Thursday, 22 December 2011

Chicken Biryani (Rice layered with spicy chicken)

Chicken Biryani
Chicken Biryani is the famous Mugalai, rice and chicken preparation. Hyderabad and Lucknow are famous for Mughal food and biryani is one of them. Being a hostelite I used to be invited for lunch / dinner at my friends place whenever in her house biryani was cooked. The wonderful smell from the kitchen used to double my appetite and the delicious taste used to make me eat till my stomach would start protesting. What a wonderful gesture my friend’s mom used to make, by packing it for my dinner also.  To my friends who love cooking and eating, this rice preparation does take time and efforts. But then good things come with hard work.

Preparation Time: 30 min.
Cooking Time : 3 hrs maximum
Servings: 6 Large Sevings
Ingredients required for Chicken Biryani
  • 500gm.Dressed Chicken cut to pieces.
  • 200gm. Basmati Rice.
  • 500gm.Onions. (400gm. Finely cut and 50 gm. Cut to thin long slices).
  • 50gm.Garlic Paste.
  • 50gm.Ginger Paste.
  • 1/4 Tea spoon Black cumin seeds (Sah jeera).
  • 4-5 Cloves.
  • 2 Black Cardamoms.
  • 4 Green Cardamoms.
  • 3cm. Cinnamon Stick.
  • 4 Bay leaves.
  • 2-3 Petals of Star aniseed.
  • 10-15 gm. Garam masala
  • 1/2Teaspoon saffron
  • 10-15 Cashew nuts
  • 50ml.Ghee(clarified butter) / cooking oil.
  • Red chili powder to taste.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Water.
Ingredients required for Marinade
  • 100gm. Thick Curd.
  • 1/4 Tea spoon Turmeric powder.
  • 1 Pinch of Nutmeg powder.
  • 10gm. Ginger Paste.
  • 10gm. Garlic Paste.
  • 1/4 Tea spoon Red chili powder.
  • 15-20 Fresh Mint Leafs crushed to coarse paste
Coarse Paste of Mint leafs
Directions for Marinating the Chicken
  • Wash the chicken pieces and drain.
  • Mix 
    • Curd, turmeric powder, 
    • Nutmeg powder, 
    • Ginger paste, garlic paste, 
    • Chili powder, 
    • Paste of Mint leafs and beat with a spoon. Marinade is ready.
  • Prick the chicken pieces with a fork.
  • Coat the chicken pieces with the marinade.
  • Cover and keep aside for at least 3-4hrs.
Directions for making Biryani
 Step 1.
  • Wash the skin and neck/wing portion of chicken which is left after dressing the chicken with a mixture of fresh lemon juice and water.
  • Take the washed skin, and neck/wing portion in a pan and add 300ml. water 2cloves, 2-3cm. cinnamon stick, 1/2 tea spoon salt and boil for 15min.
  • Filter the mixture through a sieve.
  • Discard the skin and pieces and keep aside the liquid.
  • 200 ml.Chicken stock is ready.
  Step 2. 
  • Soak saffron in 20ml luke warn water. 
saffron soaking in water
  • Wash and soak rice in 200ml. water for 30min.
  • Drain the water from the soaked rice.
  • Discard the water. In any case it will not be too much
  • Add 1/2 Tea spoon salt and the chicken stock.( Made in step 1) and 200 ml water.
  • Cook the rice in a thick bottom container till it is almost done but not completely cooked.
Rice Cooking In Chicken Stock
  • Drain excess of water and keep the partially cooked rice aside.
  • The grains of partially cooked rice should not be sticking to each other but should be separated from each other separated.
  • If you feel they are sticking then pass running water through the partially cooked rice when it is hot.
  • Mix thye Partially cooked rice with Saffron water. if any string of saffron are undissolved add them also in rice.
  • Keep aside for further use.
Partially Cooked Rice mixed with Saffron
 Step 3.
  • Take 15ml. Ghee/oil in a wok and heat.
  • Break open black cardamoms.
  • When the oil is smoking hot lower the flame, add 2 bay leaves, 2-3 cloves, black cardamoms, cinnamon stick, and cook for 30sec.
  • Add finely cut onions and cook on low flame till golden brown.
  • Add garlic paste and cook for one min.
  • Add ginger paste and cook for 1min.
  • Add marinated chicken and mix thoroughly.
  • Add salt, chili powder to taste and mix.
  • Add garam masala and mix.
  • Cook on low flame with regular stirring for 5min.
  • Add 250ml. of water, mix and cover.
  • Cook on low flame for 10 min. with occasional stirring.
  • Remove the wok from gas.The chicken should be just done not over cooked.
Step 4.
  • Take 10ml. ghee /oil in a thick pan and heat.
  • When the ghee/ oil is hot add 2 bay leaves, 2-3 cloves, green cardamoms, Shah jeera, nutmeg powder and cook for 30 seconds
  • Remove and keep aside in a bowl.
  • Seasoning is ready.
  • Fry slices of onion and cashew to golden brown color. keep aside.
  • Divide the rice into three equal portions.
  • Take10ml ghee/oil in a thick bottom pan or pressure cooker heat till warm.
Ghee st the bttom layer
  • Remove from gas and put an inch thick layer of one portion of rice mixture on the top of ghee/ oil and pat slightly.
  • Divide the chicken with gravy into two portions.
  • Spread one portion of chicken on the rice layer.
First Layer of Chicken Over Rice
  • Spread the second portion of rice on the chicken layer.
Secon Layer of Rice Over Chicken
  • Spread the second layer of chicken over the rice layer.
Chicken over Second Layer Of Rice
  • Cover the chicken layer with last portion of rice by spreading the rice mixture evenly.
Second Layer of Chicken Covered With Rice Layer
  • Spread the seasoning prepared in step4  and Golden brown fried onion slices on the top of the last rice layer.
    Final Layer Of Rice Sprinkled with Seasoning and Fried Onions
  • Put 2-3 teaspoon of ghee on the top. (Optinal)
Ghee spread at the top before baking
  • Cover the pan with a lid and seal with wheat dough.
  • Place a heavy iron plate on gas and keep the pan with chicken and rice on it. Cook for 15-20 min. on low flame. (If the whole material is taken in a baking dish then it can be baked in preheated oven at 150oC for 30 min.).
Sealed before baking
Biryani Baking
  • Remove from heat/ oven and let it cool for 10min.
  • Open the lid take out chicken biryani in a serving plate, garnish with golden brown fried onion, Cashew nuts and fresh coriander leafs. Serve hot.
Chicken Biryani With Boondi raita
  • Those who do not like to make stock can cook rice in water but the flavor of chicken in rice comes out best when rice is cooked in chicken stock.
  • Those who do not want to use skin for making stock can use only neck and wing portion to make the stock.
Suggested Variations:
  • Instead of baking or using a thick bottom pan biryani can be made in cooker also.
  • If making in cooker then do not put he gasket (rubber ring), put the lid with weight and place the cooker on the tawa over the low heat.
  • The skin brings enough fat in stock, which gives very good flavor and texture to the biryani, yet those who bare averse to skin can use only wings and neck portion to make the stock.
  • if stock is not made then plain water can be used to cook the rice.

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