Chicken Biryani – Ramadan Recipes

Ramadan is nearly over and with Eid just around the corner, my short but enjoyable series of Ramadan Recipes comes to an end. I had a few more recipes that I wanted to experiment with but I shall do those in time as this was a hectic month and tonight I’m off traveling. Since this is the last recipe in the series ( at least for the moment ) I thought I’d go out on a high note and attempt something that I love eating and ordering in but have never made. After carefully meticulously following the recipe and plenty of research I can proudly present my own version of a Chicken Biryani.

I must be completely honest and tell you that I did end up over cooking my rice slightly so some of my biryani was a tad bit clumpy. However I realised my mistake and so have cooked the rice for lesser time. All in all the flavours were great and I served this with a bowl of cucumber raita and some typical Mirchi ka Salan which is the best accompaniment to a biryani in my opinion. The recipe for the salan is already on the blog in case you’re interested. The combination was a hit and the biryani was eagerly relished at home. It took a while but once you get use to it, this isn’t a very complicated or difficult recipe to make. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Happy Cooking!

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Ingredients

For the Marination

1 kg of chicken pieces. You can cut these into slightly smallter pieces if you like

1 cup of yogurt

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

2 or 3 teaspoons red chilli powder

1-2 teaspoon of biryani powder ( you can  make this or buy it ready made )

1 freshly squeezed lime

a bunch of chopped coriander

a bunch of chopped mint

1 teaspoon garlic paste

1 teaspoon ginger paste

3 teaspoon oil

1 teaspoon salt

For the Rice

Salt

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon shahi jeera

I small bowl of hot milk and saffron

Brown fried onions or Birista ( about 4 medium onions will do )

Method

I like to prep a day or two in advance so if you’re going to make the birista and fry onions I’d suggest do it a day earlier. All you need is to slice 4 onions and fry them in oil till they turn brown. Drain them on a paper towel and store in an air tight box till you need them.

The chicken needs to be marinated for a good 24 hours or at least 4 – 5 hours prior. I did mine a day in advance so it was easier. All you need is to mix all the ingredients listed into the chicken and mix well. It is a lot so I added them bit by bit so I wouldn’t spill but make sure you incorporate everything well and it mixes well. Please whisk or whip the yogurt in a separate bowl before you add it into the chicken so its smoother and easier to mix otherwise there will be little lumps and clumps and won’t marinate well. Once the chicken is done store it in the refrigerator. Remember the longer it marinates the tastier and softer it will be.

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Cook the rice till it is about 60% done. To the boiling water add all the ingredients listed but most importantly please make sure your water is salty as the rice will absorb all the flavour. If it doesn’t it will taste bland. The mistake I made was once my rice was done I let it sit in the water so it cooked further and as a result my rice was over cooked. I’d suggest even cook it just half way and drain so it stops the cooking process. Then when it sits on the stove it will cook completely.

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In a thick bottom pan or if you have a traditional biryani pot, layer the chicken at the bottom. Oil the pan first and then place the chicken pieces and try to get as many to touch the bottom and spread them well. On top add some of the birista or fried onions.

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Add a layer of rice on top and again garnish with fried onions. Add the remaining rice and on the very last layer on top garnish well with onions so it browns. Add the saffron that has been soaking in hot milk and drizzle all over the rice. Seal the vessel with its lid and cook on a high flame for the first 10 minutes and then on a slow flame for the next 20 minutes.

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Ideally this is how you make a Dum Biryani where you would seal the pot and cover with a dough made from a mixture of rice and flour so that no steam escapes but I skipped this method and just tightly covered it.

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Once the biryani has cooked switch off the flame and let it sit for another 5 -7 minutes without opening the lid. Serve hot and enjoy!

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