I am always on a quest to improve any recipe that I have already perfected. I already shared with you my earlier version of chicken biryani and it’s a fantastic recipe. The only down side to this dish is the whole spices; I do not like biting into them. Hence, this new version.
In this recipe I have changed a few steps and added some new ones.
So what have I changed from the last recipe?
- Grinding all the whole spices into powder
- Omitted the potatoes
- Used a chapati pan
Why did I use a chapati pan?
For even distribution of heat and also to provide a thick bottom for my sufuria. This will ensure that the chicken meat does not dry out or burn. This provides a fail proof way every time you cook your biryani because the marinade is yoghurt based and they are very notorious for scorching.
How else do I ensure success of my biryani?
- Par boiling of my rice: this means that I first boil my rice till its 3/4 way done and then drain it.
- Add oil to the rice to prevent it from clumping together.
- Make sure the rice is well salted because no one wants bland rice.
- Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes or up to a maximum of 24 hours for the flavours to penetrate.
- Make sure that I fry onions to golden brown and not burnt to prevent them from developing a bitter taste.
- Never compact the rice while layering it in the sufuria in order to achieve a dish that has all the rice grains separated.
- Use a sufuria that has a tight fitting lid to prevent steam from escaping. If you do not have one of these then knead dough and line the rim of your sufuria cover to act as a seal (as demonstrated in the video)
- Select best quality rice, I use thin. long grain basmati rice.
Ingredients for marinating chicken
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3″ ginger
- 2 green chillies seeds removed
- Handful of dhania leaves
- Handful of mint leaves
- 500 ml fermented milk or yoghurt
- 5 whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp whole black pepper corns
- 8 brown cardamom pods
- 1 star anise
- 1/2 mace
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
- 3 Tbs vegetable oil
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 kg whole skinless chicken
Ingredients for the rice
- 1.5 Cups rice
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 4 cups water
- Salt to taste
- Chop onion into thin slices and fry until golden brown and set aside
- Grind all the whole spices together with the powdered ones and add them to the chicken together with fermented milk, oil and lemon juice. Massage into chicken, cover and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Pour the chicken along with all the marinading juices into a sufuria and cook on high heat for 20 minutes for liquid to evaporate and thicken.
- Soak rice in cold water for 10 minutes while waiting for water to boil.
- Once water boils add the rice and spices, stir for everything to mix properly. Once the rice comes to a boil let it boil on high heat fro 5-7 minutes and then drain.
- Pour rice over the chicken and spread without compacting it.
- Spread browned onions over the rice layer.
- Spread the dhania and mint leaves over the browned onions.
- Pour a mixture of turmeric powder and water over the rice, but do this as drops over different areas (see video).
- Mix all purpose wheat flour with water to form a dough, roll it in to a long strip and cover the rim of your sufuria lid. Press the lid on sufuria and make sure it’s firmly in place.
- Heat chapati pan on high heat and place sufuria on top of it. After five minutes reduce heat and cook on low for 40 minutes.
- Turn off heat and leave undisturbed without opening the lid for 10 minutes.
- Crack the dough from the sides of the lid and sufuria and fluff up the rice.
- Serve from top to bottom.