Sunday, 4 March 2012

Chicken Dum Biriyani - The Hyderabadi way

Whenever I have tried to prepare Biriyani it has been a disaster. Still me and my husband (being great fans of this one pot meal) dig into it with great enthusiasm. We both are tired of having Biriyani in the restaurants and Hyderabad being the city of Biriyani and Pearls (why nt diamonds? It would have been good if we got diamonds a bit cheaper) you get a plenty of restaurants serving it. So around one year back I decided to learn how to prepare it. It is my mom in law's recipe. Have I ever told you she is a great cook. I guess I have in my older posts.
So we were talking about chicken biriyani. Biriyani as you might know has many Gharanas, you have Hyderabadi biriyani, Lucknow biriyani, bombay biriyani and you have Kolkata Biriyani etc etc.. This time I have prepared hyderabdi biriyani.
Every cook who has ever tried to prepare biriyani will definitely have his or her own story. So I shall here share some of mine...

- First time when I prepared biriyani I was so worried that the rice shall be overcooked I actually undercooked it. We were having almost uncooked rice that day. :(

- The second time I prepared it when my parents and brother were here and due to my last experience i was determined the biriyani has to be perfect and I overcooked the rice and it looked more like pudding than biriyani. :( and this is not the end.. I had forgotten to add salt this time...My father was still having it saying it tasted good (parents love you no matter what you do) , it was my brother who did not eat it and said "You call this biriyani??"

Anyways lets not get into all that as it would be a very long list. Yesterday I had prepared some chicken biriyani and am sharing the recipe :)

Ingredients for biriyani masala :

- Black Pepper (1 tbsp)
- Cumin (2 tbsp)
- Cinnamon (4 long sticks)
- Cardamom (3-4)
- Cloves (7-8)
- White Pepper (1 tbsp)
- Fennel seeds (1 tbsp)
- Star Anise (2-3)
- Black cumin ( 1 tbsp)
- Nutmeg (grated 1 tsp)

Preparing the Biriyani masala: 

Dry roast all the spices and cool it. When it is at room temperature grind it to powder. Dry roasting the spices gives it a good flavour and increases  its shelf life. You can store it for about a month or two.

U can also use store bought biriyani masala as well but it is not as good as the fresh home made masala.

Ingredients for the Biriyani :

- Basmati Rice ( 1.5 cups)
- Curd ( 1 cup)
- Rose water (1/2 cup)
- Milk (1/2 cup)
- Chicken ( 4-5 large pieces or biriyani pieces)
- Ginger paste (2 tbsp)
- Garlic Paste (2 tbsp)
- White pepper powder (2 tbsp)
- Onion paste (2 tbsp)
- Ghee (4 tbsp)
- Sunflower oil (2 tbsp)
- Turmeric powder (1/2 tsp)
- Salt (4 tbsp)
- Sugar (2 tbsp)
- Coriander powder (2 tbsp)
- Cumin Powder (2 tbsp)

Method for cooking the biriyani:

- Soak the rice in water for 30 mins.

- Marinate the chicken with salt, sugar, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garlic paste, ginger paste, onion paste for 30 mins.

- Cook rice on medium flame for 5-7 mins. The rice should not be overcooked. Infact a little undercooked is fine.

- For the chicken, heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok and add 1 tbsp ghee to it.

- When it is hot add the chicken and 2 tbsp biriyani masala and cook it fully. When fully cooked add half the rose water before turning off the flame.

- Now take a flat bottomed pan and rub ghee on its suface.

- Add a layer of rice and then a layer of chicken.

- After you add the layer of chicken, add some rose water and milk over it. Also add 2 tbsp biriyani masala and 1 tsp salt.

- Continue doing this layering till your rice and chicken are over.

- On the top of this layering you can add fried julienned onions (fry them till brown). This is called adding the " Birista ".

No its not over yet. Now the actual cooking starts. :)

You have to seal the cover of this pan with some dough so that the heat within it cannot escape. Now you have to put it on "Dum". How to do that??

There are two ways to do that:
- You have to take an even larger flat bottomed pan and put some water in it. Put the water to boil and when it boils place the biriyani pan over it. Place it on low flame over the stove.


- Take a tawa (disk shaped griddle) and place it on medium flame and place the biriyani pan over it.

According to my experience the first method is better.

Remember the more time you keep ur biriyani on dum the tastier it is.. :)
Serve it hot with Raita or Salan :)

This is my entry for the Cook Click and Devour and  Hot and Spicy Treats- March event at Food Corner.