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Indian Chicken Biryani (With best taste of India)

Have you ever tried making Indian Chicken biryani at home? When you combine chicken, rice, a number of spices and you infuse it with cardamom pods, saffron, and top the whole thing with fried onions. There’s something magical that happens.

It is okay to skip one of the varieties of cardamom pods if you cannot find both for the rice.


For the chicken:
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste, divided
2 to 3 whole chilis, sliced (jalapeno, serrano or cayenne)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion (about 1/4 of a large onion)
1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (drumsticks or whole thighs)
1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter) or unsalted butter
1/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt
For the saffron milk:
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1/3 cup milk, cold or room temperature
For the rice:
3 to 4 whole black cardamom pods
2-inch cinnamon stick
1 to 2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
3 to 4 whole green cardamom pods
2 cups long grain basmati rice
Salt to taste

For the fried onions:
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1/3 cup milk, cold or room temperature
To assemble the biryani:
1 teaspoon ghee (clarified butter) or unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup mint, coarsely chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons pomegranate arils (seeds)
1/4 cup whole milk plain yogurt


1 Marinate the chicken: In the medium bowl Combine 1 teaspoon of the ginger garlic paste, turmeric, sliced chilis, yogurt, olive oil, and salt. Add the chicken and massage well to coat with marinade.
At least for 30 mminutes or up to 1 hour Cover and pop in the refrigerator to marinate.
2 Prepare the rice:Wash the rice in 2 to 3 batches of water. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot, add the whole spices, the salt, and lots of water. Bring it to a rolling boil. There should be enough water for the rice to float around freely when boiling (see How to Boil Rice).
Add the rice to the pot. Cook till the rice is 90 percent done and still slightly crunchy in the middle; the rice will finish cooking in the dish.
Drain the rice through a sieve, then spread it on a large plate to cool. Set aside for later. Do not discard whole spices in the rice.
3 Make the saffron milk: Into the milk Stir the saffron strands. Cover and set aside for until ready to layer the biryani or 30 minutes.
4 Fry the onions: In a frying pan Heat the oil over high temperature. Into the hot oil Drop a strand of onion. If it sizzles loudly, then the oil is hot enough. The pan should be big enough to accommodate all the onion slices without crowding. For draining the finished onions Set a plate lined with a paper towel nearby.
Drop the onions into hot oil Carefully (careful as the oil might splatter). Cook until the onions are brown and crispy or for 2 to 3 minutes. Keep a constant eye on the pan It’s easy to overcook and burn the onion.
With a slotted spoon or spider Carefully remove all the onions (that’s a ladle with a skimmer on it, like this one) and transfer to the paper-towel lined plate.
Easy Chicken Biryani fry the onions and set aside

5 Cook the chicken:melt 1 tablespoon ghee in a medium-sized pot or pan on medium heat, Once the chicken has finished marinating. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste. Cook until the paste begins to turn golden brown or for a minute.

Add the finely chopped red onion. Cook until the onion softens and begins to turn golden for 3 to 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add marinade and the marinated chicken. Stir well. Cover and cook on medium-low heat until the chicken is about 90 percent or cooked for 8 to 10 minutes. After being layered with other components of the biryani the chicken will finish cooking in the oven.
6 Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
7 Assemble the biryani: With 1 teaspoon ghee grease a 3-quart oval baking dish. On the bottom of the baking dish spread half of the rice in an even layer. Press down gently with your hand to pack the rice layer.
On top of the rice arrange the chicken and its sauce in a single layer, then top with the mint, cilantro, the yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, and half of the fried onions.
Follow all the rest of the rice. To pack everything press down again gently. Over the top spread the rest of the fried onion and sprinkle the remaining garam masala with the teaspoon. Evenly pour the saffron milk over everything.
8 Bake the biryani: With 2 to 3 layers of aluminum foil tightly cover the dish. Place in the oven and bake until the rice and rest of the ingredients are cooked through, or for 40 to 50 minutes. The foil creates steam for the rice; just uncover a corner and check for doneness by pressing rice between your thumb and index finger.
9 Rest the biryani: Transfer the biryani into a cooling rack and let it rest (covered) 10 to 15 minutes before uncovering the dish.
10 Serve the biryani: To mix all the layers together gently use a fork before serving with a side raita and/or a simple salad. Garnish with the pomegranate arils (seeds).
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