Pakistani Chicken Biryani

  • Women‍‍`s Corner
  • May 31, 2022

Are you a biryani lover? If you are, then this pakistani chicken biryani recipe is only for you. This is an easy, mouthwatering, traditional Pakistani and Indian flavor. 

Ingredients :

- 1 1/4 lbs (567 g) bone-in, cut up, skinless chicken. 

Marinade :

- 1/2 cup (115 g) plain whole milk yogurt

- 1 tbsp neutral oil

- 2 tbsp biryani masala 

- 1 tsp coriander powder

- 1/2 tsp cumin powder

- 1/2-1 tsp red chili powder

- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

- 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder

- pinch cane sugar

- 2 tsp kosher salt

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Whole Spices :

- 3 medium dried bay leaves

- 5-6 whole cloves

- 4-5 whole black cardamoms

- 6 star anise

- 6 green cardamom pods

- 2 3-inch cinnamon sticks

- 3/4 tsp cumin seeds

- 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns

Parboiled Rice :

- 1 3/4 cups (350 g) aged

- 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt

- 1 tbsp oil

- 1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar

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Biryani :

- 1/4 cup neutral oil

- 2 tbsp ghee

- 2 (~400 g) medium yellow onions

- 6-8 (1 tbsp heaped) garlic cloves

- 1- inch (1 tbsp heaped) ginger

- 1 (75-80 g) small tomato, finely chopped

- 1-2 small green chili peppers (such as Thai or Serrano), chopped

- 5 dried plums , (alu bukhara)

- 1/3 – 1/2 tsp kosher salt

- 1 tsp garam masala, may omit if using store-bought biryani masala

- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes, optional

- 1 tsp kewra essence, depending on strength

- 1 tsp lemon juice

Layering/Topping :

- 1/2 tsp chaat masala or garam masala

- 1 tbsp oil

- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

- 1-2 tbsp mint leaves, chopped (or sub more cilantro)

- 1/8 tsp yellow/orange food coloring mixed with 1 tbsp milk or water

- 1 (5-7 slices) lemon, thinly sliced

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For Serving :

- Cucumber/Vegetable Raita, or

- Cilantro/Mint Raita (Yogurt Chutney)

Instructions : 

Take a medium bowl, and mix the chicken with the marinade ingredients. Cover and keep the bowl, refrigerate up to overnight. When you are ready to cook, allow the chicken to come to room temperature.

Then clean the rice and soak it in water. 

Now, take a large bottomed pan and heat it. Add the oil, ghee, and onion. Cook until the onions are golden. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of water. When the water dries up, add the whole spices, garlic, and ginger and saute for another 2 minutes. It's time to add the chicken with marinade and saute until it changes color. Add the tomatoes, green chili pepper, and dried plum and stir to coat. Add water at least the water should cover about 1/3 of the chicken and wait until to a gentle boil.

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Turn the heat down, cover, and allow the chicken to cook for 30 minutes. While cooking the chicken, prepare the rice. Place a medium pot over high heat and bring 7 cups of water to a boil. Add salt, oil, vinegar, or lemon juice and stir. Once the water comes to a boil, drain and adds the rice. Stir, and bring it back up to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.

Now, Uncover the chicken. Raise the heat to medium-high to sauté out any excess water for 2-3 minutes. Add salt, garam masala, and red chili flakes for more heat (if you wish). Turn off the heat and add kewra water, and lemon juice, and stir to combine.

Finally, it's time for Steam ('Dum').

Lightly oil the bottom of the stock/soup pot. Layer half of the drained rice. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of the chat/garam masala on top of the rice.  Add in all the chicken, and top with the remaining rice. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 tsp of chat/garam masala. Drizzle in the colored milk and oil. Sprinkle the cilantro leaves and mint leaves, and arrange the lemon slices on top.

Turn on the heat to medium and allow the biryani to develop steam for 4-5 minutes. You’ll be able to feel the steam starting to escape the sides. Then turn down to the lowest heat and allow it to cook in its steam (‘dum’) for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the biryani to rest with the lid on for 10 minutes. Do not stir or mix. To serve, gently move on to a platter with a rice paddle or small plate. Serve hot with your favorite yogurt or raita.

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