This Turkey born authentic and alluring dish was escorted to India by the Mughals and is the epitome of spice and flavor. This one bowl meal is accepted as the feast all over South Asia, prepared traditionally as well as in modern ovens. For the best taste, try baking with earthen pots, the way it originated. Different methods of preparation and combination of spices have given them focus in different locations all over Asia like Hyderebad, Thalassery,Karachi, Pakistani etc. I made it the very popular way, Hyderebadi style. Add your favorite protein to this treat and indulge! Making this treat requires some patience and a collection of spices and ofcourse, TIME!
The first step is to marinate the chicken.
For the marinade:
- fresh curd – 1 cup
- chicken, skinless and cut to larger pieces – 500 gms
- mint leaves, roughly chopped – half bunch
- coriander leaves – half bunch
- red chilly powder – 1 teaspoon
- coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
- turmeric powder – 1/4th teaspoon
- salt – to taste
- nutmeg – 1 grated
- peppercorns -5
- cinnamon – 2
- mace – 1/2 tablespoon
- ginger – 1/2 inch
- garlic – 6 cloves
- green chilly – 1 long
- garam masala-1 tablespoon
- black cumin – 1.5 teaspoon
- vegetable oil – 1.5 tablespoon
- long grained basmati rice – 2.5 cups
- bay leaf – 1
- cinnamon – 1
- star anise – 1
- cloves – 3
- cardamom – 2
- pandan leaves – 1
- butter – 1 tablespoon
- mint leaves – quarter bunch
- coriander leaves – quarter bunch
- fried onions – 1 cup
- saffron in half cup warm milk – 4-5 strands
Okay, that’s a long list.
- Marinating chicken
- Clean your chicken very well and set aside.
- In a processor, grind ginger, garlic, greenchilly and 1 teaspoon water to make a smooth paste.
- Take a bowl, dump the one cup curd along with the long list of above mentioned powders and salt, mix it well to get uniform paste.
- Now add all the spices listed in marinade, along with chilly garlic ginger paste and vegetable oil and the roughly chopped leaves.
- marinate these to chicken and cling wrap the bowl and fridge it for at least 2 hours.
2. Cook the Rice
- Wash and drain the basmati rice thoroughly.
- In a vessel, heat some butter, throw the spices and when they begin to crackle, add the rice and let them fry for around 2 minutes.
- Cook the rice as per instructions given in the packet, along with the pandan leaves.
- In the meanwhile, in a processor, add half cup of fried onions and paste them. Set it aside.
3. Time for real action/Layering.
- Use a heavy bottomed vessel for doing this. Drizzle some oil in your vessel, and add the chicken along with the rest of marinade and stir them for around 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the pasted fried onions to get a thick gravy. Level the chicken mixture in your pan evenly to start layering.
- Now, evenly layer the rice over the gravy, over low flame, evenly covered.
- Drizzle the milk saffron mixture over the rice, and it smells goood!!!
- Arrange the rest of fried onions evenly, followed my mint and coriander leaves. Close the pain with a tight lid and leave them on for fifteen minutes on a medium flame.
- Take a heavy tawa pan and keep them on stove. Transfer the biriyani pot on to the tawa pan.
- Now to provide some baking effect, you need to close the edges of the vessel to prevent the steam leak as well was flavor. For that, in a small bowl, hand-mix some flour and water to get a dough consistency and seal the vessel edge.
- Now turn the stove on to low flame. Leave them for around 30 minutes. Turn off the stove and leave them for 10 minutes.
- Pull off the sealed edges, open the lid and indulge in the exotic aroma in the kitchen or house to be precise.
- Serve them hot with some raita and pappad!