Friday, August 22, 2008

Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani

Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani
Biryani is the south Asian rice dish made with spices, rice (usually basmati) and meat/vegetables.The name is derived from the Persian word beryā(n) which means "fried" or "roasted". There are many kinds of biryanis
made from fish, quail, shrimp, deer and hare.
Hyderabadi Biryani is one of the most popular version non-vegetarian types, and is savored in all parts of India and forms an integral part of Indian cuisine
Hyderabadi biryani is of two types, the Kacchi (raw) Biryani and the Pakki biryani
Kachchi biryani is prepared with raw meat, which is marinated in curd and then cooked along with the rice by sealing the handi (vessel) with a layer of dough, and is cooked on dum - steaming over coals. This is a challenging process as it requires meticulous attention of time and temperature to avoid over- or under-cooking the meat.
In Pakki biryani, the meat marinating time is shorter, and the meat is cooked before being layered with the rice and cooked in a dough-sealed vessel. In Pakki Yakhni (with cooked gravy), the ingredients are already cooked before baking.
(Compiled from wikipedia)

A biryani is accompanied with Dahi chutney (curd & onions); Mirchi ka salan - a green chili curry or bagare baigan or bagare tamata.
The biryani I have prepared today is of chicken and this goes as my post for RCI event for hyderabadi cuisine hosted by Mona

Ingredients for Biryani
Basmati Rice - 2 pounds
Chicken - 2 pounds (chicken pieces should be medium in size)
Ginger & garlic paste- 2 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Red chilli powder 2 tsp
Black pepper powder 1 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 2 tsp
Curd(thick) 1/2 cup
sour cream 2 cups
Green Masala paste:(either grind these green herbs or finely chop them)
Green chillies - 6
Mint leaves 1 cup
coriander leaves 1 cup
For the boiling water; to cook rice-
Caraway seeds 1 tsp
cinnamon,5 grms
cloves 3 no
cardamom - 7-8 no
Slit green chillies 3
Saffron 5-6 strands soaked in warm milk
Onions 1 pound sliced in circles and deep fried till golden brown in color(I used the ready to use fried onions which we get in Indian grocery.)
Ghee / clarified butter 2 tbps
lemon juice 1/2 cup

Clean and wash the chicken pieces and put it in a strainer so that the water is fully drained and chicken pieces are semi dry.
Add ginger garlic paste, green chilli paste, red chilli powder, powdered black pepper turmeric powder, garam masala powder, crushed fried onions,curd and sour cream,I used more of sour cream as it leaves less water while chicken is being baked.cover it and let it marinate for minimum 2 hrs.(I marinated it for 8 hrs)

Marinated chicken for biryani

Step 2:
Clean,wash and soak the rice for at least 1/2 hr.
Take a big pot with 2 liters of water in it add Caraway seeds,cinnamon,cloves,cardamom ,slit green chillies and when the water beings to boil transfer the soaked rice into boiling water.Add salt and let it cook rice till it is 50 percent done.

Boiling water to cook rice for biryani(called "Adhaan " in urdu language)

Be very Careful not to over cook rice.keep on stirring it and checking it.When the rice is cooked drain the rice and keep it aside.

Drained semi cooked rice for biryani(I got this strainer from Ikea,its really good specially for biryani as u can fix its handles on your sink)

Step 3
Take a big baking tray lavishly apply ghee on it, transfer the marinated chicken.

Marinated chicken transfered in a tray

On the top of chicken put the layer of half cooked rice.Finally spread mint leaves, coriander leaves, fried onions,soaked saffron,pour ghee,lemon juice on top of rice.

Biryani ready to be baked

Seal it tight with aluminum foil.

step 4
Bake biryani for about 30 mins at 400 degrees and for an hour at 300 degrees.
Finally your hard work is paid off and your delicious biryani is ready.
I served it with bagare Tamata(masala tomato curry,I posted this curry recipe before)

Biryani served on traditional hyderabadi "Dastarkhan"(red cloth spread, on which food is served)

Hyderabadi Biryani served on traditional dastarkhan along with dahi ki chutney,bagare tamata and a sweet dish Badaam ki jaali(Almond patties)