Saturday 15 December 2012

Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani

The Biryani series continues... today's post is on Chicken Biryani. A must know recipe for the simple reason that you can prepare it any number of times and no one will ever be bored of eating.

Whenever I have guests at home, I prepare Biryani :-) I have noticed that no matter which state/ culture/vegetarian/non vegetarian category a person belongs to.. an Indian loves Biryani!
In fact I would say 3 things all Indians love is, Cricket,Bollywood and Biryani.

Here is a chicken biryani recipe which is a sure shot winner.

Try it!


Dalchini - 2 pieces each 1 inch
Lavang - 5
Tej patta - 1 large
Chakra phool - 1
Shah jeera - 1 tsp
Jayphal - 1/2
Choti elaichi - 5
Badi elaichi - 1
4-5 tiny saffron strands
[Alternately you can use Badshaah saffron milk masala 1 tsp]
Pinch of haldi
1 tsp tandoori masala 
[I use Shaan tandoori masala, its perfect!]
11/2 tsp amchur powder (or 2 tsp lime juice)

500 gms chicken (bone/boneless)
2 cups basmati rice
3 large potatoes peeled and each cut into 4 pieces
1 cup carrot chopped into 1 inch long pieces
1 cup french beans cut into long pieces
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste 
[preferably homemade, market ginger garlic paste has vinegar and other acidifying agents which spoil the fun]
2 medium sized tomatoes pureed
2 onions finely chopped
2 onions cut into rings for making fried onions
1 cup curd (preferably hung curd)
[Hung curd : Put curd in a cotton cloth, tie from top and hang it for 40 mins, the water will drip away, hung curd is ready]
1/2 cup milk

Preparing chicken

After washing chicken thoroughly, try and remove as much excess water on chicken as possible.
Make thin cuts on all the pieces for masala to go inside.

In a bowl, add curd, salt, kali mirch, amchur powder, red chilli powder, 1 tsp tandoori masala,haldi and mix well. Add chicken and potato pieces and mix well.Set aside for 30 minutes.

Preparing Rice

Dry roast rice in a hot vessel by stirring continuously to avoid rice from getting burnt. Once rice grains turn brownish in color, empty the vessel into a plate. Now pour 6 glasses of water, 1 tsp of ghee in to the vessel and bring to boil. Add 1 tsp of salt,1 inch dalchini,5 cloves(lavang) to boiling water. 

Now add the roasted rice. Boil the rice for 5 minutes.

[Rice should not be completely cooked.Turn off the gas when you find the texture bite like.]

Drain rice using a strainer. Now place the stainer on top of the empty vessel so that excess water will drip away. 

[Remember not to leave the strainer on the kitchen platform or on a plate directly because it will make the bottom rice soggy.]

Rice for biryani is ready.

Preparing fried onions

Add 1 tsp ghee and 1 tsp oil to a frying pan. Add the onions (cut in rings) and fry them until they turn completely brown.During the process, add a pinch of salt as it fastens the process.

[Ideally, onions have to be deep fried in a pan full of ghee, it adds extra taste!So do that if you wish to.. but at the expense of few extra calories..]

Preparing masala

In a hot pan, add 1 tsp ghee and saute beans and carrots on high flame by stirring occasionally for 5 mins. Add some salt, kali mirch, amchur powder, red chilli powder, 1/4th tsp tandoori masala,pinch of haldi and fry for another min on high flame.
[The vegetables should not be completely cooked, they should just brown on the edges.]

Grind choti elaichi and nutmeg in a mortar.

Take a deep heavy bottom non stick vessel for cooking biryani.Pour 1 tbsp ghee and 1 tbsp oil in it.Once it is hot,add tej patta,badi elaichi, choti elaichi and nutmeg powder,1 inch dalchini,1 tsp shah jeera,1 chakra phool and fry for 2 minutues on low flame.Now add finely chopped onions and fry.
When onions turn golden brown, add ginger garlic paste and fry.
Add marinated chicken and potato pieces and fry on high flame by stirring occasionally for about 8-10 minutes (till chicken gets fried in the edges).
Add tomato puree mix well. Cover the lid and let it cook for 10 mins(till oil separates).

Add the vegetables to masala and fry for 5 mins on high flame.Add salt as per taste.

Optional step for those who want some coconut flavour, add 1/2 cup of coconut milk to the masala and let it simmer for 5 mins.

Dissolve saffron in 1/2 cup of warm milk.

Turn off the stove and move the masala to another vessel. Brush the bottom and sides of biryani vessel with little bit of ghee.
Add half of the semi-boiled rice. Pour 1/4th cup of milk on the rice with a spoon so that it gets equally distributed.
Add half of the chicken masala and spread it evenly over rice. Now add rest of the rice and spread evenly.Pour rest of the milk and masala, spread evenly.

Add fried onions on top, spread evenly.

Cover the lid and put the vessel on low flame (on smallest burner).
[If the lid seals well, its good. Otherwise, seal the lid with a help of atta dough so as to preserve the aroma inside.]

Leave it to took for 25 mins.

Yummy Chicken Biryani is ready!

The following notes are very important considering the fact that a lot of people wonder what is that one differentiating factor between Pulao and Biryani.

Difference between Pulao and Biryani:

Pulao is a subtle form of Biryani.

However similar the ingredients may be, they will give out a distinct taste provided you follow a simple rule that ingredients are fried while making biryani and thats not the case with pulao. While making pulao, you should not fry the ingredients too much, you should just boil them in the pan so the rice cooks in the stock.

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