Biryani is happiness in a pot. It's the exceptional amalgamation of Indian Spices and stories served in a pot. A wondrous combination of Spices, Rice and Chicken that's colorful, spicy and drool-worthy!
Today I am bringing to you my all-time favorite Biryani Recipe. Biryani is one of the most popular Indian recipes, that I'm sure you must have heard and tasted if you are into Indian Food. Biryani is like the epitome of Indian food. It's the celebration of spices, colors and culture served to you in a pot.
I love to make Biryani at my home. My family loves it. Although it is a very time-consuming recipe, it's totally worth the effort. When I first tried this recipe, I thought - " oh! that's exotic, and I can never be able to perfect it. Since that day back in 2016, it's been countless times that I have made Biryani and I have perfected my recipe over the years. Biryani is a traditional Indian recipe.
Like every Indian recipe, Biryani has about a thousand recipes, alterations, and stores associated with it. Every cook must try this recipe at least once. It's pure fun and indulgence into the world of spices!
The Origin of Biryani
Biryani is a typical Indian recipe that comes from the Mughal era. There was a time when the Mughals ruled Northern Part of India and during their days of travel, they wanted to cook something that's royal and equally filling with the meat they hunt. So, that was the beginning of Biryani. This is the story I know of.
There are a thousand million stories about Biryani. Some believe it originated in Awadh, whereas some believe that Lucknow and Hyderabad are the epicenters of Biryani in India. I have tasted both these recipes.
Types of Indian Biryani
Lucknowi Biryani is a little milder compared to Hyderabadi Biryani. Also, Hyderabad is in southeastern India, so there is an influence of South Indian cuisine in the recipe, which is all explained by the generous use of Curry Leaves which gives it a distinct taste.
Whereas Awadhi Biryani has a little less amount of spices and whole spices are just used for flavor and removed from the rice before you serve it. I love both these recipes.
However, I am more drawn towards the Hyderabadi Biryani because I just love spices in my dish. Also, Hyderabadi Biryani is different because in this the raw meat is cooked with the rice with the spices so it's a whole another concept of cooking and the rice has a wonderful flavor of Chicken broth because the Chicken gets cooked in it. Also, there is a delicious crust on the rice, that's to die for.
Biryani is basically the mixture of a lot of whole spices with rice and meat of your choice. These days many people who do not eat Meat, alter it with Paneer ( Cottage Cheese). This is called Veg Biryani. It is cooked in the same way as normal Biryani, only the Meat is excluded and is replaced with Paneer and a lot of more veggies.
While in the Eastern Part of India such as in Bengal, Biryani is made with Potatoes and Eggs. The Eggs and Potatoes are boiled, had and fried with turmeric and salt. It is used for topping the Biryani. Also, Bengali Chicken Dum Biryani is a little sweet to taste.
If you go to the Indian city of Chennai, you can try Chettinad Biryani, which has a distinct flavor of Curry leaves and ghee which is just amazing. This is a really ancient recipe and it's quickly dying from the culture.
Biryani can be made with both Lamb and Chicken. While Lamb Biryani or Mutton Biryani has a unique flavor because of the meat, Chicken Biryani is quite lighter and is considerably easier to digest. However, both tastes divine and deserves a taste.
What is " Dum" Biryani?
"Dum" is an Indian word for Steam. Typically during the holy month of Ramadan, even today in Indian cities like Lucknow or Hyderabad, Biryani is cooked like this. It's really rustic and gorgeous. When you steam the biryani, you stick the edges of the pot with a wet dough of flour. This will not allow the steam to escape from the Pot and will cook your biryani better. Also, it'll have the flavor of that deep-seated spice, that's just amazing.
Biryani is a very spicy dish. Indian Spices such as Cardamom, Black Pepper, Nutmeg, Bay Leaves, and Cloves have a distinct flavor in this dish. Also, it's these spices that make Biryani what it is. You should not try to exchange any ingredients in the Biryani recipe. It is what it is because of the flavors and spices. You can get all of these Spices in any Indian or Pakistani grocery store. They are quite easily available these days. Also, you get a spice mix called the - " Biryani Masala". You can even get one of those. This will make your work so much easier as you do not have to get the whole spices and make a spice mix at home. You could just use a spoonful of this to flavor your Biryani.
