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.
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
Make thin cuts on all the pieces for masala to go inside.
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).
[If the lid seals well, its good. Otherwise, seal the lid with a help of atta dough so as to preserve the aroma inside.]
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.