Reach Indians and South East Asians living in Australia

A delicious Biryani Recipe that you can easily make at home

 A delicious Biryani Recipe that you can easily make at home

Biryani was once the source of a wholesome meal for soldiers during the medieval period in India, but soon it ascended the tables of elites via the royal kitchen. However, centuries after, it has become a popular delicacy for people around the world because of its aroma and taste. Also, it is significant to note that Hyderabadi, Awadhi and Kolkata biryani is three of the most famous ones; every Indian state has its variation that people enjoy.

Whenever people get the chance, they love gorging on their favourite Biryani but rarely do they try to make one themselves. Besides, there is a popular misconception that the dish is complicated and time-consuming; hence only experienced home cooks can make it. Evidently, the dish can take a considerable time to cook, but it is not difficult to prepare.

Written below is the recipe of Kolkata Chicken Biryani that you can make easily at home

Kolkata Chicken Biryani

In the first step, you need to take medium to large size potatoes, wash and peel it, and then according to the size, cut them into halves or four pieces and boil or pressure cook them. Once the potatoes cool down, heat a pan with ½ a cup of ghee and half a cup of oil on a medium flame. Fry the potatoes until they turn a golden brown colour, set them aside, then in the same pan, fry thinly sliced onions.

Next, you need to prepare the biryani masala, for which you need to dry roast shahi jeera, white peppercorn (shah morich), cardamom (or elaichi or elach), mace (or javitri or joitri), cinnamon stick, nutmeg or Jaifal, kabab china or allspice and cloves. Also, you need to dry roast the spices on low flame while ensuring that they don’t burn.

Hence, when you sense the aroma from the spices, you can turn off the heat, cool down the spices, grind them into a powder, and keep it aside for later use.

Then you need to prepare the chicken; you can use chicken breast or thighs as per your preference. First, cut the chicken pieces, clean and wash them thoroughly, and ensure to keep the chicken pieces medium-large in size. Next, take half a cup of curd in a bowl, add one tablespoon of Kashmiri chilli powder, and half a tablespoon of salt. Mix it all.

Coat the chicken pieces with the curd mixture, add two tablespoons of garlic paste and one and a half tablespoons of ginger paste and give it a good mix. Next, add one and a half tablespoons of previously prepared biryani masala and mix it nicely with the chicken. Then add two tablespoons of lemon juice to the chicken mixture, add a handful of fried onions on top of it and marinate the chicken for forty-five minutes to one hour.

After forty-five minutes to one hour, take a pan, add two to three tablespoons of vegetable or mustard oil and put the marinated chicken into it. Let it cook for five minutes, after which you need to turn the pieces to the other side and cook for ten more minutes by covering the pan with a lid. Again, you need to turn the chicken pieces and cook them for eight to ten minutes but do not cover the pan with a top; if it gets a little dry, you may add a few drops of water. Turn off the heat when the chicken’s gravy thickens.

Preparing the rice for Biryani

Biryani tastes best when people cook it with Basmati rice, so take one kg basmati or long-grain rice, wash it gently five to six times and soak it for thirty minutes. Next, take a big pot and add ¾ water; place it on high flame; add salt, ghee, bay leaves, green cardamoms, cloves, and cinnamon sticks( break them into 3-4 pieces). Finally, let the water boil.

After starting the basmati rice, add it to the boiling water; ensure not to overcook the rice; on the contrary, it needs to be boiled eighty per cent. Boil the rice for not more than ten to fifteen minutes, then take it off the flame and immediately drench the starch from the rice. Next, spread the rice on a plate to cool it off completely.

Kolkata Chicken Biryani

Assembling the Biryani

Take a thick bottom and wide mouth pot or vessel; add three to four bay leaves to the bottom of the pot; then spread a ½ to ¾ inch thick layer of rice over the leaves. Next, place two chicken pieces and three pieces of chunky fried potatoes over the first rice layer. Then, add three to four tablespoons of chicken gravy to the rice and chicken pieces. Next, sprinkle ½ tablespoons of biryani masala all over the layer; add three to four tablespoons of saffron milk all over the layer.

Next, add one tablespoon of ghee and a handful of crispy fried onions to the layer and salt as per taste; the first layer is complete.

To start the second layer of the Biryani, you need to add rice to cover the first layer completely, then add all the ingredients accordingly, just like during the first layer. Also, you must cover the second layer of Biryani with white rice and add the previously mentioned ingredients. Hence, in total, there are three layers to the Biryani.

Lastly, cover the last layer with sufficient white rice, and end the assembling process by sprinkling two tablespoons of ghee and a pinch of biryani masala on top. Finally, add hard-boiled eggs to the rice and close the pot with a lid.

Cooking the biryani on ‘’Dum’’

‘’Dum’’ refers to cooking food on reduced heat or slow fire. So, once you finish assembling the Biryani, put the vessel or pot on the lowest heat of the oven. Also, add a pan of hot water on top of the biryani pot.

It will take thirty to forty-five minutes for the Biryani to cook thoroughly. Turn off the heat, put aside the hot water pan, and open the lid to smell the aromatic delicacy. You can serve the Biryani with salad.

P.S you can make saffron milk by simply adding a pinch of saffron strands in a bowl of warm milk; soak it for fifteen to twenty minutes and stir with your fingertips or a spoon to release the yellowish colour. Besides, saffron milk adds to the colour and taste of the dish.

Nivedita Nagpal

Related post