However, you'll still need some whole spices to flavor your Long grain Basmati rice. These are very easily available and I'm sure you'll fall in love with these Indian spices, once you get introduced to these amazing flavors. It's really one of its own kind.
Long Grain Basmati Rice that has been aged for over a year is an absolute must for making Biryani. You cannot use any other rice as this will release starch and make your rice soggy. You need long grain rice for that bright and vibrant look in your biryani.
Adding fried Eggs and Potato is totally optional in this recipe. I add those because I love them and I feel it makes the recipe feel more festive. That's exactly how it is made in Bengal.
What Does Biryani Tastes Like?
Biryani is a spicy Indian rice recipe, cooked with Meat, Spices, and Veggies. It's filled with aromatic spices and a spoonful of Biryani tastes divine. There is the flavorful crust on the Chicken, which is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. It's a savory Indian recipe.
How to Make Chicken Biryani at home
To make Chicken Biryani at home, you'll need to first marinate your Chicken. You can use big sized Thigh pieces for your Chicken Biryani. You will have to first wash the Chicken Pieces and marinate it with a spice mix.
To make the spice mix, use Yogurt and mix it with the Biryani spice mix, Tumeric, Paprika and Salt. Now, mix these with your Chicken and marinate well. Keep it aside for an hour. Marination of the Chicken is extremely important and this will flavor your Chicken Pieces and make it taste spicy and crusty on the outside and shall be juicy on the inside.
To make your Rice, first soak your Long grained rice for 15 minutes in water. After then, put water to boil and throw in whole spices such as Bay Leaves, Cardamoms, Cinnamon and Cloves it. As the water gets flavored and fragrant you can remove these whole spices if you will and then throw in your soaked and drained rice. Just par-boil it for 5 minutes over a low flame and you're done. You can add in a spoon of oil and a dash of salt in this as well. This will make your rice grains stand out even better.
Meanwhile cook your Chicken in a deep dish bowl. I use a deep dish pan for making Biryani. It typically serves six and is huge. This is perfect for making biryani. You can find the Biryani vessel in amazon easily. Or else you could just you a deep cooking pot and it'll work just fine.
I prefer cooking my chicken in the biryani pot itself. So, First I start with deep-frying my Onions. After I have deep-fried my Onions and removed them from the oil, I pour in the marinated chicken into the oil. I allow my Chicken to get cover cooked for at least 7-10 minutes. After 5 minutes keep stirring in between to check that it does not stick to the bottom. Because of Yogurt, Chicken tends to stick to the bottom of the pan. However, if you stir well, it won't.
After your chicken gets half cooked, add in the Rice onto it. Be careful while layering your rice over the chicken. Take a small spoonful and layer it over the chicken.
After that garnish it with saffrons, Eggs, Potatoes, Fried Onions, Chopped Cilantro and Mint Leaves. Add a dollop of butter on it and cover cook it over high flame for 5-7 minutes. After that, lower the flame and cook it for another 2 minutes. Finally, your Biryani is ready.
What do you eat Biryani With?
You can serve Biryani with raita and Salan. Raita is a savory Indian Yogurt Mix, which is served with Biryani. It is made by mixing Yogurt with Water, Black Salt, Dry roasted spices, Fried Chickpea Balls and some freshly chopped Onions and Coriander. It's really refreshing and gives a great feel of refreshment to your taste buds after you have a spoonful of the spicy Biryani. The Boondi Raita is really the best thing about having Biryani. This makes your dish even more special. Salan is a flavorful sauce or gravy which you can serve with Biryani.
So, listed below is the detailed Biryani recipe. I have made Chicken Biryani. This Chicken Biryani recipe is inspired by Bengal and tastes amazing. So, without delay check out this Biryani recipe below.
