Hyderabadi chicken biryani is one of the most popular biryanis in India. It’s the cooking method that makes it so special and amazingly delicious. This classic biryani is definitely a ‘must’ addition to your recipe repertoire.
As the festive season is nearly upon us, I know you’ll be super busy planning and organising everything for the holidays. And what’s the most important part of all? Food. Enjoying fabulous food with your loved ones.
With so much excitement around me, I just couldn’t wait to share a delicious biryani recipe to celebrate this season.
This hyderabadi chicken biryani is the king of biryanis. The royal biryani perfect for any special occasion. You know, whenever you want to turn a beautiful day into a special one.
Just a mere thought about the taste of this biryani is making me want to cook it again and again. Honestly, this features the very best of Indian biryani.
When it comes to the type of protein used, you have two choices- chicken or mutton. I used chicken cut into large pieces.
Ok, let’s dig deeper and learn more about this culinary masterpiece.
This recipe might sound too complicated. But, let me assure you, it’s easy to make and only involves simple ingredients like rice, spices, saffron and herbs.
The only difference is the way you make it. But super simple. All you need to do is layer rice and chicken in a large pan and cook it over low flame.
Now that you’ve a very basic idea about what’s going to happen, shall we start cooking this lip-smacking biryani?
- To start with, collect all the ingredients for making the marinade. Ginger, garlic, ground turmeric, ground coriander, garam masala, red chili powder, cumin seeds, green chilies (if using), coriander leaves, mint leaves, lemon juice, yogurt and enough salt.
- Place everything in a food processor. Grind to make a smooth paste.
- Cut the chicken (or mutton) into medium sized pieces.
- Coat them well in the marinade. Cover it. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight if possible.
Next, you need to cook the rice.
5. Wash rice really well in water. Soak in water for 30 minutes.
6. Place a large pot of water over high heat. Add enough salt. Bring to a boil.
7. Add rice, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, star anise and oil. Bring to boil.
8. The rice only needs to be ‘half’ cooked. So as soon as it’s ready, remove from heat and drain. Set aside.
9. Now you need to make the biryani masala powder. You can use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to do this.
10. Grind cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, black cumin seeds and black peppercorns to make a coarse powder. Set aside.
11. The next step is caramelizing the onions. We will be using the caramelized onions between the layers and for the final garnish. To make this, heat ghee and oil in a pan. Add the onions and cook until it’s browned.
12. Now comes the caramelizing stage. Add in the sugar and stir continuously until the onions get a deep dark brown color. Make sure the heat is very low, you don’t want to burn the onions. Reserve about 2 tbsp of onions for garnishing biryani.
All the individual parts of the biryani are ready. Now all you need to do is layer and cook.
13. Place a heavy bottomed casserole over medium-high heat. Heat 3 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp ghee. Add chicken (or mutton) and biryani masala powder.
14. Cook for 5-6 minutes for chicken and 7-8 minutes for mutton.
15. Now you can start layering. Make sure the chicken is in a single layer. Top with half of rice, 1 tsp ghee, half of onions and half of coriander leaves. Pour in half of saffron milk. Now the next layer. Rest of rice, 1 tsp ghee, rest of onions, rest of coriander leaves and rest of saffron milk. Layering is done!
16. Next up, you need to cover the casserole with tight fitting lid. It is important that no steam escapes while cooking. Traditionally, a dough is made using flour and water and is used to seal the edges. As I already had a tight fitting lid, I used aluminium foil to cover the casserole really well and then placed the lid on top. You must also place the casserole on a tawa or flat pan. This will ensure even heat distribution. Now cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Then lower the heat to medium. Cook for 15 minutes. Then lower the heat again and cook for 10 minutes over very low heat.
17. Remove from heat. Let it stand for 10 minutes before opening the lid. Hyderabadi biryani is ready. Serve with raita and pappadums.
- 8-10 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 cm fresh ginger, chopped
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1-2 tsp red chili powder
- 1-2 green chilies (optional)
- ½ cup chopped coriander leaves
- ½ cup chopped mint leaves
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup yogurt
- Salt to taste
- 1 kg chicken (with bone) or mutton, cut into medium sized pieces
- 4-5 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3-4 cardamom pods
- ¾ tsp black cumin seeds (sha jeera)
- 12 black peppercorns
- 4 cups basmati rice
- 4 cloves
- 3 cardamom pods
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 star anise
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 large onions, finely sliced
- ¼ tsp sugar
- A pinch of saffron, soaked in ½ cup lukewarm milk
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp ghee + 2 tsp ghee
- A handful of coriander leaves
- Extra coriander or mint leaves, to garnish
- Raita, to serve
- Mirch ki salan, to serve (optional)
- Pappadums, to serve
- Place all the ingredients for marination – ginger, garlic, turmeric, coriander, cumin, garam masala, red chili powder, green chilies (if using), coriander leaves, mint leaves, lemon juice, yogurt and salt - in a food processor. Process to form a smooth paste.
- Rub this paste onto the chicken (or mutton) pieces. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight if time permits.
- Place all the ingredients for the masala powder – cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin and peppercorns – in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Grind it to a coarse powder. Set aside.
- Rinse rice under cold running water until water runs clear. Soak in water for 30 minutes.
- Boil a large pot of salted water. Add rice, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, star anise and oil. Cover with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil again. Lower the heat to medium, and simmer until rice is half cooked. Drain and set aside.
- Heat ghee and oil in a medium frying pan over medium high heat. Add onions. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until browned. Add sugar. Cook, stirring, for another 1-2 minutes or until onions are caramelized. Set aside. Reserve 2 tbsp of the onions to garnish.
- Heat 3 tbsp ghee and 1 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken (or mutton) and biryani masala powder. Fry, stirring occasionally, for about 5-6 minutes. (If using mutton, cook for 7-8 minutes). Make sure chicken is arranged in one layer. Add the next layer – half of rice, 1 tsp ghee and half of caramelized onion. Scatter over half of chopped coriander leaves. Pour in half of saffron milk. Repeat layer with rest of rice, 1 tsp ghee, and rest of caramelized onions. Scatter over rest of the chopped coriander leaves. Pour in rest of saffron milk.
- Cover the casserole with a very tight fitting lid. This is very important as we don’t want steam to escape. To ensure the lid is really tight, Cover the casserole with aluminium foil and then place the lid on top.
- Place the casserole on a tawa. Cook biryani over high heat for 5 minutes, then over medium heat for 15 minutes, and finally over low heat for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Let it stand for 10 minutes before opening the lid.
- Garnish with the reserved caramelized onions, and more chopped coriander leaves if you like. Serve with raita and pappadums.
Biryani masala powder recipe adapted from bawarchi.com
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