Biryani celebrates everything great about Indian food: the heady aromas, vibrant colors, fluffy rice, and addictive curry flavors. Basically, it’s your preferred chicken curry, covered with a mountain of fluffy rice with a delicately spiced flavor, and cooked in one pot. The rice is steamed over a low heat to absorb the flavors of the curry simmering beneath.
In a nutshell, it’s every curry-loving carb monster’s dream come true. It’s written with my name all over it!
How to Make Biryani
This recipe is super simple that even newbies and bachelors can make it at home and make everyone happy.
- 1 cup rice (Basmati)
- 400 grams Chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon Biryani or Tandoori Masala
- Few cups Water
- A teaspoon Salt
- 2 Tomatoes, diced
- 2 pinch of Turmeric powder
- A teaspoon Red chilli powder
- 1 ½ tablespoon Oil
- 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 5 to 6 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 Onions, chopped lengthwise
- 1-inch Cinnamon stick
- 2 to 3 Green chilies, slit
- 1 inch Ginger, finely chopped
- Few strands Coriander leaves or cilantro
- ¼ cup Mint leaves or Pudina, loosely packed
- 3 to 4 Cardamom
- 2 Bay leaf
- 3 to 4 Cloves
- A teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 250ml Water
Making Biryani Masala
Begin your biryani preparation by preparing the biryani masala. First, thoroughly clean your chicken and drain it using a tissue. Put a large pot over high heat, and add a combination of oil, ginger garlic paste, and the drained chicken. Then stir it with a packaged biryani mix of your taste, red chilli powder, and chicken flavor.
Mix for about a minute. Now, add cloves, cinnamon sticks, green cardamon, and whole black pepper, or omit or add them based on your taste.
If your family prefers potatoes, add them in the biryani at this stage (cut into chunks), mix well, and cover for 15-20 minutes on low-medium heat, or until the potatoes are almost cooked (1/3rd cooked). Then turn off the flame.
In a separate pot add water and bring it to a boil. When the water turns nice and steamy, add the salt, rice (pre-soaked for 30 minutes), and oil. Cook the rice for 6 minutes, or until half cooked; it should still have a bite to it. The rice should then be strained.
After the rice has been boiled and strained, do not allow it to cool. Use them immediately for steaming, and make sure your biryani masala is ready before starting the rice. Otherwise, the rice will start to curl
Steps to Make Chicken Biryani:
- Place the pot with the chicken on the stove over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, covered.
- Remove the lid. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes, turning it twice.
- Turn off the heat.
- Turn the chicken so that the skin side is down; it should cover most of the bottom of the pot.
- Sprinkle with half of the onion and half of the coriander.
- Top with the remaining rice. Pat down and flatten the surface gently.
- Drizzle saffron across the surface of the rice in a random pattern, then drizzle with ghee.
- Put the lid on. Return to the stove and heat over medium heat.
- When you see steam, reduce the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes with the lid on.
- A good Biryani should have rice grains that are separate but fully cooked.
- Salt is essential in the flavour of all foods; use it in all stages of marination, soaking rice, cooking rice, gravy, and frying potatoes. But that doesn’t mean you should go overboard.
- Searing means cooking on high heat until all water evaporates and oil clearly separates on the pot’s sides. It is especially important when making biryani. It will be finger-licking good if you do it correctly. The only issue with Searing is that you need to add a little extra oil.
- Whole spices such as pepper, bay leaves, and cardamom are only used for aroma; their juices and flavours are released in rice. Please do not bite them. Simply set aside as you would bones.
Chicken Biryani in an Instant Pot:
Follow the procedure for Biryani masala and soak rice for 30 minutes as described above.
Set your pot to sauté mode. When the oil is hot, add the cloves, cinnamon sticks, bay leaf, cardamom pods, and cumin seeds. Cook for a minute.
Cook until done in the sauté mode. Cook for three more minutes after adding the chicken. Then stir in the garlic paste, ginger, and chilies. Cook for couple of minutes on the other side. To avoid burning, make sure the bottom of the pot is clean and no food stuck at the bottom.
Now, mix in the tomato, onion, mint leaves, coriander leaves, and tandoori masala powder. Cook for one minute. Spread it across the bottom of the pot.
Spread the soaked rice evenly over the chicken after draining them with a cup of water and half teaspoons salt. Check that the rice is completely submerged. Check that the pressure valve on your pot is in sealing. Set the timer to 6-7 minutes and select the Manual/High Pressure function.
Allow the pressure to naturally release for few minutes. Then let go of any left pressure.
Use a silicone spatula to slowly mix the cooked rice with the chicken so that the rice doesn’t break when you toss it.
Garnish with more coriander and mint and serve!