Right from the invasion of Mughals in India, our country has been invariably influenced with Mughlai food and cuisines. There are many theories to testify the origin of Biryanis in India, but truly spoken the exact origin is still unknown. Biryani is widely known all over the world for its unique aroma taste and fragrance. In India itself you will witness numerous versions of biryani, depending on the region, language, soil, taste and preference.
All said and done, Biryani has always been my most favorite dish in the whole wide world. Right from my childhood till this day, I must admit with pride that I have witnessed and eaten more than a dozen different varieties of biryanis. My mom’s one has always been the most special. When I was in Bangalore, I had eaten biryani at my friend’s place, which was again cooked in a method entirely different from all the methods I had known so far. Even in Singapore, there are so many variations of biryanis you get to encounter.
Some people cook the rice and meat separately before putting them in layers and cooking together on dum. That I would say is actually the most correct method of cooking biryani. However, some people cook the rice and meat together in a pressure cooker. That I would not say is a wrong method; as I said different people adopt different ways of preparing; and no doubt each version is unique and tastes amazingly good!! 🙂
After years of practice and after trying all kinds of versions, I must say I have pretty much mastered the art of making an almost perfect biryani. 😛 Right from taking down recipes from friends to watching hundreds of recipes on youtube and trying out a whole range of biryanis everywhere, I have finally been able to get the recipe of a biryani that would be very close to the Hyderabadi style chicken dum biryani.
It was Thursday afternoon and DH had just returned from an overseas trip the night before. Best thing about his business trips is that he gets to work from home on the day after he arrives. And what best could I make for him other than a delicious chicken dum biryani!! It is tempting aromatic and a total burst of sumptuous flavors in your mouth.
Later I will show more different recipes of a variety of biryanis from various parts of India. Every kind is unique to each region depending on distinctive aromas, locally available ingredients and local taste buds. This particular recipe is that of Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani. The chicken and rice are cooked separately and then layered to be later cooked together on dum. Having a rich and spicy home-made biryani is always a delicious treat to life!! 🙂
Chicken – 1-1.2 kg
Basmati rice – 3.5 cups (washed and soaked for 30 mins)
Ginger – 1 large piece
Garlic cloves – 10-12
Green chillies – 4-5
Onions – 2 large
Cinnamon stick – 2 -3 small sticks
Cloves – 12
Green cardamom – 5-6
Black peppercorn seeds – 8-10
Bay leaves – 5-6
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Coriander leaves and mint (pudina) leaves – 1 bunch
Milk – 4-5 tbsp
Food colour – (optional)
Salt – as per taste
For marination of chicken:
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Cumin powder – 1 tbsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tbsp
Biryani masala powder – 1 tbsp (Optional)
Yogurt – 3-4 heaping tbsp
Lime juice – Juice of 1 lime
- Marinate the chicken:
Marinate the chicken with turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, biryani masala powder, yogurt and lime juice for at least 30 mins. Better to keep it overnight, if possible.
2. Prepare the rice:
Wash and soak the basmati rice for at least 30 mins.
Take water in a large pot / pan. Add 5-6 cloves, 3-4 tbsp of oil and sufficient salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil.
When the water starts boiling, add the soaked rice.
When the rice is 50% done, drain out the water.
3. For the chicken:
Thinly slice the 2 large onions. Take oil in a pan and fry the onions until golden brown.
Remove half of the fried onions and keep it for later use.
At this point add in the marinated chicken to the remaining fried onions inside the pan.
Mix well. Let it cook on high flame for 5 mins.
Take the whole garam masala. Add the whole garam masala spices to the chicken.
Grind the ginger garlic and green chillies to a fine paste using a little water.
Add the ginger garlic and chilli paste to the chicken.
Mix well and cook for a few mins.
Make a paste of coriander leaves, mint leaves and fried onions. Add into the chicken.
Add salt. Mix everything well. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 10 mins.
Once the chicken is done, switch off the flame.
4. For the dum process:
Usually I prefer to cook it on dum using a rice cooker.
Layer the chicken on bottom.
Layer the rice on top of the chicken.
Add some milk, food colour, few tablespoons of ghee, and finely chopped coriander & mint leaves on top of the rice.
Cook it on dum for about 25 mins in rice cooker.
After 25 mins, the biryani will be done.
Mix carefully with a blunt spoon or spatula so that the rice does not break.
We enjoyed the delicious biryani with some fried chicken. Serve it hot with chilled raita. Enjoy!!