Ingredients (Serves 6)
1. Chicken – 1 kg, cut into medium pieces
2. Oil – 3 tbsp + ghee – 1 tbsp
3. Onion – 2.5 – 3 cups (1 large), thinly sliced and deep-fried until golden-brown
4. Whole spices – Green cardamom – 5, cloves – 5, cinnamon stick – 1 inch, broken
5. Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tbsp
6. Yoghurt – 1/4 + 1/4 cup, beaten
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder –1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – 2 – 2.5 tsp (recipe below)
7. Salt – To taste
8. Kewra water – 1/2 – 3/4 tsp
Saffron – 1 pinch
Meetha attar – Few drops
For the rice
9. Basmati rice – 2 cups, soaked in enough water for at least 25 minutes and then drained
Whole spices – bay leaves – 2, cloves – 6, green cardamom – 5, cinnamon stick –1 inch broken, star anise – 1
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Salt – To taste
10. Kewra water – 1 – 1.5 tsp
Meeta Athar / edible perfume – Few drops
Fried onion – 1/3 cup
Ghee or oil (used to fry onion) – 1 tbsp
Garam masala powder – 1/4 tsp
- Deep fry onion till golden brown. Drain on to a paper towel. Remove 1/3 cup fried onion for garnish. Grind the remaining fried onion with 1/4 cup yoghurt.
2. Heat oil + ghee in a kadai / heavy bottomed pan. Add whole spices and stir for a few seconds until fragrant. Add chicken pieces and salt. Cook for 4 – 5 minutes. Add ginger-garlic paste and mix well. Cook for a few minutes till the raw smell of ginger-garlic paste completely disappears. Add 1/4 cup yoghurt, ground onion and yoghurt paste and spice powders numbered 6. Mix well. Cook for a few minutes until oil starts separating. Add 1/4 cup hot water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until chicken is almost done and oil separates, around 20 – 25 minutes, stirring once or twice in between. Add 1/2 tsp kewra water, few drops of meetha athar and few saffron strands. Mix gently. Set aside until rice is ready.
2. While the chicken is cooking, boil water in a large vessel adding the remaining ingredients numbered 4. Taste-check for salt. The water should be slightly salty. Add drained rice and cook until the rice is 85 – 90 % cooked. Drain well.
3. In a heavy-bottomed vessel or any oven-proof vessel (you can use the one in which you cooked chicken), smear 2 tsp ghee and spread cooked chicken at the bottom. Top it with hot cooked rice. Top with fried onion, kewra water, ghee/oil, garam masala powder and a few drops of meetta attar / edible perfume. Cover tightly with an aluminium foil. Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes. OR Heat a wide tawa over high heat for a few minutes. Once hot, bring down the heat to medium. Place the biriyani pot on top of the tawa. Top the biriyani pot with lid and place a heavy weight on top. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Bring down the heat to the lowest flame. Place the biriyani pot and cook for 8 – 10 minutes (rotate the pot halfway through). Switch off. Let it rest unopened for 15 minutes in the biriyani pot. Yummy chicken biriyani is ready to enjoy! Serve with raita, salad and green chutney.
Garam masala powder recipe
- Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
- Whole black pepper – 1.5 tsp
- Cloves – 6 – 8
- Black cardamom – 1
- Green cardamom – 4
- Cinnamon – 3/4 inch
Grind the above ingredients to a fine powder. You need only about 1.5 – 2 tsp for this recipe. Store the remaining in an air-tight container to use later.