Ingredients (Serves 6)
1. Basmati rice – 2.5 cups (Soaked in enough water for at least 30 minutes)
2. Kala jeera / shahi jeera / karim jeerakam – 1/2 tsp, Green cardamom – 5 – 7, Cloves – 5 – 7, Cinnamon stick – 1.5 inch broken, star anise – 1, bay leaves – 2
Ghee – 2 tsp
Cilantro – 2 tbsp, chopped
Mint leaves – 2 tbsp, chopped
Salt – To taste
3. Chicken – 1 – 1.25 kg, cut into medium pieces
Onion – 2 medium-large, thinly sliced and deep-fried till golden (Remove 1/3 cup fried onion to garnish later)
Whole spices – green cardamom – 5, cloves – 5, cinnamon stick – 1 inch broken, bay leaves – 2, whole black pepper – 1/2 tsp, kala jeera – 1/2 tsp
Yoghurt – 1/2 cup
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Green chilies – 6 – 8, ground to a paste or crushed in the small jar of a blender
Turmeric powder – 3/4 tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 – 1.5 tbsp
Cilantro / coriander leaves – 3 tbsp, chopped
Mint leaves – 3 tbsp, chopped
Biriyani masala / garam masala powder –1 tbsp Recipe below (powdered ingredients numbered 5)
Cumin powder – 3/4 tsp
Khoya / milk solids – 1/4 cup, grated (optional)
Oil (used to deep fry onion) – 3 tbsp
Ghee, melted – 2 tbsp
Lime / lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Salt – To taste
4. Hot milk / hot water – 2 tbsp
Saffron – 1 pinch
Kewra water – 1 tsp or a few drops rose water
Ghee – 3 – 4 tsp
Mint leaves – 3 tbsp, chopped
Cilantro – 3 tbsp, chopped
Fried onion – 1/3 cup
Khoya / milk solids – 2- 3 tbsp, grated (optional)
Green chilies, slit – 4 – 5
For the biriyani masala powder
5. Green cardamom – 16
Cloves – 14
Whole black pepper corns – 1.5 tsp
Cinnamon stick – 2 inch, broken
Stone flower (kalpasi/dagad phool) – 3/4 tsp
Nutmeg – 1/4 th of one
Mace / jathi pathri – 1
Kala jeera / shahi jeera / karim jeerakam – 1 tsp
Grind the above ingredients numbered 5 to a coarse powder in the small jar of a blender/ or in a coffee grinder. Set aside 1/2 tsp for dum process.
1. Combine the ingredients numbered 3 (except chicken pieces) in a large bowl. Taste-check for salt. Add chicken pieces and mix well. Cover with a lid and place it in the refrigerator overnight. Take it out of the fridge, 45 minutes before cooking.
2. Coat a deep heavy-bottomed pan with 2 – 3 tsp ghee. Add the marinated chicken pieces and spread them at the bottom of the pan.
3. Add 1 tsp kewra water and a pinch of saffron to 2tbsp hot water/ milk.
4. To cook rice – Soak basmati rice for 30 minutes and drain well. Meanwhile boil water in a heavy-bottomed vessel/sauce pan adding all the ingredients numbered 2. Taste-check for salt, the water should be slightly salty. Add drained soaked rice and cook until 70 % done about 8 – 10 minutes depending on the type and quality of basmati rice you use. Drain well and spread on top of the chicken pieces. Sprinkle saffron kewra water, a pinch of garam masala powder, 1 – 2 tbsp ghee, fried onions, chopped mint and cilantro, grated khoya/milk solids on top of the rice. Cover with 1 – 2 layers of aluminium foil tightly and then place a tight lid on top. Put it on medium-high flame for 7 minutes turning the pot carefully in between. Now place a flat tawa on the stove and place the biriyani pot on top. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 3 minutes. Next reduce the flame to the lowest setting and cook for 30 – 35 minutes(rotate the biriyani pot on the tawa every 10 – 15 minutes). Switch off the flame. Let the biriyani pot remain on the tawa for about 15 – 20 minutes before opening (do check the tips below). Yummy chicken dum biriyani is ready to be served! Mix gently. You can add a tbsp of ghee to the hot biriyani, for extra taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro, mint and fried onion. Serve Hyderabadi biriyani with boiled eggs, kachumber salad, lime wedge and raita.
1. Use good quality basmati rice for dum biriyani.
2. Marinate chicken for at least 3 hrs or preferably overnight in the refrigerator after covering with a lid. This ensures that it absorbs all the spices well and it also makes your job much easier the next day. Next day, bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking biriyani.
3. If the chicken in the biriyani is not completely cooked/tender after 35 minutes dum + 20 minutes rest time, cover with lid immediately so that the steam wont escape and set it aside for another 15 minutes. If the gravy on the bottom looks a bit wet/gravy like – Cover immediately with foil and cook over medium or medium-high for3 – 4 minutes, bring down the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes turning the pot in between. The chicken tastes best when its slightly roasted on the bottom part. Switch off the flame. Open the pot after 15 – 20 minutes.
4. Adding salt is the only tricky part in a dum biriyani. While cooking rice, please taste-check and ensure that the water is a little salty. That way the rice will have enough salt.
5. If the cooked biriyani doesn’t have enough salt, sprinkle some salt and mix very gently without breaking the rice grains OR add a little extra salt to your raita :).
6. In most of the dum biriyani recipes, a dough made using wheat flour and water is used to seal the biriyani pot so that the steam cannot escape out of the pot. Intead of the dough, you can use a tight-fitting lid OR press 1 – 2 rectangular aluminium foil over the edges of your pot tightly and place a tight-fitting lid over it.
7. Keeping the biriyani pot on the dosa tawa/flat griddle avoids the meat from getting burnt at the bottom, so make sure that you do it.
8. Use a non-stick biriyani pot or a biriyani handi for this recipe.