After ages, I made biryani at home. Actually, its long since I cooked, after all mom's there to take care of everything. Biryani has always been my weakness. It can be biryani time anytime for me. I am partial to chicken biryani and go if for it if the restaurant is remotely known for its biryani. In Bombay, I enjoy biryani from - Lucky, Blossoms-Hotel Sun City & Jaffer Bhai Delhi Darbar to name a few. And for the days I can't get my fix I make it at home and this is one such recipe:
Chicken 500gms, cut in medium sized pieces
Onion 4, medium to large sized, chopped/sliced
Garlic 10 cloves, medium sized, juliennes
Ginger 4 inch piece, juliennes
Shan Memoni Mutton Biryani Masala powder
Yogurt (dahi) 2 tbsp
Green chillies 2, big sized, slit
Tomato 1, medium sized, chopped
Potato 4, small sized, peeled to be used whole
Butter/ Ghee 3 tbsp
For preparing the rice:
Basmati Rice 2 cups, soaked in water for 15 minutes
Cloves (lavang) 2
Cinnamon (dalchini) 1 inch piece
Green Cardamom (elaichi) 2
Black Cardamom (kaali elaichi) 1
Coriander Leaves 1 cup, rough chopped
Mint Leaves, about 15 to 20 leaves, rough chopped
Onions sliced, fried in ghee or oil 1/2 cup
Butter/ Ghee 2 tbsp
Take 4 cups water in a saucepan add the whole spices (khada masala) cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms and salt put it to boil. When the water boils lower the heat and add the soaked rice, cook for 5 minutes stirring in between. Check the rice, it should have a bite, about three-fourth cooked. Take it off the heat and drain off the excess water using a colander. At this time, you can remove the whole spices. In case you want to avoid removing it individually, you can make a bouquet garni and drop into the water when boiling.
Mix the chicken and the ginger and garlic in a bowl and keep aside. In a heavy bottomed deep vessel (I use my big pressure cooker), add the ghee, once hot, add the chopped onions and saute it. When the onions are nearly brown add the meat mixed with the ginger and garlic. Saute it for a few minutes then add the yogurt and the Shan biryani masala powder. Saute for a few minutes and add potatoes, mix well and cover and let cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Check for salt, you may need to add very little salt since the masala powder has salt in it. Add the tomatoes and green chillies and cover and cook it done.
Now for the assembling for dum, you can do this on the stove or in the oven. I did it on the stove and to lessen the work used the cooker again. In case you are using the oven butter the insides of a deep glass baking dish and follow the steps below.
I took the chicken preparation out into a bowl. Add 1 tbsp spoon ghee in the empty cooker and let it spread the bottom of the vessel. Now to layer the chicken mix and rice.
Add half the prepared chicken mix to cover the bottom of the vessel. Layer half the rice on top of the chicken. Now top the rice with half of - the coriander leaves, mint leaves and fried onions. Repeat the layers - Layer the balance of the chicken and top it with the balance of the rice layer, Top these layers with the rest of the coriander and mint leaves and the fried onions. Sprinkle them to cover the rice. Sprinkle the remaining ghee on the top and the sides. Now cover and keep on very low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. If using the oven, cover the dish with foil, pierce the foil with fork a couple of times and put into a warm oven. When serving try to scoop out with the layers intact, its yummy with all the different tastes.
You can use oil instead of butter or ghee. Personally I love ghee and salivate when the aroma wafts through the entire home.