Murgh Biryani

I have written down step by step recipe with each picture. This is my recipe. It might not match with yours or any “traditional” way of cooking biryani.

I normally do not follow measurements while cooking, only “andaaz”. But for Biryani I suggest 1 : 2, that is one portion rice to two portion meat. Here I have used 1 kg chicken and half kg rice. Please use long grain aged Basmati of a good brand. Do not use rose and kewda essence. You can get rose water and kewda water from Dabur.

To make Mutton Biryani, you can follow the same recipe. Please add couple tablespoonful papaya paste while marinating mutton. Papaya paste will make the mutton soft and succulent.

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Add ginger garlic paste, big bunch of sliced coriander leaves, garam masala powder, Kashmiri red chilly powder, salt and brista (golden brown deep fried onion slices) to beaten curd and mix well.

Add couple tablespoon oil that u fried the onions in to the marinade. Add the chicken and mix well. Cover and keep in fridge for at least 3 to 4 hours. I keep it marinated overnight.

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1. Heat oil in a kadhai, add jeera and few green chillies, fry for a few mins. Add the marinated chicken, mix well and cover it to cook. Cook for maximum 7 mins or so. The chicken should be half cooked.

2. Wash the rice. Soak it in water for minimum half an hour. Boil water in a handi. Add salt so that the rice doesnt taste bland. Cook the rice until half done. Drain water. Spread the rice on a large plate to prevent the rice grains from further cooking and stcking to each other.

3. Hard boil eggs (optional)

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Take the handi you in which you want to put the biryani in dum, smear ghee inside the handi all over. Put the chicken, sprinkle handful of coriander leaves on it.

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Put a layer of rice on top of the chicken. Sprinkle garam masala powder and a handful of mint leaves (podina patra). Do not cut the mint leaves, they lose the smell if u cut them.

You can put eggs if you want in this layer. Eggs are optional.

Heat a cup full of milk and add pinch of saffron. Keep it aside for half an hour or so until the milk becomes completely yellow.

Add the next layer of rice. Add a spoon of ghee to the rice water you preserved during draining the rice. Sprinkle the ghee mixed warm rice water on top of the rice. Sprinkle the saffron milk on rice. Spread brista (golden brown deep fried onion slices). Put few dollops of butter on top. I use unsalted butter (Amul). Butter keeps the rice moist.

Make dough from Atta and spread it on the rim of the handi. Put the lid and press well. Make sure the handi is completely sealed.

After sealing the handi, put it on medium flame for 10 minutes or so. You need to move the handi every one minute so that one area doesnt get over heated and starts burning. This will help in the cooking process to start. As we are using steam for dum, it will take very long time if the cooking process doesnt start.
Take a vessel which is almost the similar size as the biryani handi. Make sure the handi sits perfectly on the vessel. Fill the vessel less than half with water. Put it on flame for the water to boil. Put the handi on top.
To make it more effective, put some water on the lid too. Leave it on dum for 2 hours or so. Go, take a nap. Do not open in between to check. Trust the process.
Open the lid after 2 hours on dum. You will be pleasantly hit by the delicate yet complex aroma of a well made biryani. Please do not mix the biryani. If you do that you will lose the three distinct colour of the rice… green, yellow and white. Thats the beauty of well made biryani.
Always serve from the side. Put your spatula down as if you are cutting a cake and scoop out. Only then you can get the layers with every serving.
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Enjoy your biryani with Mirchi ka Salan (Will post the recipe later) and Raita.

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