1 kg chicken cut into large pieces (about 12)
½ kg basmati rice
2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste (equal measures)
2 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
Salt as per taste
1 cup coriander leaves, chopped
1 cup mint leaves
6 to 8 green chillies, slit
½ tsp saffron strands soaked in ¼ cup warm milk
2 tsp caraway seeds (shah zeera)
6 to 8 green cardamoms
6 to 7 cloves
4 1-inch cinnamon sticks
½ tsp black pepper corn
2 cups fried onions
2 cups thick curd
3 tbsp ghee
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1. Wash the chicken well and let the water drain out for about 10 to 15 minute. Add two tablespoons of lemon juice, the ginger and garlic paste and salt to the chicken, and allow it to rest for a further 10 minutes.
2. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powders and mix well. Add about three fourth quantity of the whole garam masala to the chicken and about half the quantity of the slit chillies, chopped coriander and mint.
3. Crush and add the fried onions and the thick yoghurt to the marinade, put in two tablespoons of the oil and mix well.
4. Check the taste of salt and adjust accordingly as required. Rest the marinated chicken inside the refrigerator for one and half hours.
5. Meanwhile, wash the rice very well and soak it for about 25 minutes.
6. Remove the chicken from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature.
7. Meanwhile, take a large cooking pot, add about 4 to 5 litres of water and add salt as per taste. Note: Make the water slightly saltier than usual because the excess salt water gets drained.
8. Bring the water to a rolling boil, add the remaining whole spices, and slit chillies. Add the soaked rice to it and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes until it is slightly more than half done. You will be able to see lines across the length of the rice grain. Add the balance lemon juice halfway through the cooking. Strain completely and set aside.
9. In a heavy bottom pan, add one tablespoon of oil and spread it all over the bottom. Add the marinated chicken into it and spread it evenly.
10. Sprinkle half of the remaining fried onions, and the chopped mint and coriander on top of the chicken. Now add the rice over it and spread evenly.
11. Top the rice with the remaining coriander leaves, mint leaves and fried onions. Add the saffron-infused milk and top with ghee.
12. Cover the pot and double seal with aluminium foil. Dum or steam cook the biryani on a very low flame for about 45 minutes.
13. After 10 minutes, add a cast iron pan or tawa on top of the flame then place the pot on it, to avoid burning the biryani.
14. Allow the biryani to sit for about 30 minutes after taking it off the flame. Unseal the lid, mix the top rice with the middle layer and set aside. Mix the chicken and the spiced rice, portion and serve. Top with crispy fried onions and shredded mint leaves for garnish.
- With input for shooting and building the recipe by Falah Gulzar, Assistant Social Media Editor
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