A well made Biryani is a reason alone to celebrate! The heady aroma that envelops you, the play of flavors and textures that entice your senses as you have you have your first bite…Mmmmm, need I say more! 🙂
Here I present to you my easy no-fuss step by step method to make this delicious classic that is sure to win your approval!
Wash, drain and soak 2 1/2 cups Basmati rice in warm water.
Marinate 1 1/2 kg chicken (I used only drumsticks but you can use a full chicken or thigh, breast and legs) with 1/2 cup yoghurt, 3 tbsp ginger garlic paste, salt to taste , 1 heaped tsp haldi, 2 tsp red chilli pwdr and 2 tsp of my Biryani masala /garam masala.
Coarsely pound lightly roasted dhania seeds and add a tbsp to the marinated chicken. Keep chicken aside for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp oil, add 2 tsp jeera, 1 large stick cinnamon, 1 big tej patta, 3-4 big elaichi, 4 choti elaichi, 4-5 laung 1 tsp whole black pepper and 4 khadi lal mirch.
Add 3 large sliced onions and cook on medium heat till the onions turn golden.
While the onions are cooking. Heat a tbsp of oil in a wide pan and sear the chicken pieces (after shaking off excess marinade) on medium high heat. Reserve marinade do not discard!
Cook in small batches and while cooking the chicken be careful not to over-crowd the pieces in the pan. At this stage the intention is to seal the outer layer crisp and not completely cook the chicken through!
Once the onions turn golden. Drain the soaked rice and add to the onions.
Gently sauté on medium heat till the rice starts to crackle.
Now oil an oven safe pan (you could use a ceramic dish, a foil tray or a clay pot like I did). Add enough water to cook the soaked rice along with the reserved marinade (about 4 1/2 cups total). Transfer the onion rice mix and the seared chicken pieces into the baking dish too.
Sprinkle a fistful of freshly chopped mint (or 2 tsp dry mint), 2 tsp ghee, a generous squeeze of lemon juice and a few strands of saffron.
Cover with alum foil, pinching down the corners to seal
Place in a 350F oven and bake for about 1 hour.
Switch off oven and let the Biryani rest in the warm oven for another 20 minutes.
Now take out of oven, remove foil, close your eyes, take a deep breath and let the magical aroma…transport you! 🙂
Serve warm..and Enjoy with a side of onion tomato raita!