Jan 31, 2008

Chicken Biryani...

Hmmm, what can I say about Biryani, or do I need to say anything about it :)?? The very name will have most mouths watering. I love biryanis a lot and almost order them in any restaurant. Biryanis in some restaurants have been horrible and other places have been so awesome that the taste still lingers on my tastebuds. Some of them that I remember are Chicken biryani from Nandini Restaurant in B'lore, Nagarjuna in B'lore, Bhima's in B'lore and the Imperial hotel in Hyderabad. These places I mentioned in B'lore, they serve all the meals on the plantain leaf. Biryani on a plantain leaf ???? Yes, isn't that amazing ???

Well, ofcourse, I am nowhere close to any of those places I mentioned in making Biryani, but I tried :)...I make it different ways everytime and adding and omitting a few ingredients, depending on my mood ;)....This recipe is most simple in making biryani and I think it came out quite well too..So, here goes...


Raw Basmati rice – 2 1/2 cups, washed and soaked for 15 min
Chicken pieces – 2 lbs
Bay leaf – 2
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Cloves – 3
Black Cardamom – 2
Green Cardamom – 3
Cilantro, chopped – little to garnish
Mint leaves, chopped – little to garnish
Onions, finely sliced – 3 large
Tomato, pureed – 2 medium
Saffron or Orange food color – little

For marination:

Yogurt – 1 cup
Lime juice – 1 tbsp
Bay leaf – 3
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Haldi powder – 1/2 tsp
Green chilies, cut small – 4
Red chili powder – 1 ½ tsp, vary according to your taste
Cloves – 5
Cinnamon Sticks – 1 ½ inch, 2 pieces
Black Cardamom – 1
Green Cardamom – 3
Black peppercorns – 1 tsp
Shahi Jeera(Black Cumin) – 1 tsp….Optional
Ginger-Garlic paste – 2 tsp
Cilantro, chopped – 3/4 cup
Mint leaves, chopped – 3/4 cup
Salt – per taste


- Wash and clean the chicken pieces and add all the ingredients mentioned in Marination list to it. Mix well and keep aside for atleast 2 hours.
- Now, in a big vessel, take water enough to boil 2 cups of rice, bring the water to a boil.
- Add a few drops of oil and salt to the boiling water and add the rice and cumin seeds.
- Keep a check on the rice and strain the water off when it is half-cooked or half-done.
- Now in a separate wide and preferably a non-stick pan, take about 2 tbsp oil, add the sliced onions and fry them till brown and crisp. Take out half of the onions from the pan, and keep them aside.
- To the pan, add the cloves, black and green cardamom, and bay leaves.
- Add the marinated chicken along with all the marinade and juices. Add the tomatoes, and garam masala powder. Stir and mix well everything for about 2 mins on medium high flame. Adjust salt and chili powder at this point. Level all the pieces and spread out evenly in the pan. Reduce the heat to very low.
- Spread out the half-done rice evenly above the chicken layer.
- Put the rest of the cilantro and mint leaves and the fried onions over the rice.
- Sprinkle the food color over the rice.
- Cover the pan with a tight lid. Or else cover the pan with a plate and place a heavy tava on the plate, so that the biryani cooks in its own steam.
- Keep the heat on very low and let it cook for around 30-40 mins.
- Serve hot with raitha or gravy.

The chicken will cook perfectly in the low heat. Do not worry that the chicken has not cooked before putting the rice over it. I got this tip and idea from Vahchef. Click here if you want to see his video.
After removing the lid, do not mix everything. While serving, spoon out from the top of the rice to the bottom of the pan, such that you get the rice as well as the chicken and masala in one spoon.
I sprinkled a little color directly on the rice and mixed a little color in about a tablespoon of milk and poured that over the rice too. Just to get shades in color.

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Meera said...

Your Biryani looks amazing. Just feel like coming over and start digging!!:-)

Purnima said...

Maya, this biryani looks colorfully yummy! Its elaborate work, isn't? (Sorry my net connectivity was at low, not allowing some of the comment fields to open, though i cd read all the posts!! Hey, pls do try to bake your son's bday cake in March, I can bet that you will b very glad to see his expression,worth all the efforts!)

Padmaja said...

one of the best recipes, I have always loved chicken biryani in hyderabad but its never as near as you get in restaurants but after looking at your dish, I am sure it must be heavenly!!!

Asha said...

No, you don't have to say anything. I LOVE it, I made one south Indian style. Your's look very colorful, yum!:)

bhags said...

Biriyani looks just like the one we get in the restaurant, with those fried onions.....

Happy cook said...

True you don't have to say anything. Mentiong the word itself my mouth is wattering and then i saw the picture of your biriyani, I am just drooling

Maya said...

Comeon,start digging in Meera ;)..

Purnima, ya, some of the biryani cooking methods are elaborate..But this method is really simple, don't go by the list of ingredients, it just looks tht a lot, but try it once..And I am strongly thinking over wht you said about the b'day cakes..Thanx :)..

Oh yes Padmaja, I just love the andhra style Biryani's specially the Imperial one in Hyderabad..Ummmmmm..Hey, thanx for dropping by on my blog :)...

Yes Asha, Am a big fan of Biryani's too..Would love to try your version of South Indian Biryani (have u posted it) ??

Thanx Bhags..Do try it once, its really a simple method..

Happy Cook, Grab the fork and spoon and lets attack it ;)..

Seema said...

Good looking Biryani :-) So colourful & grains look so perfect...Loved the second picture.. whole pot cooked with hot biryani!

Cynthia said...

Hi Maya, as Asha said, you don't need to say anything :) your food speaks for itself.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and helping me to discover yours.

You are right, the golden apples are also known as hog plums, thanks for sharing the info.

Looking forward to seeing you around.

Maya said...

Thankyou Seema..

Cynthia, thanx so much for visiting my blog here and your comment :)...

vimmi said...

I had also seen this recipe on youtube by vahchef. Looks so good. try his pepper chicken chettinad too, thats also yummy

maybellesmom said...

Looks amazing. Had a big failure with this dish, so I will be trying your recipe very soon.