Friday, January 23, 2009

Mughlai Chicken Biriyani

Chicken Biriyani is a Mughlai dish, dated back to the Mughal Empire. It is a rich dish, adorned with nuts, fruits and of course a generous use of ghee(butter) and cream. Usually the meat is cooked separately then, half cooked rice and the cooked meat is layered and then baked in the oven to finish off. My version differs in the cooking method, but tastes brilliant every time. So here it is...

Serving: 6

Ingredients:
  • Chicken - 1 whole (4-5 lb/ 2.5 kg), cut in small pieces
  • Basmati Rice - 5 cups
  • Onion - 1 lrg, thinly sliced
  • Green Chili - 4 -5 , sliced lengthwise (seeds removed if you do not like the heat)
  • Bay leaf - 1 or 2 lrg
  • Green Cardamons - 5 pcs
  • Cloves - 4-5 pcs
  • Cinnamon stick - 2.5 inch long
  • Whole pepper corns - 1 tbsp
  • Yellow potato - 1 lrg, cubed
  • Dried Prunes - 1/2 cup (to substitute Aloo Bokhora, since I don't like them)
  • Unsalted Cashew nuts - 1/2 cup
  • Ghee (clarified butter) - 1/2 cup
  • Full cream milk - 1.5 cups

  • For the marinade:
  • Plain yogurt - 1 cup
  • Garlic Cloves - 4, crushed
  • Ginger root - 1 inch, grated finely
  • Salt - 1 tbsp
  • Nutmeg powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 2 tsp
  • Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
  • Hot spice powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Method:
  • 1. Clean and pat dry the chicken pieces with a paper towel. In a sealable container, mix in all the ingredients for the marinade, and marinate the chicken pieces for 24 hours, refrigerated or minimum of 2 hours. The longer you marinate, the juicier the chicken gets.
  • 2. On the day of cooking, take the marinated chicken out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature before cooking. Wash the Basmati rice, let it drain and set aside.
  • 3. In a large non-stick pot, or a dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp of oil with the ghee. The oil is added to reduce smoking as butter/ghee burns very quickly.
  • 4. Add the cardamon, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, and the pepper corns. Saute till they pop. Add the onions and saute till they turn translucent.
  • 5. Drain the chicken pieces from their marinade (reserving the liquid) and saute on high heat to get a crispy brown coating. Add the reserved marinade, cover and simmer on low heat until the chicken pieces are 3/4 cooked, for about 20-25 min. Remember to stir occasionally to avoid any burns at the bottom of the pan. If the liquid seems to dry up very quickly then add 1/2 cup of hot water, however the trick is to cook the chicken in its own juices.
  • 6. Add the rice to the chicken and stir very gently to combine. Saute for 4 - 5 min on med heat. Remember to keep stirring otherwise the rice will burn.
  • 7. Add 8 cups of water (using the same cup you used for measuring the rice), bring to boil on high heat. Add the milk (warmed up in the microwave), stir to redistribute, then lower the heat to med, cover and simmer for 10 min.
  • 8. Meanwhile, in a microwavable bowl, put the potatoes with 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 tsp of sugar and a pinch of Zafran (orange food colour) and cook on high heat for about 3-4 min, or until the potatoes are cooked. In a small frying pan , heat 1 tbsp of butter and saute the cooked potatoes till they turn crispy. Set aside.
  • 9. Back to the rice, after 10 min of simmering, stir the rice gently only once. That is, fold the rice from left bottom side to the upper left side, then the right side. DO NOT over stir it, as it will make your Biriyani soggy. Even if you are worried about burning at the bottom, then lower the heat, still do not stir it vigorously. Place, the cooked potatoes, dried prunes, and the green chilies on top of the rice, cover and simmer on low-med heat for 10 more minutes. Turn the heat off, sprinkle the cashew nuts on top, cover and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  • 10. After the long wait, your Chicken Biriyani is ready. Bon App├ętit!

2 comments:

  1. Hi Zulfia Apu, I've tried this recipe yesterday and it was so easy and delicious...everyone loved it!!
    Thanks apu, for sharing those wonderful and heavenly recipes and tips!!
    May Allah belss U!!

    -Boishakhi

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanx a lot Boishakhi for the feedback. :) Its my pleasure to share these recipes with you. I hope I can offer you the same in my future concoctions as well.

    ReplyDelete