Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani

Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani

This recipe has been sitting my drafts for a long time. I have been waiting to post it, but I didn't find time to do it. And by the way I was only a helper for this dish. It was made by my husband. 'Maybe thats why", he would say, that I didn't post it!!
Anyways now I am going to post it. He, 'we' followed Sanjay Thumma from 's recipe. We made a few changes to it like, one or two ingredients we didn't have and we didn't fry the onions like he does etc.,.
We made this dish for a potluck, so we made it in a huge quantity. It did come out yummy and tasty. We made it enough spicy for us, adjust the spiciness to your requirement.
Traditionally this briyani is made in an earthern pot on low heat. We made it in 2 batches. We used one big stock pot with a tight lid and a 5 quart cooking pot. We used kitchen towels on the top of the lids to stop too much steam from escaping.
After adding the half cooked rice to the chicken, we cooked it on medium high for 10-15 min and then lowered the heat to slow and cooked for another 20 min. The rice should be completly cooked by then, if not continue for another 10 min.
The original recipe is as follows, I have written what we have changed in the ().


2 pieces black cardamom (4 pieces)
800 grams chicken medium pieces (1- 1 1/2 kg, cut in slightly bigger pieces)
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves (4 tbsp)
2 stick cinnamon (4-5, 1 inch pieces)
2 cloves and green cardamoms, each (5-6 pieces each)
1/2 tsp cumin and coriander pdr (about 1/2 tbsp garam masala)
2 tbsp each of chopped ginger and garlic (3 tbsp ginger-garlic paste)
2 cup flavored rice(basmati) (4 cups)
2 green chilli (6-7)
1 tbsp javeri mace (none)
1 tbsp lime juice (2-3 tbsp)
4 medium sized onions sliced (5)
2 tbsp oil or (ghee) (we used oil...4 tbsp)
2 large onion fried (3)
6 pieces pepper corns
1/2 tsp saffron color
salt to taste
turmeric to taste
2 cup yogurt

We added some shahi Jeera or kala jeera about 1 tsp, and about 3-4 bay leaves.

We used extra sliced onions and coriander for garnish.


Soak the basmati rice for at least 1/2 hour. There is a slight trick as to when you should have your rice ready and half cooked. You get experienced over time. If you start cooking your rice before you start cooking your spices and chicken, you might cook the rice to more than half cooked. So its better to half everything ready, all your ingredients ready and have your water (atleast 2/3 pot of water) to boil ready on the side.
In the pot for cooking the rice, add couple of cloves, cinamon, cardamom, little big shahi jeera, salt and few drops oil. Start it on medium heat.
In a small pot, saute few onions till the become golder brown and keep aside.
Start with your big pot (5 quart or stock pot). If you are making for only 2 cups of rice, only one pot is necessary. Add the oil and the dry spices, expect onions, green chillies, coriander leaves, ginger-garlic paste and garam masala (cumin-coriander powder). Saute for 1-2 min, till they splutter. Add onions, green chillies, ginger - garlic paste, garam masala and saute. Add the Chicken and let stand for couple of minutes, till it browns on one side. Turn the chicken, add the yogurt, few coriander leaves and mix.
(By now, your water should have come to a boil. Add the rice and keep an eye so that it gets only half cooked. Since the rice was soaking for at least 1/2 hour, it shouldn't take more than 5 min on a rolling boil. Keep checking. When done, drain the water)After turning chicken, immediately add the browned onions on the top and also the rice. Remember the chicken and rice aren't fully cooked. They will get cooked together. Cover and cook on medium high heat for 10 min and then lower the heat to slow and cook for another 15-20 min. You can cover the lid with the kitchen towel to minimize the escaping steam.
In the end mix, few saffron strands or saffron color in some milk or water and pour on the top of the rice in a circle. When you see that the rice is fully cooked, slowly mix to see if the chicken if also cooked. It should be, cook further, but remember over cooking may get you mushy rice.
To mix it better remove into a bigger, wider pan or pot or tray (I used the aluminium tray). Mix and garnish with sliced onions and coriander leaves.Serve with raita or any masala curry. Serve Hot and Enjoy!!!

Prep time: 30min for soaking rice, 15min for prep work, 30-40 min for cooking.

Tip: Salt the water is very important, otherwise the rice won't be flavorful. Oil in water, so that rice doesn't stick.


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