Years back when I was in my first semester of MBA, my best friend called and requested me to teach her Chicken Dum Biryani recipe. She was leaving to USA to do her ‘Masters. She said, at least I can make something good whenever I crave for your biryani. Biryani is something which I learnt to make when I first started to learn cooking. You may wonder, but my fondness for biryani made me learn the recipe and I use to cook biryani very often like every alternate weekends.
Then entering kitchen…I gained my confidence and started making biryani. Aunty had bought all the ingredients necessary in making biryani and she even told me to check before starting so that she can get it if something is missing. I had a glance and said everything is there aunty. Then she said now kitchen is all yours and she left to do the packing.
My dear friend U was standing laying her back to wall and scribbling my activity in the kitchen. When you see someone making the recipe then you can learn very quickly…..that’s how I learnt to make biryani too….when I left the biryani on ‘DUM’ (scroll down to read about ‘DUM’)…and came out of the kitchen….the aroma has spread all over the house and everyone started asking me when will they get it served….
Chicken Dum Biryani Recipe
- ½ kg. Chicken, cleaned, washed and drained
- 2 tbsp. Red chili powder
- ½ tbsp. Turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp. Garam Masala
- 2 tbsp. Ginger-Garlic paste
- 2 Green chilies cut length-wise
- ½ cup Curd, beaten
- ¾ kg. Basmati Rice, wash and soak for ½ hr
- 1½ tbsp. Ginger-Garlic paste
- 5 Cardamom, 5 Cloves and 2 1” inch pieces of Cinnamon
- 1 Badi Elaichi/Black Cardamom, 1 Star Anise and 1 Bay leaf
- 1 tbsp. Shah Jeera/Caraway seeds
- ½ tbsp. Saffron
- 3 tbsp. lukewarm Milk
- 3 tbsp. minced Coriander leaves
- 2 tbsp. minced Mint leaves
- ¾ cup Ghee
- 2 Onions, sliced
- 1 Cardamom, 1 Clove and 1 1’inch piece of Cinnamon
- 4 tbsp. fresh Lemon juice/3 tbsp.Vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Garam Masala
How to make Hyderabad Style Chicken Dum Biryani
- Marinate the chicken pieces with the ingredients listed under ‘For Marination’ and leave it in fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight by covering with a plastic foil.
Frying Onions | Birista
- In a heavy bottom cooking vessel, add ghee along with cardamom, clove and cinnamon. When the spices start to leave aroma, add in finely sliced onions.
- Fry till crisp and nice brown. (Be careful, fry on low flame, stirring frequently). Now carefully using a slotted spatula separate fried onion slices from ghee. Collect ghee in a cup and set aside.
Cooking Chicken for Biryani
- Now in the same vessel, add marinated chicken pieces and fry till chicken starts to loose its juices. Add 1 cup of water and cook covered on low flame till chicken turns soft. Set aside.
Cooking Rice for Biryani
- While the chicken is cooking, start cooking the rice. In a heavy bottom cooking vessel (used for cooking rice) add 10-12 cups of water (if more also no problem, as we will drain off the water), salt, ginger-garlic paste, 3 cardamom’s, 3 cloves, 2 sticks of cinnamon, black cardamom, star anise and bay leaf. Bring water to boil. When the water starts to boil add soaked basmati rice and cook till rice is just done.
- Drain and collect the water using a sieve in a cooking vessel. Drain well and set aside.
How to Layer Chicken Biryani
- Now in a heavy bottom cooking vessel add little ghee (the one which we fried onions) and on this add half of cooked basmati rice. On this add cooked chicken, ghee, garam masala, kesar (soaked in lukewarm milk), deep fried onions, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, fresh coriander and mint leaves.
- Cover it up with another layer of basmati rice. If you have more cooked chicken then layer them on rice and so on.
- Now add remaining ghee, kesar, fried onions, garam masala, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, fresh coriander and mint leaves. Cook on a low flame by covering with a lid. Keep the strained water on top of the lid or seal with foil.
Cooking on Dum
- Cook for nearly 20-25 minutes on low flame. Turn off the flame and leave the vessel on the stove for another half an hour.
Serving Chicken Dum Biryani
- When you are ready to serve, mix in the biryani slowly and gently. Serve hot garnishing with fresh coriander and mint leaves. If you want you can add fried cashews or half sliced boiled eggs before serving.
Tips to make Perfect Chicken Biryani
- Add ½ tbsp. of sugar while frying onions. This gives nice color and caramelisation to the onions.
- Always remember to fry onions on low flame. Avoid burning onion slices as it will impart bitter taste to the biryani.
- Keeping strained water vessel on top of the lid provides weight and helps in locking the aroma.
- In traditional way, biryani pot is sealed with whole wheat flour dough, which is made mixing 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 tbsp. salt, 2 tbsp. of ghee and enough water to make firm dough. Seal the cooking vessel and lid with the dough thoroughly. This process helps in retaining the steam and aroma of the recipe.
- As we are using salt in marinating chicken and cooking rice, so adjust accordingly.