A delicious, fragrant, meaty, warm, one-pot, comfort Indian meal. One of the most loved meals, I might add. 🙂 That heady moment when you wait with bated breath and then open the perfect biryani pot. AH! It’s amazing. I can never tire of that.
I can never get over the love of a good biryani. As a child, I loved Mommy’s patiently made, fragrantly spiced, Beef and chicken briani. That kickstarted my love for flavoured rice dishes and especially Biryani. I have tried and tasted many kinds of Biryanis from different regions of the land from Thalassery,Malabar to Hyderabadi Kacchi to Awadhi and so on, and have loved almost all.
In Chennai too, biryani is a very popular delicacy. The love for the Madras style of biryani didn’t come as soon as I landed here. I was introduced to it at a friend’s and am ever so thankful to her for letting me into her recipe secrets. She of course parboils rice, deftly layers the biryani meat curry and rice, with extra splashes of water and saffron colour. This is my version of the same recipe that I inherited from my friend but in a one pot wonder. Thanks FJ.
Succulent meat pieces are marinated and cooked in a warm spicy onion, tomato, yoghurt masala to which herbs, lime juice, saffron and soaked fragrant basmati rice is added and further cooked on dum. Seriously addictive.
A delicious, fragrant, meaty, warm, one-pot, comfort Indian meal. One of the most loved meals, I might add. 🙂 That heady moment when you wait with bated breath and then open the perfect biryani pot. AH! It's amazing. I can never tire of that. I can never get over the love of a good biryani. As a ch
- Soak basmati rice in water for at least half an hour. Rinse clear and strain. Set aside.
- Wash pat dry chicken and set aside or marinate in some salt, yoghurt, turmeric, coriander, chilli powders, lime juice and set aside. Marination is optional here but I do it out of habit.
- Grind together, the piece of ginger, garlic cloves and 1green chilli coarsely. Set aside
- Soak saffron in some hot water.
- Heat a handi or a wide deep vessel (I used a large urli, easy to stir around)enough to hold the quantity of cooked meal. Add about 1/4cup of oil and let it heat up. Add the whole spices, bay leaves, fennel seeds, peppercorns and wait for couple of seconds for the fragrances and flavours to infuse the oil. Quickly add the sliced onions and remaining green chilli with a pinch of salt and stir. Saute until golden.
- Add the ground ginger garlic chilli paste and and stir for couple of minutes. Add sliced tomatoes and stir. Tip in turmeric powder, stir, add coriander and chillipowders, stir, add garam masala, biryani masala and cumin powders and keep stirring gently. Cover and cook till oil starts to separate while stirring occasionally. Half way through cooking the onion tomato masala, add the yoghurt, chopped mint and coriander. Reserve some of the herbs for garnishing.
- Add the chicken pieces and gently stir them about in the masala. Cover and cook until almost done. (it took almost 15- 20minutes). Add the hot water and let it all boil. Season with salt, squeeze some lemon juice, Add a tbsp of ghee(optional) and 2-3 drops of biryani essence(completely optional but I do add occasionally) Add the presoaked and strained rice to the boiling pot. Let the contents come to a boil. Sprinkle the saffron water and gently lift and stir the contents. Smoothen with ladle. Cover with tight lid or pack and seal the sides with dough and cook on low heat for about 10-15minutes. Switch off heat. Patiently wait it out for sometimes for flavours to lock.
- After about 15minutes, I usually fork up fluff up the rice gently, place a cheese cloth over the rice and again close with lid and a heavy skillet over the lid to keep it as tightly shut as possible. I let it rest for almost an hour or so. When you open the pot, the top layers of rice should stand up ramrod straight almost like saying hello!
- Serve hot or warm with kachumber, raita or brinjal pachadi. Garnish if you must with ghee fried onions, nuts and raisins. Enjoy with great company.
- You can also let the contents boil for sometime and then transfer the whole biryani pot tightly closed to a heavy hot griddle on flame and leave on dum for sometime till cooked through.
- Add or reduce spices as per tolerance levels. This makes a medium spicy biryani.