17 June, 2009

Biryani - a perfect one-dish meal

Few days back, I made Khichiri, the rice preparation which takes no time to prepare. Here is one more rice-preparation, the Chicken Biryani which is quite a lengthy process but totally worth. This makes the perfect one-dish meal which is aromatic delicious and fabulous dish.
Biryani, is a Mughlai dish where the rice is cooked separately from the other ingredients.
The par boiled rice, which is then assembled with the other ingredients, sealed and put on "dum" (put on a very low heat, so that all the flavors inside the pot amalgamate well) for some time.
The good quality of basmati rice used gives the best flavor and appearance. The key to making a good biryani lies in the way you par boil the rice. Never over cook the rice. Most expensive spice used is the saffron. For me the fresh mint leaves creates the magic, for you, any of your favorite other spice can do. Try making it for your loved ones.
Believe me, Making yourself the Biryani and eating it will surely be the most cherishing experience of your life.
This recipe will easily serve 2pax.
So lets us begin.

TOTAL Ingredients for Chicken Biryani:
  • Chicken – 1 Boneless Breast, 2 drum-sticks
  • Basmati rice – 2 Cups
  • Onions - 1 cup (finely chopped)
  • Ginger and Garlic paste - 2 tablespoon
  • Red Chili Powder – 3 tablespoon
  • Turmeric Powder- 2 tablespoon
  • Coriander Powder – 3 tablespoon
  • Bay Leaves - 3-4 Nos.
  • Cloves – 4-5Nos.
  • Cinnamon Sticks- 2 cm long
  • Green Cardamom Pods- 3 or 4 Nos.
  • Black Cardamom Pods- 2Nos
  • Cumin – 1- 2 teaspoon
  • Mace – 2 (full-mace strands).
  • Cashew nuts - 10-12Nos.
  • Raisins- 10-15 Nos.
  • Mint Leaves – 1cup
  • Garam Masala Powder - 2 teaspoon
  • Salt - (according to taste)
  • Ghee (clarified butter) – 3 tablespoon
  • Curd - ½ cup
  • Oil – 5 Tablespoon
  • Saffron - few strands

Chicken Biryani @ Humming Today

For your convenience, the whole recipe of Chicken Biryani is divided into major 4 procedures with picture illustration which is as follows:-
  1. Marinating the Chicken,for making Biryani.
  2. Preparation of the Rice for making Biryani.
  3. Mixing the two sums of ingredients two (1, 2) above,and named as mentioned Making of Biryani
  4. Garnishing, the Biryani.

Marinate Chicken
Ingredients from the above mentioned list; for Marinating the Chicken:

  • Chicken- 1 Boneless Breast, 2 drum-sticks.
  • Ginger and Garlic paste- 1 tablespoon.
  • Red Chili Powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder- 1teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder- 2 teaspoon
  • Garam-Masala Powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Cloves - 3 Nos.
  • Cumin – 1teaspoon
  • Mace – 1 full-mace strands.
  • Salt- 1½ teaspoon
  • Oil – 1tablespoon
  • Curd - ½ cup 
Preparation for Marinating the Chicken:
  • Take the chicken breast and cut into small pieces. Make cuts on the leg-piece(drum-stick).
  • In a bowl and mix all the ingredients and spicies with the chicken, cover it and keep aside for 1 hour for marinating.


Rice PreparationIngredients from the above mentioned main list, for Rice Preparation:
  • Basmati Rice- 2 Cups
  • Water- 5-6 Cups
  • Oil- 1 tablespoon
  • Bay Leaf- 1Nos.
  • Cloves – 3Nos.
  • Cinnamon Sticks- 1cm long
  • Cardamom Pods- 2 Nos. (crushed)
  • Mace – 1(full-mace strands)
  • Salt- 1tablespoon
Preparation of Rice for Biryani:
  • Take Rice and soak them into water for about ½ an hour. And strain the rice and keep aside.
  • Add 5-6 cups of water with all the spices and set it to boil. Don’t forget to add the Salt.
  • Ones the water starts boiling, add the Soaked Rice. Cook the rice only half done.
  • When rice is half done, remove it from the heat and strain and keep them aside.

