal base cooking pot. The biryani has to slow cook for some time.

Put the ghee on the bottom , then about 2-3 inch rice, then a layer of chicken pieces and the gravy. Now spoon some of the yoghurt mix. Sprinkle the fried onions mix on this. Again Drizzle some of the yoghurt mix. Then again a layer of rice and repeat, till you have atleast 2 layers of chicken and the final layer should be rice. Now drizzle the saffron milk on the top, and some more ghee.

Seal the pot with aluminium foil, and put it in the oven at 250 deg F, for an hour, and then reduce the temp to min or 170 deg F for another half an hour or hour.

Guess what.. Done! I know its long, but its going to taste great, and worth every minute you have spent behind it!

Eat this by itself, or some raita(yoghurt, chopped onion, chopped tomato, salt, pepper). Yumm!!!!!!!!!

Update: I would like to make one suggestion, for multicolored rice (white, orange, yellow) as you have in a traditional biryani, put less than a pinch of red color over the final layer, sprinkling sparingly. This would make the few pieces of rice orange, the saffron milk will make rice yellow in some places.

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