Authentic Chicken Dum Biryani Recipe for the West to nail Indian Cooking

It is World Biryani Day today, and I work for Indians. From the wild west, it is hard to find authentic Eastern ‘Rice’ taste. However, there is one dish I prepared last week that blew my everyone’s’ mind. 

Chicken Biryani Recipe

Ingredients 

For marinating the chicken

  • 2.5 lbs Chicken 
  • 1 cup of Yogurt
  •  1/3 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander powder
  • Salt for taste. 

One night before preparing your Chicken Biryani, mix the ingredients above, and marinate chicken for around 9 hours. 

Spices

  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 Tbsp. caraway seeds (shah-jeera)
  • 4 green Cardamoms
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 tsp. Coriander powder
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • Grated mace and nutmeg each
  • 1 tsp. red Chili powder
  • 3 chopped Tomatoes
  • 4 Tbsp. of chopped fresh mint
  • 2 chopped green Chilies
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • 6 medium-sized onions for fried onions. 

Other Ingredients

  • Oil for deep frying and 2 Tbsp. for cooking
  • 500 g rice (basmati)
  • 1 Tbsp. Ginger garlic paste
  • 6 Tbsp. clarified butter (Ghee)
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • Saffron (for color and flavour)
  • Salt to taste
  • Cashew nut, almonds, and raisins are optional

Method

Frying Onions

  1. While you are done marinating the chicken, cut thin slices of onions. Wash them properly.
  2. Heat oil and fry these sliced onions. The heat should be medium. (Not high. Otherwise, the onions will get burned.)
  3. Stir the onions properly for browning. 
  4. When they become golden-brown and crisp, properly drain them on kitchen paper. Keep them aside. They will get amazingly crispy as they cool down.

Cook the Chicken

  1. Please take a deep, broad mouth vessel and heat 2 Tbsp. of oil.
  2. Add the cloves, bay leaves, cardamoms, cinnamon, caraway seeds and allow to crack. Now add a Tbsp. of ginger garlic paste and stir uniformly. 
  3. Take out all the marinated chicken and the marinade, and put it in the vessel.
  4. Cook on a medium-high flame so that the water gets dried. 
  5. Add mint, chopped tomatoes, all dry powders (coriander, chilli), green chilies, and salt for taste.
  6. Cook till the chicken is soft, and the gravy is not watery. 
  7. Add 1/3rd of prepared fried onions. Mix uniformly. Keep aside.

Rice

Boiling rice is one of the most critical parts of preparing a biryani. The rice needs to be parboiled. This means it should be almost (but not wholly) cooked. The rest of it gets prepared on dum. (you will know about this in the last section)

  1. To boil the rice, take a deep, wide vessel.
  2. Add water.
  3. Add salt (this is very important because the rice needs to be salty when prepared).
  4. Add a couple of green cardamoms, a cinnamon stick, remaining caraway seeds, and a few cloves for flavoring the rice.
  5. Now boil this on medium-high for around 7 minutes. 
  6. Without encountering burns, take a few rice grains (use a spoon to take some out of the simmering water), try breaking a grain, if it breaks into three parts smoothly, your rice is done.
  7. Strain and spread the rice on a clean surface (probably a baking dish – if you want to cool or heat anything fast, the surface must be horizontally long), so that it cools more quickly. 

Penultimate Steps

  1. Cut and wish coriander leaves properly. 
  2. Boil the milk and add crushed saffron to it. Stir it well. 

Adding More Flavour

  1. In clarified butter (Ghee), fry the cashew nuts, almonds, and raisins till golden-yellow brown. 

The Final Frontier (Dum)

  1. Take a non-stick pan. 
  2. Take some clarified butter and oil the bottom of the non-stick pan with it. 
  3. Place a layer of rice.
  4. Then put a layer of chicken.
  5. Now put a layer of crisp fried onions
  6. Then a layer of freshly chopped coriander.
  7. Repeat and finish off with the nice rice layer. 
  8. Now, its time to spray the leftover fried onions, cashews, and other nuts. Pour the saffron milk on top. 
  9. Also, pour some clarified butter down the pan’s sides and some on the rice for flavor.  
  10. Properly seal the lid by fixing a big foil or sticking it with some dough before placing the cap. The idea is to limit the steam from leaving. Properly place this vessel on top of another dry flat pan so that the pan’s bottom doesn’t come in direct contact with the fire.
  11. Leave for about an hour or 90 minutes. 

When you open it, what you get is the mysterious, aromatic, and flavorsome chicken biryani. Serve hot with a side of spiced yoghurt and Indian papad.

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