Chicken Biryani Recipe

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Chicken Biryani Recipe in 2 ways! Make the ultimate Biryani in homestyle and restaurant styles. Biryani is a celebratory rice and meat dish cherished in the Indian sub-continent. A traditional biryani consists of fluffy basmati rice layered over tender & succulent pieces of meat, accompanied with the mesmerizing aromas of spices, herbs & caramelized onions.

In this post I show you how to make an aromatic, delicious and the best Chicken Biryani, not in one but 2 ways – Homestyle and restaurant style.

About Biryani

Biryani is one of the most popular rice dishes & traditionally it is cooked adapting the process of dum pukht, meaning “steam cooked over low fire”.

The traditional process of Chicken Biryani starts by marinating meat in yogurt along with spices and herbs. The raw/uncooked marinated meat is layered at the bottom of a wide pot followed by another layer of par cooked basmati rice, herbs, saffron infused milk, fried onions and ghee or attar (edible essential oil).

The pot is sealed to trap the steam and is dum cooked on a low heat for the most tender and flavorsome dish.

This is known as Kachi Biryani & I have shared that traditional Hyderabadi biryani here. Cooking this kind of a biryani requires a bit of expertise and understanding the dum pukht method correctly.

It is believed that Persians introduced Biryani to the Indians and this royal delicacy once upon a time was a luxurious treat made during special occasions.

However over the decades, the popularity of Biryani has grown to the extent that we eat it more often, whenever the Biryani cravings kick-in.

Innovative home cooks and chefs have come-up with many new and easier methods to cook biryani, as a result pakki biryani and my one pot biryani shared below came into existence.

About My Chicken Biryani

As mentioned earlier I share 2 recipes here and both the recipes use the same ingredients but the quantities vary slightly due to the difference in the cooking methods.

The first method is a one pot biryani and you can cook this in a pressure cooker or in a regular pot. In this recipe, we cook the marinated meat and layer the uncooked rice. Pour hot water and cook to perfection.

The second method is known as pakki dum biryani, where you cook the marinated meat with aromatics and make a gravy first. Meanwhile you par cook the rice and layer that over the chicken gravy.

Cover and cook on dum/steam for a short time to infuse the flavors of spices and herbs. Tada! Your best restaurant style Chicken Biryani is ready!

Both these recipes yield a chicken biryani that isn’t too oily, spicy, hot or pungent as it looks to be in the pictures. However you can reduce the amount of red chili powder if you do not prefer the heat. Biryani is best served with a RaitaShorbalassi and papads.

A biryani is judged by 3 things

  1. Masala/ flavors – so use a good biryani masala (recipe below) or garam masala.
  2. The quality of rice – use aged basmati rice or aged premium quality short grain rice like jeerakasala.
  3. The tenderness of meat – so always marinate chicken in yogurt and spices.

Biryani Masala Powder

You can use a good store bought biryani masala or garam masala. I prefer to use homemade biryani masala which I am sharing below. If you want you may use this or use your favorite store bought masala.

  • 1 to 2 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise
  • 10 to 12 green cardamoms
  • 2 two inch piece cinnamon – 2 grams
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds (shahi jeera, sub with cumin)
  • 2 strands of mace (I use half of a small mace, it may be strong for others)
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

On a low to medium heat, dry roast bay leaf, star anise, green and black cardamoms, mace and cinnamon stick for 1 to 2 mins, until slightly fragrant. Add cloves, fennel, caraway and black pepper. Roast for another 1 to 2 mins on a low heat, until aromatic. Add nutmeg and turn off. Cool and make a fine powder.

You can make this ahead or make a large batch and transfer to an air tight glass/ steel jar. Store in the refrigerator for 2 months.

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