Hyderabadi Biryani is what we’re going to be throwing together here. It isn’t the first Indian recipe I’ve gotten into and probably won’t be the last. There are other meats that can go into it, but this recipe is with chicken.
Ingredients That You’ll Need
1 kg chicken preferably in 16 pieces and a couple of drumsticks
One kg (2.2 LBS) Basmati rice
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 tsp ginger and garlic paste
3 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric
100 g cashew nuts
4 or 5 bay leaves
4 or 5 cloves
2 cm long cinnamon sticks
6 to 10 green chiles ground to paste
3 or 4 cardamom pods
1 or 2 tsp cumin for this hyderabadi biryani
2 cups mint leaves
1 cup coriander leaves (cilantro)
2 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp garam masala powder
1 cup coconut milk
1½ tsp salt (according to taste)
1 cup ghee (clarified butter)
½ cup yogurt
1 cup oil
2 tsp dried coconut powder
few strands of saffron
2 cups finely sliced onions
Making This Hyderabadi Biryani Recipe
Make deep cuts in the chicken flesh. They need to be deep enough for spices to get absorbed but making them too deep could make the pieces too small.
Mix turmeric, chilli powder, salt, garlic paste, yogurt, and squeeze half a lemon into a bowl for this hyderabadi biryani. Thoroughly mix and then apply this paste onto the meat flesh in a zip lock bag and let marinate for an hour in the fridge.
Heat about 100 ml (about half a cup) of oil in a pan or skillet. Roast cumin, cloves, cinnamon, depodded cardamom, bay leaves, ½ spoon cumin, 1 spoon coriander powder, and finally add 2 onions.
Wait a couple of minutes to add mint leaves for this hyderabadi biryani recipe. When onions turn slightly brown, add marinated chicken and cook for about 20-30 minutes. It should NOT be fully cooked at this stage; add garam masala and coconut powder and turn off flame when about ¾ cooked. Chicken pieces should look roasted.
While the chicken is still cooking, prepare the rice for this hyderabadi biryani. Slightly rinse 3 cups of basmati and add water (a little less than the volume of the rice itself) so that its only half cooked. An instant pot is a great choice for this.
The amount of water depends on the kind of rice you’re using. Add 1-2 teaspoons of salt to it. Take a few semi-cooked grains of rice and color them with diluted saffron for garnishing.
You will need a utensil (a big skillet is great) of about 12″ (300 mm) base for the hyderabadi biryani. Place about half of the semi-cooked rice in it. Next, layer half of the chicken on it again topped by a layer of rice (half of the remaining). One more layer of remaining chicken and then put the layer of the rest of the rice on top.
Heat oil and deep fry half the sliced onions to golden brown. Similarly fry some cashews. Garnish the top layer with these two along with 100 ml ghee, coconut milk, saffron rice grains and coriander. Lid the vessel and try making it airtight (but no pressure should build up). Put on high flame for 5 min before reducing it to low flame.
The flame should NOT be at the vessel’s center, but on one side of it. Wait for 2-3 min and turn the vessel to heat the other part on its circumference. This way, keep rotating the vessel every 2-3 min for about 20 min. Every time you turn it, carefully disturb the contents by a shake/jerk so as to avoid settling of ghee at the bottom.
Turn off the flame and wait for about 10 min before opening. Before serving, mix the medley from the bottom. Serve with boiled egg halves. Enjoy this hyderabadi biryani!