It’s Biryani time again and this time I decided to go for my favourite Hyderabadi Biryani. The blending of Mughlai and Andhra cuisines in the kitchens of the Nizam, resulted in the creation of the Hyderabadi Biryani. Hyderabadi Biryani is of three types, the Kacchi Biryani, the Jappu Biryani (raw) and the Pakki Biryani. The kachchi gosht ki biryani is prepared with meat marinated overnight with spices and again soaked in yoghurt before cooking. The meat is sandwiched between layers of fragrant long-grained basmati rice and cooked on dum (steaming over coals), after sealing the vessel with a layer of dough. In a pakki biryani, the meat is cooked before layering with the rice. Moreover, the meat marinating time is shorter. Cooking of this biryani is also done in the dough-sealed vessel itself. (Courtesy:Wiki)
The recipe that I am sharing with you is of Hyderbadi Dum Pukht Biryani, adapted from Mona’s blog Zaiqa. This is a Pakki Biryani. I tried this recipe recently and the results were truly amazing. In spite of our stomachs being full, we wanted to have more .. Try this recipe out and I am sure you will also be craving for more …
Hyderabadi Dum Pukht Murgh Biryani
Chicken– 900 gms, Boneless, skinless breast pieces, cut into 2 cms cubes (You use chicken with bones as well)
Basmati Rice – 5 cups
Ginger-Garlic Paste– 2 tablespoons
Garam masala powder– 1-1/2 teaspoons
Curd- 1-1/2 cups
Tomatoes– 2, large and ripe, pureed into a smooth paste (or) Canned tomato paste – 5 tablespoons (optional)
Turmeric powder– 1/4 teaspoon
Red chilli powder– 2 teaspoons
Lemon juice– 6 tablespoons
Salt– to taste
Almonds– 1/2 cup, slivered
Cashewnuts– 1/2 cup
Onions– 5, large, sliced
Water– 8 cups
Caraway seeds– 1 tablespoon (Refer Ingredient’s Gallery)
Warm milk– 1/2 cup
Saffron strands – one big pinch
Bay leaves– 1
Green cardamom– 3
Green chillies– 5, small sized, slit lengthwise
Ghee – 3 tablespoons
Fresh Mint leaves finely chopped– 2 tablespoons
Fresh Coriander leaves finely chopped – 2 tablespoons
Marinate the chicken with the first 8 ingredient for about 6-8 hours maximum or one hour minimum. Keep it covered in the refrigerator during this process.
Start by pouring 1 tablespoon oil into a large heavy bottomed non-stick frying pan and fry the almonds and cashewnuts till they are golden brown. Remove them into a bowl.
In the same pan add 8 tablespoons oil and add the sliced onions. Fry them till the onions are brown and crisp. Make sure not to burn them. Remove from heat. Drain the fried onions onto a paper towel. Keep aside some of the fried onions for garnishing.
Take out the chicken from the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature. In the pan with oil, add the remaining fried onions, put the marinated chicken along with the marinade and put the pan on medium high heat. Let it cook uncovered until the gravy is dry and dense and the chicken is done. Keep stirring occasionally. This might take about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside.
Meanwhile take half a cup of warm milk, and add a few strands of saffron. Let it soak for an hour.
Wash and soak the rice in water for preferably half an hour. Later, drain the rice in a colander and keep aside. Boil 8 cups of water, add cinnamon sticks, caraway seeds, bay leaves, green cardamom and salt. Once the water is boiling, add the strained rice, give it a stir and let the rice soften up a bit. Once the rice is half done, strain the rice and discard the water. Discard the bay leaves and the cinnamon stick.
Arrange half the amount of rice as the bottom layer in a large dish. Next, add the chicken mixture prepared earlier in a layer. Now add the remaining rice above the chicken layer, covering it completely.
Garnish with mint, coriander leaves, fried onions, slit green chillies, and fried nuts. Now pour evenly the milk with saffron strands and two tablespoons of ghee over the layered and garnished rice. Cover the dish with a lid or aluminium foil.
Preheat the oven to 180C and put the dish in the oven for 10-12 minutes, till a nice steam has formed inside the dish, and the rice has been done. Serve hot.
Tip: Adding salt to the water in which you cook rice is essential, or else the whole taste of Biryani turns upside down.