Thursday, 8 September 2011

Chicken and Veg Biryani

  • 1 kg chicken preferably in 16 pieces and a couple of drumsticks
  • 1 kg Basmati rice
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 2 tsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 3 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 100 g cashew nuts
  • 4 or 5 bay leaves
  • 4 or 5 cloves
  • 2 cm long cinnamon sticks
  • 6 to 10 green chiles ground to paste
  • 3 or 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 or 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups mint leaves
  • 1 cup coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 lemon
  • 1½ tsp salt (according to taste)
  • 1 cup ghee (clarified butter)
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 cup oil,
  • 2 tsp dried coconut powder,
  • few strands of saffron,
  • 2 cups finely sliced onions,


  1. Make deep incisions on the chicken flesh - deep enough for spices to get absorbed but making them too deep could render the pieces smaller. Mix turmeric, chilli powder, salt, garlic paste, yogurt, and half-lemon's juice. Thoroughly apply this paste onto the meat flesh and let marinate for an hour.
  2. Heat about 100 ml of oil. Roast cumin, cloves, cinnamon, depodded cardamom, bay leaves, ½ spoon cumin, 1 spoon coriander powder, and finally add onions(2). Wait a couple of minutes to add mint leaves. When onions turn slight brown, add marinated chicken and cook for about 20-30 min. It should NOT be fully cooked at this stage; add garam masala and coconut powder and turn off flame when about ¾ cooked. Gravy should not be much, chicken pieces should look roasted.
  3. Meanwhile, while the chicken is still cooking, prepare the biryani rice. Slightly rinse 3 cups of basmati, and add water little less than the volume of the rice itself so that its only half cooked preferably in an electric cooker. Amount of water actually depends on kind of rice at hand and your experience helps to judge it. Also add 1-2 teaspoons of salt to it. Take a few semi-cooked grains of rice and colour them with diluted saffron for garnishing.
  4. You will need a utensil of about 12" (300 mm) base. Place about half of semi-cooked rice in it. Next, layer half of chicken on it again topped by a layer of rice (half of the remaining). One more layer of remaining chicken, finally with layer of rest of the rice on top ends the rice-chicken layering stage.
  5. Heat oil and deep fry half the sliced onions to golden brown. Similarly fry cashew. Garnish the top layer with these two along with 100 ml ghee, coconut milk, saffron rice grains and coriander. Lid the vessel and try making it airtight (but no pressure should build up). Put on high flame for 5 min before reducing it to low flame. The flame should NOT be at the vessel's centre, but on one side of it. Wait for 2-3 min and turn the vessel to heat other next part on its circumference. This way, keep rotating the vessel every 2-3 min for about 20 min. Every time you turn it, carefully disturb the contents by a shake/jerk so as to avoid settling of ghee at the bottom.
  6. Put off the flame and wait for about 10 min before opening. Before serving, mix the medley from the bottom. Serve with boiled egg halves. Enjoy. Rightly and carefully made, its an epicure's paradise.
:For Vegitarians:
One small Cauliflower,
2 carrots,
few beans,
Mint leaves (2),
200 gms Curds,
red chilli,
Lemon juice (2 big lemons),
Onions (9 onions - finely cut),
Green chillies (15)
1. Deep Fry (Almost brown) 7 onions and set it aside.
2. Prepare a mix of Cauliflower, carrots, beans, Mint(finely cut), Coriander(finely cut), Curds, Elaichi(10), Cinnamon(4 pieces), redchilli powder (2 spoons), salt (5 spoons), turmeric(half spoon), Lemon Juice (2 big lemons), Onions 2 (sliced), and green chillies.
3. Leave the mix to marinate in the dee-freezer for approximately 15-0 minutes.
4. In the mean time, take a big container, Put 4 spoons of oil and fry elaichi and cinnamon. Once you can smell the flavour add 5 glasses of rice to fry along with it. after 5-7 minutes add water (10 glasses) to half-boil rice.
5. Once rice is half cooked( strictly no more water left), leave the rice to dry for a while (may b dry them in large plates if you are too hungry and want to eat biryani soon)... i cant wait to eat it!!!!
6. Now, take the mix out of the fridge. Use the same big container for a bigger mix now. First put all the marinated mix in the bowl (bowl suitable to go on the cooker), then put five spoons of oil on it..(can use the same oil in which you fried onions).
7. Put a layer of the dried half boiled rice on top of it.(Dont put all the rice. Just a layer).
8. Now, put a layer of the fried onions leaving another half for another layer on top.
9. Then another layer of rice.
10. The final layer of onions on top.
11. You can now add some biryani colour on top!!
Now the biryani is ready to cook. Cook it on a low flame with a perfect fitting lid (some weights on top ..not to let the Dum go off).
Leave this for atleast an hour and a half. Then check if the rice is cooked

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