How to Cook Chicken Biryani

Biryani is a classical Mughlai dish pretty popular in the Subcontinent. Although cooking chicken biryani is not difficult—anybody can cook it, it’s a lengthy process and may take upto 5-6 hours. There are many procedures involved that prolongs the process. The key ingredients without a doubt are spices, rice, and chicken.

My advice: if you thinking of having chicken biryani for the lunch. Start the preps first thing in the morning.

  • Passive Prep Time: 5 hours
  • Active Prep Time: 30-60 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Total time: 6 hours

Ingredients:

Fried Onions

  • 2 medium sized onions, chopped/sliced
  • 1/2 cup of oil to fry the onions (sunflower oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil)

Chicken Marinade

  • 2 lbs of Chicken on the bone cut into large parts (8-10 pieces)
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • Salt – to taste (approximately 1 tsp)
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala powder
  • 1 tsp green cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 cup of fried brown onions
  • 4 tbsp melted ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/4 cup of freshly chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 10-15 mint leaves (no stalk)
  • 2-4 green chilies (broken or cut)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Rice

  • 2 cups of basmati rice
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 one inch pieces of cinnamon
  • 5-6 whole peppercorns (to taste)
  • 5 green cardamoms
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 pieces of cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 piece of mace
  • 1 tsp of ghee
  • 1/2 tsp of salt

Chapati Dough

  • 2 cups of wholemeal chapati flour
  • 1 cup of water

Saffron Mixture

  • 1/4 tsp saffron
  • 2 tbsp milk

Other Ingredients

  • 5-7 tbsp of ghee clarified butter (to drizzle atop the biryani before pressure cooking)
  • Handful of cashews (optional)
  • Handful of golden raisins (optional)
  • Rose water (optional)

Preparation:

1. On a gas stove, heat oil in a pan on high. Put onions and reduce the flame to medium. Stir the onions until golden brown. This takes 10-20 minutes.

2. Transfer the onions from the pan, soak, or drain extra oil.

3.To marinate the chicken, put the chicken in a bowl or a pan big enough to accommodate all the chicken pieces.

4. Now add the following ingredients:

  • Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste (approximately 1 tsp)
  • Yogurt – 1 cup
  • Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
  • Green cardamom powder – 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  • Fried brown onions – 1 cup
  • Ghee (clarified butter) – 4 tbsp
  • Freshly chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) – 1/4 cup
  • Mint leaves (no stalk) 10-15
  • 2-4 green chilies (broken or cut)
  • Lemon juice – 1 tbsp

5. Once finished with mixing, cover the place the bowl in a refrigerator.

6. Rinse the rice with cold water a number of times. Then leave it to soak for half an hour.

7. Take 8 cups of water and pour them in a pan. Boil the water.

8. Add rice along with the following:

  • 5 green cardamoms
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 pieces of cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 piece of mace
  • 1 tsp of ghee
  • 1/2 tsp of salt

9. Mix the ingredients with the rice and boil the rice for 8-10 minutes. By this time, the grains should be should be soft outside and hard inside. If so switch of the heat.

10. Prepare the saffron milk. Add 1/4 tsp saffron to 2 tbsp. of warm milk and let it soak for approximately 15 minutes.

11. Put the chicken into a thick bottom pot. Prefer a non-stick pot.

12. It’s time to add rice to the chicken. Put a layer below the chicken and one above the chicken. Divide the quantity of rice into three.

13. Sprinkle fried onions, coriander leaves, raisins and cashew, and mint leaves

14. Add another and final layer of the remaining rice. Over the top add remaining fried onions, coriander leaves, raisins and cashew, and mint leaves

15. Close the pot with a lid make sure it’s tight enough. Cook the biryani for 5-10 minutes on high flame. Remove the pot, put a cooking plate on the flame, and place it back along with the plate.

16. Cook it over the plate for 35 minutes.

17. Don’t unlid it until 10 minutes off the flame.

18. Remove the lid, and serve it in a plate alongside raita.