Butter chicken biryani – A delicious combo of creamy butter chicken and spicy biryani. It’s great served alongside your favorite raita, pappadums and pickle. The intoxicating aroma wafting from the biryani pot is going to brighten up your meal times.
Love butter chicken? Love biryani? Truth to be told, this amazing combination of two Indian classics is to die for. Imagine lip-smacking butter chicken in biryani. Totally drool worthy, right?
This butter chicken biryani is actually inspired from the chicken tikka biryani I posted a few months ago. If you love biryani, let me tell you, this is one of the best biryani recipes you should add to your “must try” list. You really need to make this as soon as possible.
Clearly, there are a few steps involved in making this amazing biryani. Don’t worry. I’ll help you to make the best biryani you’ve ever tasted.
First, make rice. Always use basmati rice for biryani. When you cook basmati rice, the grains will turn bigger and fluffier. Make sure you get good quality rice as we don’t want the rice to clump together or get over cooked. Again, I followed the same technique in this veg dum biryani to cook rice for butter chicken biryani. The idea is to undercook rice first and then ‘dum’ (cook over low flame) in the final step of the recipe.
Second, saffron milk. Saffron is an exotic ingredient used in biryanis. I totally love the aroma of this amazing spice. The hint of yellow that it imparts to the rice grains is just incredible.
Third, butter chicken masala. Well, this is very basic and important element of this butter chicken biryani recipe. Butter chicken is usually made with boneless chicken so I decided to go with breast fillets cut into medium- sized pieces. However, sub with bone-in chicken if you like.
I also marinated chicken with few spices, then sealed over high flame. Sealing or browning the chicken on all sides will ensure moist succulent pieces. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan. We’ll add them to the sauce later.
For the sauce, I made my most favorite restaurant style butter chicken. Start off by sautéing cinnamon and onions in oil and butter. Then I added ginger and garlic followed by a few spices. The addition of tomato purée gives the sauce the rich vibrant color. I also added cream, yogurt and milk to the sauce to make it really thick and rich. In other words, this is the ideal recipe for the very exotic sauce of butter chicken.
The fried chicken pieces are added to the sauce now. Remember to allow enough time for the chicken pieces to get cooked at this stage.
Fourth, layer and cook. The traditional way of layering and cooking the biryani over low flame, also known as dum, brings all the flavors together to deliver you an unforgettable culinary experience. We’ll layer this butter chicken biryani in the same pan we cooked chicken. So, butter chicken makes the first layer. Top with half of rice, half of saffron milk, chopped herbs (coriander or cilantro and mint leaves) and fried onions. This is followed by a second layer of rice, saffron, herbs and fried onions. A dollop of ghee on top completes the layering process.
Now cover the pan very tightly, and cook over low flame. When done, open the lid and you’ll be mesmerized by the intoxicating aroma of the biryani.
Finally, have some fun decorating the delicious biryani with herbs, fried cashew nuts and caramelized onions.
Now choose your side dishes to go with this butter chicken biryani. Here are a few ideas:
- Carrot Cucumber Raita
- Grapes Apple Mint Raita
- Pomegranate Raita
- Lemon pickle
- Celery Pickle
- Mango pickle
Enjoy this freaking delicious biryani!
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom (cardamom powder)
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 5 cups water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- 5 strands saffron
- ¼ cup milk
- 600 g boneless chicken (breast or thigh fillets), cut into medium-sized pieces
- ½ tsp ground fenugreek (fenugreek powder)
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 large onion, chopped
- ½ tsp minced ginger (ginger paste)
- ½ tsp minced garlic (garlic paste)
- 2 tsp ground cumin (cumin powder)
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- 2 tbsp tomato purée (tomato paste)
- ½ cup cream (heavy or low fat)
- 1 tbsp natural yogurt
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- 2 tbsp cashewnut paste (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
- 1 large onion, sliced and fried
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 3 tbsp fried cashew nuts, to garnish
- Rinse and soak rice in cold water for 20 minutes. Drain. Set aside.
- Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat oil. Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cloves. Sauté, stirring constantly, for a minute. Pour in water. Add cardamom powder and lemon juice. Season with salt. Stir. Increase heat to high. Bring the mixture to a boil. As soon as water comes to a boil, add rice. Stir gently. When half cooked, drain and set aside.
- Place saffron and milk in a small bowl. Stir. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Place chicken pieces in a large bowl. Add fenugreek, garam masala and red chili powder. Coat chicken in the spices. Season with salt. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed pan over high heat. Add chicken. Cook until all the sides of the chicken pieces are well browned. Remove chicken from pan. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil and butter in the same pan over medium- high heat. Add cinnamon stick and sauté for a few seconds. Add onions. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are browned. Add ginger and garlic. Sauté, stirring occasionally occasionally, for 1 minute or until aromatic.
- Add cumin powder, garam masala and red chili powder. Sauté, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add tomato purée. Stir and fry for a minute. Add cream, yogurt and milk. Season with salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Add chicken and kasuri methi. Add cashewnut paste if you are using. Stir. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until chicken pieces are cooked through. Remove from heat.
- Layer butter chicken biryani:
- Layer biryani in the same pan you cooked chicken. Make sure the chicken pieces are in a single layer. Add half of rice. Top with half of saffron milk, half of herbs and ⅓rd of fried onions.
- Add the rest of rice, and then top with the remaining saffron milk, herbs and ⅓rd of fried onions. Drizzle with ghee. Cover with tight lid. Place the pan over low flame and cook (in other words “dum”) for 10-12 minutes.
- Alternatively, you can dum in the oven at 180C / 350F for 20-30 minutes.
- Garnish with fried onions and fried cashew nuts.
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