Well here it is!! My dear sister Sanjana, who blogs at Feeding The Sonis have been after me to post the chicken biryani recipe. Well finally I took some time out to write and post my recipe for the Chicken Biryani. This recipe was taught to me by my friend Nasreen who is a brilliant cook. Anything that she cooks is yummy and delicious. It was a privilege to learn how to cook this biryani from her. Everyone have their unique version of cooking biryani and this version is Nasreen’s own unique style. I have written this recipe in three steps because it is bit complex to cook this dish. However once cooked it is quite worth the effort for the mouth watering dish that you get to eat at the end of the day. So enjoy the biryani and let you taste buds do the talking.
1 kg – 500 grams Chicken (chopped into curry pieces)
1 pkt Shaan Sindhi Biryani masala
2 medium sized onions or 3 small onions finely chopped
½ cup yoghurt
1 canned roma tomatoes
1 bunch mint leaves
1 bunch corriader leaves
3-4 cups of basmati rice (washed and soaked in the cold water)
1 whole bunch of garlic cloves
1-2 chopped piece of ginger
4-5 pieces green chillies
3-4 tablespoon oil (use more if required)
1 tsp Kewra water (optional)
1 tsp salt
Start by chopping the chicken into curry pieces and setting it aside in a bowl. Prepare garlic and ginger by peeling and crushing it using a pestle and mortar. Get the onions ready by chopping them finely. Heat the oil in a deep based or a non-stick pot. When the oil is hot, lower the heat and add the chopped onions and slowly fry them until it starts to turn glossy in colour. To this add the crushed garlic and ginger, fry these for two or three minutes. Now add the chopped chicken pieces, Shan Sindhi Biryani masala, 1 can of roma tomatoes and 1/2 a cup of yoghurt. Mix it all well. Do not add any salt to this mix. The Shan Briyani Masala has enough salt in it so no further salt is required. Mix the chicken and spices well and let it cook slowly on a low heat. From time to time keep an eye on the curry to ensure that it has enough water and it does not become too dry. The aim of this curry is to still have enough liquid in it. The chicken is cooked when you see a layer of oil on the top of the curry. Turn off the heat and keep the pot aside.
Now boil a big pot of water. When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat and add the washed basmati rice and a teaspoon salt. Stir rice and let it cook. While the rice is cooking, prepare, wash and chop the mint and coriander leaves. Keep monitoring the rice. The aim of this process is to ensure that rice is not fully cooked. It should be half cooked. You can test the texture of the rice by pressing a grain of rice between your fingers. It will be slightly cooked but still a little raw in the middle. Once you get the rice to this texture, drain the rice in a colander and keep it ready for step 3.
Empty half of the chicken curry into a big bowl. Spread the remaining half in the pot with a spoon or spatula. To this curry mixture add and evenly spread half the quantity of rice. On the rice layer, make another layer by spreading the chopped mint and coriander. To the herb spread you can add some fresh green chillies and freshly chopped tomatoes. I mainly put in the herbs and fresh green chillies, it gives biryani an extra kick. Now add the remaining chicken curry on the top followed by the remaining rice and add kewar essence (optional). Put the lid on the pot and let it steam slowly on a very low heat. The aim is to cook the rice slowly until all the rice grain is totally cooked. When the briyani is ready, serve it with the yoghurt and cumin relish. Serve the biryani by showing the four different layers on the serving platter.