For the record, the best Chicken Biryani I have ever eaten is at Kareem’s in Bombay. They make the most amazing, mouth-watering, flavorful, moist biryani I have ever tasted..Some of the places I have been to throw a few chicken legs with saffron-colored rice and call it a Biryani but once you have eaten at Kareem’s you won’t settle for less. By the way, I don’t own Kareem ‘s chain of restaurants neither is it owned by anyone I know.. just saying :).. This is my humble attempt to recreate that biryani. Have I succeeded 100%? I would be lying if I said yes. It is close but I am sure I can do better.. more to come in this space but till then this recipe will do. This recipe uses yogurt as the base along with onions and tomatoes and I am tempted to replace the yogurt with coconut milk next time just like in the Shrimp Biryani recipe..The key to any biryani is to make sure the onions are fried well on medium-low heat making sure the edges of the onions are not burnt ..just letting it soften. Here’s a good article on caramelizing onions.
Last words from the wise: Making Chicken Biryani is not difficult, it just needs patience. Enjoy your Chicken Biryani with some Cucumber Raita and you might just land in Biryani heaven ;).
- 2 cups of rice presoaked for 30 minutes, if possible
For the marinade
- 1 cup onion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon garlic paste or 4-5 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup tomatoes finely chopped
- 2 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 3-4 green cardamom / elaichi
- 1- inch cinnamon stick
- 5-6 whole cloves
- 1-2 Indian bay leaves
- 3 green chilies
- 4 whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon of saffron mixed in a tablespoon of warm milk.
- 2 tablespoon Oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro / coriander leaves for garnishing
- Mix all the ingredients listed in the marinade section except chicken to a smooth paste.
- Coat the chicken with the prepared marinade and refrigerate it for an hour or overnight if possible.
- Take 2 cups of rice and add 3 cups of water. Cook the rice in the microwave for 15 minutes. Kept it aside to cool. Mix 1/2 cup of rice with the saffron dissolved in milk for some orange colored rice (optional)
- Heat the oil in a wok/kadhai on medium heat and then add the cut onions, ginger and garlic paste with a little salt.
- Fry the onions till they soften (takes around 15 – 20 minutes).
- Add green chilies, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Fry for 10 seconds and then add finely cut tomatoes. Fry the tomatoes till they soften up and oil starts to separate out.
- Add the marinated chicken and cook till the chicken is done. The end result should be a thick gravy NOT runny. Add coriander leaves and mix well.
- Remove half of the gravy and set aside.
- Add half of the cooked rice to the kadhai/wok followed by the gravy that was set aside and the remaining rice.
- Cover the kadhai/wok and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish it with the saffron rice and onions.
- Serve hot with raita.