Now I must admit that for quite sometime even after marriage I couldn’t make a proper pulav.  So a biryani was just beyond my trying and tiring efforts.  Of course I would ask hubby dearest to help me with the making of the Pulav.  My mum on the other hand would cook a semi-soft delectable pulav also known as arroz.  Her biryani preparations were out of the world.  Very traditional and ethnic, time consuming but yes all worth the efforts.  I have not yet reached her level of biryani preparations but gained valuable skills to put a decent biryani on the table. My humble thanks to my son’s malishwali who showed me how to make this biryani after his birth.

Ingredients:

  1. Chicken 1 kg plus cut into 14 pieces, 
  2. Basmati  Rice cleaned, washed and soaked for 1/2 hour, 
  3. 1 big cardamom
  4. 1 bay leaf
  5. 3 green cardamom
  6. 7 cloves
  7. 2″ cinnamon sticks 
  8. Curds 1 cup (drained of the water, do not discard the water)
  9. Tomatoes 3 medium cut into 1/2″ circles,
  10. Potatoes 3-4 medium quartered, 
  11. Onions 3 cut into rounds about 1/2″ thick, separate these rings and dry them on a tissue paper.  This ensures crisp onion rings.,
  12. Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp,
  13. Green chillies 5 slit in the middle,
  14. Coriander leaves 1/2-1 bunch 
  15. Mint 15-20 leaves,
  16. Ghee/Oil 1 1/2 cup
  17. Salt 1 tsp,
  18. 1 Lime  squeezed
  19. Turmeric powder 1 tsp.
  20. Orange colour as desired
  21. Garam masala powder 1 tsp,
  22. Whole garam masala (1tbsp.)
  23. Red chilli powder 2 tsp.
  24. Eggs boiled 
  25. 2 tbsp. Pure ghee melted

Method:

Wash well and drain the chicken.  Add salt, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste, chilli powder, lime  1/2 squeezed, curds, garam masala powder and marinate for at least 1 hour.  Overnight marination is best.

In the meanwhile, in a deep bottom pan pour the oil, when hot enough fry your onions till they become golden.  Remove and drain on a plate with tissue underneath.  Add the potatoes and fry till golden.  Remove and keep in the same plate or a different plate with tissue paper underneath.  

Now in your rice handi boil enough water salt and 1 tbs. Of oil.  This helps to keep the grains of rice separated.  Add items 2-7 in the handi of boiling water.  Within 7-10 minutes check your rice.  Remove when its al dente and drain into a strainer.  Refresh with cold water.   Drain all the water and keep aside.

In a non-stick vessel add oil from the deep bottom pan 6 tbsp at least. Add the choped tomatoes and saute till mushy.   When totally dissolved into the oil  add 1 tbs of whole garam masala, the marinated chicken, fry well till the curds have cooked well . Add the curd water.   Check the taste and add more salt if required.  Add slit green chillies and mix well.  Cover for 1 minute.  After a minute add  1 cup water and cook the chicken for 1/2 an hour. Keep stirring and checking so the gravy is well mixed.  Add a few fried potatoes to the gravy and mix in a few chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves.  There should be about 2 cups of gravy.  

In another wider non-stick pan take 2 tbsp. Of oil on a sim gas stove.  Add 1/2  the fried onions on the bottom.  Make a layer of the rice over the onions.  Over this layer put in your chicken gravy and potatoes.  Put in at least 1/2-3/4 Of the chicken gravy mix over the rice. Add the orange colour if using now.  Add the remaining rice over the gravy layer and decorate with the remainder fried onions, chopped coriander and mint leaves.  Pour the 2 tbsp of the melted ghee over the top rice layer. Cover the vessel with its cover.  On top of this,  if possible cover with a heavy weight vessel for around 5 minutes.  When you get a very good aroma switch your gas off.  Slowly remove the heavy weight vessel.  Open the cover taking care not to burn your hands.  Enjoy.

For serving the biryani it is advisable to use a saucer.   Remove from the bottom of the vessel so you get all the layers.   Add the eggs which are cut into half. I have also added 1/2 a tomato shaped into a flower. 

Salad ingredients:

2 finely sliced onions separate the rings

Juice of 1/2 a lime,

Salt to taste,

Mint leaves as desired, (I ran short of fresh mint so used dried leaves)

Coriander leaves as desired (I haven’t used any leaves as I had run short of them)

1/2 tomato flower for decoration

A very simple salad to cut the greasy biryani.  Just add the finely sliced onions, salt, mint leaves, coriander leaves and lime juice.  Taste.  Add the tomato flower for decor.  These photos are my preparations which I had cooked some months ago.  Enjoy.

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