Ingredients (Serves 3)
For the gravy
1. Chicken – 1/2 – 3/4 kg
2. Cilantro – 3/4 – 1 cup
Mint leaves – 1/4 cup
Pearl onions – 2 – 3
Ginger, chopped – 2 – 3 tsp
Garlic, chopped – 2 – 3 tsp
Green chilies – 6 – 7 (Adjust according to your spice tolerance)
Grind the ingredients numbered 2. Clean and cut the chicken into medium pieces. Marinate them with the above mentioned ground mixture for at least 4 – 5 hrs in a refrigerator.
3. Onion – 1 medium-small, thinly sliced
4. Turmeric powder – 1/4 – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1.5 – 2 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Biriyani masala powder – 3/4 – 1 tsp
5. Salt – To taste
Heat oil in a deep pan. Saute sliced onion until golden. Add the masala powders numbered 4. Saute until their raw smell is gone. Add the marinated chicken pieces. Cook until the chicken pieces are done, about 35 – 40 minutes. There is no need to add water as it will ooze out from the chicken but if the gravy goes very dry you can add a little water.
To cook rice
Basmati Rice – 1.5 cup
To cook rice you can either follow the draining method or make ghee rice. Click here for the ghee rice recipe. Draining method – Soak the basmati rice for around 30 mts. Boil water in a deep vessel. To the boiling water add ghee – 2 tsp, whole spices (peppercorns – 10, cloves – 6, cardamoms – 2, bay leaves-2, cinnamon – 2, fennel seeds – half tsp, star anise- 2 and mace – 3). I usually add lots of whole spices. Add enough salt. The water should be slightly salty. Now add the soaked rice and cook it to the perfect consistency. Drain the water and allow the rice to cool.
Fried onion – 1/2 medium, thinly sliced. Fry it in hot oil stirring occasionally, until browned. Drain on to a paper towel and set aside.
Mint leaves – 1/4 cup, chopped
Cashews – Around 1/4 cup, fried in oil until golden
Raisins – 3 tbsp, fried until plump and drained
For layering you need a cookware which can be put on stove or which is oven-safe. Smear the base of the cookware with ghee. Then add the fried onions, fried cilantro, cashews, raisins, mint leaves and chicken. Now add the rice and repeat the process. You can sprinkle a little fennel powder or biriyani masala and ghee on each layer. The top-most layer should be that of rice with the items under garnish. Now seal the cookware with an aluminium foil (so that moisture won’t escape), cover with its lid and bake it at 350 F for around 20 – 25 mts (depending on the cookware you use). If you are using stovetop, double-boil or keep it at low flame for around 10-15 mts. Serve hot with raita, pappad and lemon pickle. This biriyani is mildly spiced compared to the traditional biriyani but it has a great flavor from cilantro and mint.
Click here for the Traditional Kerala Style Spicy Chicken Biriyani Recipe with step pictures.
Recipe Courtesy – Heney Padavathil