Who can resist a delicious Biryani? Not me nor any rice lover that I know. A wholesome dish of rice and vegetable or meat served with a raitha, my definition of gastro nirvana 🙂
Delicate long grains of Basmati rice gently cooked with fragrant whole spices, layered with a deliciously spicy chicken gravy thats bursting with the flavours of powdered spices, ginger-garlic, tomatoes and yogurt. Heightened by the flavours of saffron infused milk, golden fried onions, raisins or prunes, fresh coriander, mint leaves, citrusy lemon and powdered garam masala.
I am always on the lookout for good Biryani recipes, and over the years have requested many of my Muslim friends to share their family recipes with me. This traditional family recipe comes all the way from the Sind Province of Pakistan shared by a good friend Salmeena Khan. Thank you Salmeena for generously sharing this recipe with me. This recipe shall be cherished by many, and be surely treasured by many in the coming generations. Wishing all my Muslim readers and friends,
All the happiness and Joy of this world, May God’s Blessings be with you always.
****EID MUBARAK**** “
To Make Muslim Biryani
Recipe Source: Salmeena Khan
Serves: 6-8 | Marinating time: 3-4 hours or overnight | Prep time: 30mins | Cooking time: 40 mins (to cook chicken and rice) | Dum time: 20-25 mins
To Marinade Chicken
Chicken or Mutton: 1.5 kgs
Red chilli powder: 2 tsps
Coriander powder: 2 tsps
Salt to taste.
Green chilies: 5 slit
Coriander leaves chopped: 2 tbsps
Mint leaves chopped : 2 tbsps
For the Chicken Gravy:
Large onions: 3 sliced finely
Green cardamoms: 8
Black pepper: 5 nos
Cumin seeds: 2 tsps
Cinnamon sticks: 2 inches
Black cardamom pods: 4
Raisins or prunes: handful (I used raisins)
Bay leaves: 2
Garlic paste: 2 tsps
Ginger: 2 tsps
Red chili powder: 1 tbsp or reduce for less heat
Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
Fennel powder: 3/4 tsp
Tomato: 500gms chopped
Salt: 2 tsps or to taste.
Oil: 1 cup
For the Rice:
Basmati rice: (soaked in water for atleast 1/2 an hour): 5 cups
Salt: to taste
Lemon juice: 1 lemon
Bay leaves: 2 nos
Cinnamon sticks: 3 nos.
Black cardamom pods: 3 nos.
Mint leaves : 1/3 cup finely chopped
Coriander leaves: 1/3 cup finely chopped
Browned onions reserved in step 2
Saffron milk: A pinch of saffron to infuse in 1/4 cup of warm milk
Lemon juice: 1/2 lemon
Rose water: 2 tsps
Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
Step 1: Marinade the chicken and keep overnight or for at least 3-4 hours
1. Take the thick yoghurt in a bowl, beat well, to it add powdered spices and salt to taste. Add the slit green chillies, chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves mix well. Finally add the cut chicken to this mixture, mix well. Cling film bowl and rest overnight in the fridge.
Step 2: Make the Chicken Masala
1. In a large non stick vessel take oil and heat it. Once hot add the finely sliced onions and fry until it is light golden brown. Keep aside 1/3 of the fried onions on a tissue paper for the final garnishing required while layering the biryani.
2. To the remaining brown onions in the pan add the whole spices ie cloves, cardamoms, black pepper, cumin seeds, cinnamon, black cardamom pods and bay leaves and fry till fragnant. Next add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry for 4-5 minutes till the raw smell goes away. Next add the powdered spices (chilli, coriander, fennel powders) and fry for 30 seconds before adding the tomatoes and the salt. Fry the tomatoes till they turn soft and moisture completely dries up. Add the marinaded chicken and yoghurt mixture to the vessel, mix well. (Add water only if needed to cook chicken) The chicken usually lets out water. Close the vessel and allow the chicken to cook for 30-35 minutes on medium heat until almost done, stirring in between. The gravy should be semi thick. You will know when the chicken is ready as the gravy turns darker in colour and oils starts floating to the top.
4. Next check for salt, squeeze over lemon juice to your taste turn off the heat.
Step 3: Prepare the Rice
1. Wash the rice in a large bowl till the water runs clear, then soak the rice for about 20 minutes. Once 20 minutes are done drain the rice in a colander and keep aside.
2. As the rice is soaking prepare the water in which it will cook. In a large vessel boil around 15 cups of water (you need to make sure the vessel you cook in is large enough to accomodate the water and the rice. If the rice has enough room to cook in you can see the grains of rice dancing about freely as it cooks and the grains freely lengthens to its maximum length. But if the vessel is too small the rice will not have enough room to cook in, the grains of rice will tend to stick to each other and clump.
3. Once the water comes to a boil, add the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, black cardamom. Close the pot and let the spices let out their flavours into the water for 3-4 minutes before you add the rice.
4. Add the rice to the boiling water, stir gently. Add salt to taste (add a bit more salt). Add lemon juice to the boiling water and a dash of oil to help keep the grains of rice fluffy and seperate. Let the rice cook for 6-8 minutes or till the rice is half done. To check this, take a grain of rice and press it between your index finger and thumb, if it breaks leaving a white seed of uncooked rice in the center your rice has cooked just right. Turn off flame and drain the rice immediately to a colander. Spread out the cooked rice to a large tray to allow it to cool.
Step 4: Bringing it all together or Assembling the Biryani
1. Take a large pot that is oven safe. Grease the base lightly with oil.
2. Place half the cooked rice at the bottom of the pan. Evenly distribute the pieces of meat over the rice. Then pour the gravy evenly over the meat. Add the remaining rice over the meat, level the rice gently to form an even layer.
3. Sprinkle over the chopped coriander and mint leaves and reserved browned onions.
4. Using the back of a spoon make a few tunnels through the rice and meat layer. Pour in drops of saffron milk through some tunnels. Through the remaining tunnels pour in drops of lemon juice and rose water. Sprinkle over a garam masala powder. You could add a few drops of ghee over the rice.
5. Seal the pan with foil and then place a lid over it. Place in preheated oven at l80 C for 25-30 mins. Gently mix it before serving.
Serve with a cucumber and tomato raitha.
Note: Salmeena includes boiled potatoes in the recipe, which I skipped as I ran out of potatoes. But will update the recipe when I use potatoes the next time
Do drop me a line if you do make this biryani. Would love to know your experience.
Yours in Taste,