Chicken Hyderabadi Biryani

A couple of months ago the hubby came across an easy biryani recipe which he wanted me to try out. Till the time I tried it I didn't consider biryani making an 'easy' process but I was stumped after I tried this one. The best part about this biryani is that the only time you spend is preparing the marination for the chicken and after that you just cook the rice, place it on the marinated chicken and cook it together on 'dum' and voila! a mouthwatering biryani is ready! If you want to make this biryani for a party and don't want to kill yourself in the kitchen you can marinate the chicken ahead of time and on the day just cook it along with the rice - so easy yeah?

I tried making this a couple of times as I wanted to perfect it and then I decided to post it just in time for Eid. For those who are celebrating it 'Eid Mubarak!' and may you be blessed richly by the Almighty! Spend precious time with your loved ones and do enjoy the festivities! 

This recipe by Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi's was discovered by the hubby, tried by me and enjoyed by all. I hope you enjoy it!

Chicken Hyderabadi Biryani
Prep time: 20-25 mins | Marinating time: 30 mins or longer | Cook time: 20-30 mins

Cup measure used: 1 cup = 240ml

To be marinated:
To make the rice:
For layering (to be divided between two layers)
1. Clean and cut the chicken into medium big pieces (biryani cuts). Wash and drain or pat dry with a kitchen tissue.
2. In a wok/kadhai heat some oil or ghee and fry the sliced onions till golden brown. Remove onto an absorbent kitchen tissue and divide portions as required for the marination, layering and garnish. Fry the raisins and cashew nuts in the same oil or ghee and remove. 
3. In the pan in which you will make the biryani (make sure it is sufficiently big as the chicken and the rice will be cooked in the same pot - I used a large kadhai) marinate the chicken with all the ingredients mentioned under 'to be marinated' for a minimum of 30min.
4. Wash and soak the rice in plenty of water for 15-20 mins then drain and keep aside. In another large pan bring about 12 cups of water to a rolling boil and drop the muslin cloth potli and the washed rice and cook till the rice is al dente (about 80% done) - this could take about 10mins so keep an eye on it. Remove the pan from heat. 
5. Using a slotted spoon remove half the rice and layer it over the chicken. While you are doing so if some of the liquid (in which the rice was cooked) comes along with the rice it is ok - it will provide the required moisture to cook the rice but don't add too much.
6. Layer half the ingredients mentioned under 'for the layering' and then cover with the remaining rice and sprinkle the remaining half of the ingredients meant for layering
7. Randomly poke deep holes into the biryani and pour any remaining ghee into it (or some extra if you wish). Cover the pan tighly with chapathi dough or foil and then place a well fitting lid over it so that no steam can escape.
8. Place the pan over a medium heat and cook for 8-10 minutes and then reduce the heat to a sim and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Once done, carefully open the pan and lift a small section of the foil and dig into the biryani to see if the meat is cooked. The chicken would be tender by now and the rice fluffy and aromatic. Remove from heat
9. Gently remove into a serving dish and serve hot with raitha of your choice

1. Depending on the spice level of the chilli powder you are using please adjust the quantity. Also, increase or decrease the quantity if you are going to cook more than 1kg of chicken. It is best to taste the marination before adding more.
2. To make the fried onions take 3 medium-big onions and finely slice them and fry till golden browl. For this recipe you need a total of 3 onions - they will yield approx enough onions for marinating, layering and garnishing. Instead of shallow frying the onions and to speed up your work you can deep fry them in a large deep frying pan/kadhai that has been only half filled with oil. Remember that onions contain moisture and when you drop them in the hot oil the oil will come to the surface. If your kadhai is full, the oil may spill out and cause a terrible kitchen disaster so please be extra careful. You can store the deep fried onions in a freezer safe, airtight box to be used whenever you wish.
3. If you are making this for a party it is best to marinate the chicken a day in advance so that it pulls in all the flavours very well. The next day your job becomes really easy as all you have to do is cook and layer the rice before placing the pot on dum.
4. You can use any marination for your biryani and proceed with the same techqniue of cooking it. 

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