For Marination of the Chicken
- 25 Oz Chicken Large Pieces
- 4.5 Oz Yogurt
- 1 tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 teaspoon Paprika or Red Chili Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
Biryani Spice Mix
- 2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon Cloves
- 2 teaspoon Cardamom Powder
- 1 teaspoon Black Cardamom Powder
- 1 Qts Bay Leaf
- 5 Qts Onions Medium sized
- 1 bunch Cilantro leaves or Coriander leaves washed and finely chopped
- 1 bunch Mint leaves washed and finely chopped
- 2 Pieces Boiled Eggs Cut into halves and fried with turmeric & salt
- 2 Pieces Boiled Potatoes Cut into halves and fried with turmeric & Salt
- 10 strands Saffron
- ¼ cup Milk warm
To Make the Rice
- 2 Cup Long Grain Basmati Rice
- 4 Cup Water (Water should be double the quantity of rice)
- 2 qts Bay Leaf
- 3 qts Cinnamon
- 2 qts cardamom pods
- 1 qts black cardamom pod
- 7 qts cloves
To Make the Raita or Yogurt Mix
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1/2 Cup Yogurt
- 1 Cup Fried Chick Pea Balls or Boondi
- 1 teaspoon Black Salt
- 2 teaspoon Cumin
- 3 Qts Dried Red Chilies
Marination of the Chicken
- Take yogurt and mix it with Biryani Spice mix. Now start adding your spices into the yogurt - Ginger Garlic Paste, Paprika, Turmeric Powder, and salt. Mix them well with a spoon.
- Marinate the chicken with this entire spice mix that you've made. Set this aside for 1 Hour.
Preparation of the Biryani - Garnish
- Chop Onions into long and thin strips and deep fry until golden brown. Keep aside. (You'll only need them at last for the garnish)
- Boil two eggs and potatoes. Remove the skin and fry them over a medium flame with some refined oil+turmeric powder+salt. Fry them until you get a light golden hue. (Keep them aside for garnish)
- Add 10 strands of fresh saffron into a cup of lukewarm milk. Constantly stir it to get that golden yellow color. Wash and finely chop cilantro and mint leaves. Keep aside for garnish.
- Soak 2 cup of long grain basmati rice in water for 15 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, boil around 4 cups of water.
- When the water has come to a boil, throw in - these five raw spices - (2 Bay leaves + 3 Cinnamon Sticks + 2 Green Cardamom Pods + 1 Black Cardamom Pod + 7 Small Cloves)
- After the rice has been soaked and drained, add them into the fragrant boiling water.Allow it to cover cook at medium flame for 5 minutes. Once the rice is done, turn off the fire and keep it aside.
To Cook the Chicken
- After the chicken has been marinated and kept for an hour, its time to cook them. Heat 3 teaspoon Refined Oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add the marinated Chicken into the Oil.Cover cook for 10 minutes over low flame.
To Make the Biryani
- Once the chicken has been cooking for 10 minutes, you can open the lid and stir well. Don't allow it to stick to the bottom.
- Finally add the fragrant cooked rice over the chicken. (Handle the rice carefully. And, Only place it in layers)
To Garnish the Biryani
- First garnish with the mixture of Milk and saffron.Second, garnish with the fried onions. Third, garnish with boiled, fried, and halfed eggs and potatoes.
- Finally, sprinkle Mint and Cilantro leaves over your Biryani.
The Final Cooking of the Biryani
- Add a Generous dollop of butter over the biryani. Cover the lid and cook over high flame for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, lower the flame and cook it for an additional 2 minutes.After 8 minutes of cooking your Biryani will be ready. Open the lid and cut your biryani from the sides. Serve them on a plate and Enjoy!
To Prepare the Raita or Yogurt Mix
- Take yogurt in a bowl and mix it with a cup of water.
- Dry roast Cumin, Dried Red chilies and grind them with mortar pestle.
- Add these spices into the yogurt mix along with a pinch of black salt.
- Stir well and add the fried chickpea balls into it.
- Serve along with Biryani.
Syed Ali says
Madam One of the best information I read about thiy historic dish Biryani till today. The procedure the explanation and the conclusion is really exceptional. Being hyderabadii and a foodie I liked it very much. Stay Blessed and Best 🙏wishes for your future endeavors.
Thanks Syed, Your Comment made my Day.
Michelle Sharpe says
Excellent Recipe. Thank you so much for sharing. Beautiful writing and detailed explanation.
Thank you Michelle.