Friday, January 25, 2008

Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani is a ‘Mughlai’ dish. It is a mouth-watering preparation made from chicken chunks mixed with spices and steamed with ‘Basmati’ rice.

It was invented by the Muslim bawarchis (cook) during the late hours Mughal reign in India. It is said that ‘Biryani’ was invented in the Hyderabad city of South India. At that time, India was under attack of severe famine. Some day, one royal cook of the then ‘Nawab’ (King) had come up with an idea. To avoid wastage of foodstuff, he made a dish with rice, mutton, vegetables and spices- all put into a big deep bottom pan and cooked in steam. This was the precursor of Chicken Biryani. In no time, this unique dish became popular throughout the India. Later, numerous combinations of spices were invented giving different styles.

At present, two distinct styles of Biryani recipes are popular-

· Hydreabadi style

· Lucknowi style

The first one is juicy and the Lucknow style biryani is a bit dry preparation.

Difficulty level- medium

Serves for- 4 persons

Marinating time- 5-6 hours

Preparation time- 1 hour

Total time- ~7 hours


Basmati rice- 500 grams

Chicken- 500 grams (Cut into medium pieces)

Onion- 400 grams, chopped

Tomato- 200 grams, chopped

Ginger paste- 2 tablespoon

Garlic paste- 2 tablespoon

Clove- 12 pieces

Cardamom- 12 pieces

Black cardamom- 3 Nos

Cinnamon­- 8 strips

Black pepper- 15 Nos

Bay leaves- 5 Nos

Javitri (Mace) powder- 6 grams

Jaiphal (Nutmeg) powder­- ½ tsp

Saffron- 2 grams

Cumin powder- 2 tsp

Coriander powder- 2 tsp

Red chilli powder- 2 tsp

Garam masala powder- 1 tsp (find the content in the bottom of this recipe)

Ghee (Clarified butter) - 250 grams

Dahi (Curd) - 100 grams

Rose water- 10 drops

Cashew- 10-12 Nos

Salt- to taste

The Marinating procedure

Wash the Basmati rice and keep it soaked under water for 20 minutes. Wash the chicken chunks and add the curd, ginger paste and garlic paste, 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp red chilli powder. Mix thoroughly. Keep it under refrigeration for 5-6 hours.

The Procedure

· Heat the 50 grams of ghee in a pan. Add half of the amount of cardamom, cinnamon, clove, bay leaves and black pepper. Stir fry until the spices become golden brown. Add 750 ml of water and 2 tsp salt into it. Add the soaked Basmati rice into it when the water turn to boil. Cook the rice till it is half done.

· Heat 100 grams ghee in a pan. Ad the rest of the of cardamom, cinnamon, clove, bay leaves and black pepper. Stir fry till it becomes light golden in color. Transfer the chopped onion and stir for 5-7 minutes in low heat or till the onion becomes golden in color.

· Add the chopped tomato and stir fry for 2 minutes.

· Transfer the marinated chicken chunks.

· Add the garlic paste, ginger paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, rest of the red chilli powder, garam masala powder. Sauté for 15 minutes in low heat.

· Add a little amount of water if necessary. Cover the pan.

· Cook until the chicken becomes ¾ done.

· Soak the saffron with 20 ml of hot milk.

· Now, take a ‘Handi’ (deep bottom pan with round neck and opening with a lid). Brush ‘ghee’ all through the inner surface.

· Transfer half the amount of cooked ‘Basmati’ rice to the ‘Handi’. Spread some cashew, fried onion, 2 tsp ghee, javitri, jaiphal, and half the amount of rose water over the rice.

· Transfer all the chicken chunks with the spices over it.

· Add rest of the ‘Basmati’ rice over it. Spread the rest of the cashew, javitri, jaiphal, fried onion, 2 tsp ghee, saffron and rose-water over it.

· Cover the ‘Handi’ properly, so that steam can not escape from inside.

· Keep the ‘Handi’ inside the oven for 10-15 minutes under 250˚ C.

· Your ‘Chicken Biryani’ is ready. Serve hot.


· ‘Garam masala’ contains three ingredients- equal amounts of clove, cardamom and cinnamon.

You can try ‘Mutton Biryani’ if you like mutton. Get the recipe of ‘Mutton Biryani’ here.


· Alternatively, you can boil the chicken until it becomes half done. Keep the stock aside. While transferring the ‘Basmati’ rice to the ‘Handi’, add some chicken stock to it. Rest of the procedure is same.

· Chicken Biryani’ best goes with ‘Mutton Rezala’.


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Pradeep Singh said...

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