There should more number of chicken biriyani recipes flying across the internet than the actual number of chickens in the world. Still I am adding this recipe because I am sure it will not disappoint you anyway. This is the only recipe which I have tried and which I still use till date.
The first time I remember when we made chicken biriyani at home was during my school days. That recipe was passed to my acha by one of his colleagues. My brother and me were not even allowed to enter the kitchen during the preparation period. Both achan and amma were putting too much effort in cleaning the chicken and chopping the onions and cooking the rice. This was really a big event for the two of us as we had tried biriyani only from restaurants and we were building too much expectation about the net result of the experiment going on in the kitchen.
However, my aunt who lived next door was informed in advance about this biriyani being made at home and even they were invited to come over for lunch that day. Sadly, the biriyani did not turn out well and if I remember it correctly, the bottom layer got burnt and the flavor of the whole meal was smokey through out. Might be, they kept the flame quiet high and left it unnoticed. Still we all ate the top portion not to disappoint the artists behind the smokey BBQ biriyani. ?
Now, this is how I make it and every time it came out well so far. I use the normal garam masala for making this. I have also tried with the biriyani masala and either way it will turn out very well. So no worries even if you do not have the biriyani masala. To satisfy your cravings for a good home made biriyani, you can rely upon this recipe.
I suggest to use a wide thick bottom non stick cookware for making this wonderful biriyani. For easy measurement, this recipe makes biriyani with one cup biriyani rice. You can increase the quantity of ingredients propotionately according to you requirement.
This is all what you need:
- Chopped vegetables/Meat/prawns- 300 gms
- Yoghurt- 1 tbsp
- Mint leaves- a handful
- Chopped Coriander leaves- half a cup
- Chilli powder- 1.5 tsp
- Coriander powder- 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
- Garam masala- 1 tsp
- Ground pepper- 1/4 tsp
- Crushed fennel seeds-1/4 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Oil- 1 tsp
For making biriyani rice:
- Basmathi rice- 1 cup
- Pepper corns-5
- Cloves-2 or 3
- Cardamom- 4 pods
- Cinnamon- 2 sticks
- Star anise- 1
- Oil- 1/2 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Water- 1.5 cup, less than 2 cups of water for one cup of rice. It may vary with rice brands. But anyway, the rice should be cooked only 80%.
For seasoning and garnishing:
- Oil or ghee- 2 tbsp.
- Onions- Chopped finely, 2 big.
- Cashews and raisins, as desired.
- Pineapple chopped (optional)
- Saffron soaked in warm milk/water- 1 tbsp( optional)
- Pineapple essence if not adding saffron or pineapple chunks.
Method for preparing rice:
- Soak rice for 20 mins.
- Begin with sauting the ingredients 2 to 6 with oil in a thick bottom tight lid pan or pressure cooker. Once done, add water and let it boil. Then add the strained rice. Keep the flame low and lid on. Cook upto 80% with occasional gentle stirring. Rice will not be sticky at this point.
- Also you can cook the rice with more water and same ingredients and later strain it when cooked upto 80%. Just that, the rice will be more frangrant if you cook it the other way.
For making the vegetable/ meat/chicken or prawn masala:
- Pour 2 tbsp oil or ghee to a thick bottom pan. Fry the onions until crisp and golden brown. Strain it.
- In the same oil, fry all the cashews and raisins and strain it.
- Take the chicken pieces and fry them on all sides in this same oil. Once done, add the leftover marination if any.
- If you are making prawn masala, add a tbsp of water as prawn will not release much water. No need to add water for any other type of meat.
- If you are making vegetable biriyani, sauté the vegetables with the marination for a while and cook covered until done.
- Add 3/4 part of the fried onions and mix well. Keep covered and cook on low flame until oil seperates.
- You may add more mint leaves or coriander leaves if you prefer.
- Make sure the masala is not so runny. We have not added any extra water here.
- Finally, add a pinch of sugar.
Layering the biriyani:
- In a non stick thick bottom pan, brush some ghee(optional)
- Spread the chicken masala. Sprinkle some biriyani masala if necessary.
- Add the rice covering the vegetable/ meat/ prawn masala.
- Add all the remaining fried onions, raisins, cashews, pine apple and drizzle the pine apple essence or saffron mix.
- Close the lid and put some heavy weight on the lid so that the steam stays inside the vessel. I normally put the bottom of the pressure cooker upside down on the lid.
- Keep the flame low and cook upto 10 mins or until the rice is completely cooked.
Your home made delicious biriyani is now ready!
Mix it up and serve hot with salad, pappads and pickle. Get set. GO!