PROCEDURE: 3. (combining the 1 and 2)
Making of BiryaniFinal Procedure for Making of Biryani:
  • Take thick bottom Vessel /utensil and heat 3 tablespoon oil.
  • Add the remaining dry spices like cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, mace, cumin seeds, Cinnamon Stick.
  • When the spices start to sputter, add finely chopped onion and let it turns glossy.
  • Add the 2 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste and cook for a minute.
  • Then add the fine chopped tomatoes and let them cook.
  • Mix them well and add other dry powdered spices like coriander, turmeric, red-chili, garam-masala powder and salt.
  • Also add the fine chopped mint leaves.
  • When the spices are cooked, it leaves the oil.
  • Then add the marinated-chicken pieces and ½ a cup of water and cook the chicken with the lid closed. Chicken pieces should look roasted.
  • Keep stirring in between.
  • Ones the chicken is well cooked, check and add ½cup of water if it is very dry or the spices are sticking the bottom. Lower the flame.
  • Now take out half of the chicken in another bowl.
  • Than add the par-cooked Basmati Rice into the vessel/utensil just above the cooked chicken. Spread the rice into a layer. Add only half of the total rice.
  • Now over the rice add the remaining chicken, which was taken aside. Spread on the rice nicely.
  • Also add few thin strands of the ginger in between the layers of the chicken and rice.
  • Latter fill the vessel/utensil with other remaining rice over the chicken and spread. Repeat this process making layers of rice and chicken.
  • Then add over the Rice, (garnishing ingredients metioned below in PROCEDURE.4) the golden fried cashew nuts and raisins with the ghee. Also pour the saffron dissolved -coloured milk over the rice.
  • Close the Vessel/Utensil, with the air-tighten lid. And cook again on the medium-heat for couple of minutes and then on low-heat for 5-10 minutes.
  • After being cooked, don’t open the lid for about 10-15 minutes, let it aroma mix well and settle.
  • Serve hot, with the side-dish like Raita (spices curd) or plain curd, onion rings, and lemon wedge.

Garnish Biryani
Ingredients from the above main list for Garnish in Biryani:
  • Cashew Nuts
  • Raisins
  • Onion (cut into round thin rings)
  • Mint Leaves
  • Saffron (dissolved into warm milk)
Procedures for Making the Garnish for Biryani:
  • Head the ghee in the pan. Fry the cashew nuts till golden brown. Also fry, the Raisins and keep aside in the cup. Add the remaining ghee in the bowl from the pan.
  • Cut in rings of the Onion and keep aside. Take the warm milk, add the strands of saffron and keep aside.

  • You can use all the Ghee (clarified butter) intead of Oil for more aromatic flavor.
  • I prefer the boneless chicken, you can have any piece of Chicken or add mutton pieces as you relish. If vegetarian, you can add the number of vegetables of your choice and follow the same procedure. Marinate the chicken, poking the chicken with the fork and rub the spices. For much flavored marinate the chicken prior 2-3 hours.
  • Keep ready the marinated chicken and the soaked rice ready prior making the biryani.
  • If you are expert you can cook the semi-cooked rice, simultaneously when the chicken is being cooked in the Vessel/Utensil. I prefer cooking one thing at a time for no latter confusion and hassle. Also I keep the semi-cooked rice vessel in the big vessel half filled with the cold water (something like double-boiler pan), so that the rice does not get cooked with the steam while I’m busy preparing the chicken in the Utensil.
  • Keep your garnishing ingredients ready prior starting any main procedure.
  • One can also take a few semi-cooked grains of rice and colour them with diluted saffron for garnishing. One can also add the fresh green coriander leaves every time the mint leaves are added.
  • You will need a utensil of about 12" (300 mm) base, I prefer Pressure Cooker. You can also add the deep fry half the sliced onions to golden brown with ginger strands while layering the rice and chicken.
  • Lid the vessel/utensil and try making it airtight (but no pressure should build up). So one can keep the clean wet kitchen towel covering the opening of the vessel and over it the lid was placed. This shall keep it air-tight. Also you have to take care that the biryani being whole cooked must not get burnt from the bottom after been air-tighten. The flame must not get concentrated only at the center of the vessel after been air-tight; one can keep the vessel on the hot flat-pan/tawa already placed on another burner with the low flame.
Hope you enjoy making and relishing the recipe, the Biryani!


  1. Nikita Sagar KochharWednesday, June 17, 2009

    Rachana.....I m coming 2 ur place to have this biryani....

  2. Biryani is the best during weekends and I do make them. Mint adds a lot of flavor to it. I just avoid using the nuts and eating a biryani is complete with a nice pan.

  3. @ Nikita
    Please do come home, i shall not only serve You Biryani...but also teach Sagar to Cook Biryani.
    So is the deal final!


  4. @ Priya
    Thats great to know that u too enjoy cooking Biryani at home,well if u have some secret recipe plz do share it with me ;)

    Thankyou for a comment!!

  5. Can't wait to try this out..
    A very detailed explanation. I had been searching for one..

  6. this is far too detailed for me would you pleez make it easier for me to make in under one hour. but thanks for the tips and the recipe no hard feeling right?

  7. Hi Rachana! This is by far the best and sought after recipe, that I went through. I cooked exactly the way you wrote and it came really aromatic and tasty. Thank you so much for sharing such a detailed information. Loved it!


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