I thought it would be very complicated to make Chicken Biryani, but I was wrong. It is simple yet delicious. The taste was quite close to an Indian restaurant and my family loved it. The recipe does require patience and some whole spices. Do not get intimidated by the number of ingredients. It is not as hard as it looks.
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Makes: 3 servings
Ingredients 250g basmati rice
700g chicken pieces on bone
1 cup yogurt
10 pieces of cloves
2 star anise
3-4 bay leaves
1 tsp black pepper
2.5 tbsp cumin seeds
2-3 black cardamom
2 green cardamom
1 tsp nutmeg powder
2 pieces of mace
3 medium onions
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
Salt as per taste
1 tbsp. red chili powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
6-7 saffron strands
Lemon juice of half lemon
2 small green chili
2 tbsp pandan water
2 tbsp warm milk
• Grind eight cloves, black pepper, 2 black cardamom, nutmeg powder, half star anise, 2 tbsp. cumin seeds, mace together to powder form. Keep it aside.
• Wash and soak rice in regular water. Water should be twice the amount of rice that needs to be cooked.
• Add saffron strands to 2 tbsp. of warm milk and keep it aside. The milk will turn yellow and will be used for coloring and flavor.
• Chop two onions lengthwise and fry them in oil or ghee until they turn dark brown. Make sure they do not burn. Keep them aside.
• Heat ghee in a wok. Add two bay leaves, one chopped onion and fry it on low flame until they turn translucent.
• Add chicken and mix it well.
• Add the ginger garlic paste and grounded spice powder prepared in step 1. Mix well.
• Cover it for 5 minutes and leave it on low flame.
• Add salt, red chilli powder, coriander powder. Mix well and cover it for another 5 minutes.
• Add yogurt and mix well. Leave it covered and cook it on low flame until oil separates and chicken is cooked. Do not overcook chicken, as this will make it dry.
• Switch off the flame and keep it aside.
• Prepare to cook the rice. Add green chillies, 2 cloves, lemon juice, 1 star anise, half tbsp. cumin seeds, 2 green cardamom, salt and 2 bay leaves in the water in which the rice was soaked.
• Cook rice on low flame until it is almost cooked. The rice should not be fully cooked. Later, the rice will be further cooked with chicken for another 15 minutes on very low flame. If the rice is fully cooked, it will turn into a soggy pile of rice. If it is undercooked, it might be too raw.
The rice should look like the rice in this picture
• You can remove big pieces of star anise, cardamom, green chillies and cloves at this point.
• Drain rice thoroughly.
• It is time to prepare the layers of rice and chicken. For this part, the chicken and rice will not be cooked on direct flame. Place a pan on low flame. Place the wok on top of the pan.
• Make one layer of rice using half of the cooked rice.
• Top it with another layer of cooked chicken and fried onion.
• Prepare another layer of rest of the rice on top. Add saffron milk, pandan water and any remaining ghee from the prepared chicken.
• Cover the wok with aluminum foil and close the lid tightly. Let the steam cook and flavor the biryani for 15-20 minutes on very low flame.
• Uncover after 15-20 minutes, mix it gently and serve it with curd.