By now we think you know we are Punjabi’s and love Punjabi food and chicken biryani- Punjabi style even more. 🙂 This is my mum’s recipe and in fact also a family recipe- I think. Chicken biryani was one of the first things I learnt when I was moving to Singapore a few years back to live on my own. I actually took down the recipe on a note pad and followed it to the letter the first few times I made it. Now I can make it in my sleep. 🙂
Of course this biryani is very very different from the traditional Hyderabadi biryanis and other biryanis that you eat at Indian restaurants. In traditional biryanis the rice and the meat are cooked separately and then put together in layers and cooked together for a little while. In the biryani we cook and the way we like, we cook the meat with the spices and rice together. This gives the biryani an even and beautiful aromatic flavor in every bite. Another great thing about this recipe is that it is a one pot recipe- no mess no fuss! Also, did I mention how awesome your house smells from the aroma of the roasted whole spices??!? So here is how I made it-
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 4 cups water
- 4 chicken thighs/ breast pieces, cut into 2 each (you could use chicken with or without bones)
- 2-3 tablespoons oil/ clarified butter or a mix of both
- 1 star anise
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 small cinnamon sticks
- 1 small bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon green cardamom seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 medium onion, puréed
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
- 3 medium tomatoes, puréed
- 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2-3 green chilies
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt to taste (start with about 1 ½ teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander
- 1 few mint leaves
- Coarsely grind the star anise, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks, bay leaf, fennel seeds, green cardamom seeds, cloves,photo (64) whole black peppercorns and set aside- this is your biryani masala. Instead of coarsely grinding these you may use whole spices also, which I do sometimes, but coarsely grinding these ensures you get the flavour but not the whole spices when eating the biryani. 🙂
- Soak the rice in 4 cups of water for half an hour.
- In the meanwhile, heat (on medium heat) the oil in a heavy bottom pan and add the coarsely ground spices. Sauté for about 2 minutes.
- Next, add in the puréed onions and ginger and sauté until the onions become translucent, for about 2-3 minutes.
- Then add in the tomato purée, garlic and the cook for about a minute. Add in the salt, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and nutmeg.
- Next add in the chicken and roast on medium-high flame until the mix gets a little dry and the chicken starts roasting. This should take about 12-14 minutes.
- Once the mix is dry and chicken slightly roasted, keep adding a few splashes of water and cook on low heat covered with a lid until the chicken is almost cooked. This could take another 9-11 minutes. At this stage the chicken should not be completely cooked as it will continue cooking when you put in the rice later.
- Then add in the coriander and mint leaves and mix well.
- Next, increase the heat to medium-high and add in the soaked rice along with the water in which it was soaked. Bring it to a boil. Add about a teaspoon salt or more if needed.
- Once the rice comes to a boil, lower the flame, cover with a lid and cook until the water dries up and the rice is cooked.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with fresh onion tomato mint raita!
It’s always best to use chicken with bones in biryani ‘coz they are more juicer. If you are not a big fan of picking out bones from the chicken, add at least one piece with bone in and the remaining can be boneless. Also, as always, for a moist chicken use chicken thighs instead of breast pieces.
Now, I’ll tell you a little secret. Day old biryani tastes even better- try it and you’ll know what I am saying. 🙂
Notes: It’s always best to use chicken with bones in biryani ‘coz they are more juicer. If you are not a big fan of picking out bones from the chicken, add at least one piece with bone in and the remaining can be boneless. Also, as always, for a moist chicken use chicken thighs instead of breast pieces.