One of the joys of cooking Mughlai food is the myriad of spices and ingredients that you get to test out, which one may not often get to use in daily food. I for instance have unfortunately in store with me a substantial amount of dry spices which till recently were there in the cupboard waiting to be opened. Last week, they finally found a use. For it was the day that I tried my hand at the one thing that is ubiquitous with the word scrumptious – Dum Biryani.
I am one of those people who are not so fond of the use of chicken. Having born in a family of staunch meat eaters (who all have converted to vegetarianism now, including yours truly) I never really found much taste for the mild bird. Why have Chicken, if you can have Mutton, I always ask? Besides the health reasons of course. Nonetheless, I found out that the reason is that it is hard to find Mutton. While my neighbourhood is brimming with Butcher shops selling Chicken, I could hardly locate any selling Goat Meat. So yes, this is a Chicken Dum Biryani recipe.
The few things I have learnt with my experience and you must keep in mind are –
  • Only use good quality Basmati Rice. Use bad rice and it would like eating brilliant Tomato sauce with shitty spaghetti.
  • Use a good amount of Salt while boiling Rice.
  • Also, don’t be stingy with the use of Green Chillies. They may seem too many, but trust me, they aren’t. 

1 kg chicken, washed and drained completely
2 large onions, finely sliced
chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp saffron
1/2 cup luke warm milk
For marination:
3/4 cup thick curd
8-10 green chillis, make a small slit in them
1 tbsps garlic paste
1 tbsps ginger powder
1 tbsp red chilli pwd (adjust)
1/4 tbsps turmeric pwd
1/2 tbsps cumin pwd
1 tbsp coriander pwd
chopped coriander leaves
3/4 cup pudina leaves
juice of 1 lemon
1 3/4 tsps salt
Biryani masala (Roast the spices and grind into a powder)
8 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
4 elaichi/cardamom
3/4 tsp shah jeera
12 pepper corns
Ingredients to cook rice:
4 cups Basmati rice
6 cloves
3 cardamoms
1 cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
1 star anise
1 tbsp oil
1 1/2 tbsps salt
water as required
  1. Marinate chicken with all the ingredients under the ‘marination’ section and also the biryani masala. Keep aside for 4 hrs.
  2. Cook the basmati rice in lots of water along with bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, elaichi, oil, salt till its half cooked. This would take 8-10 min.
  3. Strain the water and spread the rice on a large wide plate and allow it to cool.
  4. Heat 2 tbps ghee, add sliced onions, saute till caramelized. Keep aside.
  5. Add the saffron to the luke warm milk and combine well. Keep aside.
  6. Take a wide deep vessel to prepare the biryani.
  7. Add 3 tbsps ghee, add the marinated chicken and spread out over the vessel.
  8. Cook on high for 2 mts. Reduce flame.
  9. Spread half of the rice over the chicken layer, pour half a tbsp of ghee over the rice, add half of the caramalized onions and spread over the rice.
  10. Sprinkle coriander leaves and pour about one fourth cup of saffron milk over the rice.
  11. Over this layer, spread the remaining rice.
  12. Pour half a tbsp of ghee, add remaining caramelized onions and sprinkle coriander leaves and pour remaining saffron milk over the rice.
  13. Place lid and over the lid place a heavy weight and seal the edges with wheat dough.
  14. Cook on high flame for 2 mts. Reduce to low flame and cook for 20 minutes.  Turn off heat and do not remove lid for 10 mts.
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