Biryani is rice cooked with spices and either chicken or mutton or vegetables. For a long time I've been trying to find a perfect biryani recipe. Naturally, home cooked biryanis don't taste as good as the ones in restaurants, but this one comes pretty darn close!
1 1/2 cups Basmati Rice
2 lbs Chicken Pieces
2 Onions, sliced
1 bunch Mint Leaves
2 Tomatoes, chopped
2 Green Chillies, slit
2 tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
1 small piece of Cinnamon
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Fennel Seeds
1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
2 tbsp Biryani Masala*
1 1/2 tbsp Ghee/ Clarified Butter
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Salt, to taste
Heat the oil and ghee in a pan. Add the cloves, fennel, cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaf. Saute for a minute or two. Add the sliced onion and green chillies and continue to saute for a minute. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute until the raw smell of the paste disappears. Add the mint leaves and saute for a minute.
Add the tomatoes to the mixture and continue to saute. Add the chicken, biryani masala, chilli powder and fry for five to ten minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and let it come to a boil. Add the salt and mix. Add the basmati rice and stir to combine. Close the pan and allow to cook until rice is tender. Keep checking to make sure there is enough water. The rice should be just tender and not mushy.
When done, mix together to combine the rice, the spices and the chicken in the pan. Serve hot with yogurt. As I'm typing this, my husband is eating the biryani saying "its absolutely amazing".
*Biryani Masala: This is available in most Indian stores. But you could also make it at home. The spice powder is a mixture of red chilli powder, coriander powder, cloves, cinnamon, aniseed, cardamom, ginger, garlic, onion, star anise and salt. Roast these ingredients on a dry pan and then grind to a smooth powder.
Coming up next... Vegetable Biryani. Stay tuned.