A brief introduction to Biryani
The word “biryani” comes from the Persian word “birian” which means “fried before cooking.” Biryani is a mixed rice dish. It can be compared to mixing a curry, later combining it with semi-cooked rice separately.
The exact origin of the dish is uncertain. In North India, different varieties of biryani developed in the Muslim centres of Delhi (Mughlai cuisine), Lucknow (Awadhi cuisine) and other small principalities. In South India, where rice is more widely used as a staple food, several distinct varieties of biryani emerged from Hyderabad Deccan as well as TamilNadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka, where Muslim communities were present.
According to historian Lizzie Collingham, the modern biryani developed in the royal kitchens of the Mughal Empire and is a mix of the native spicy rice dishes of India and the Persian pilaf. Indian restaurateur Kris Dhillon believes that the dish originated in Persia, and was brought to India by the Mughals.
Difference between biriyani and pulao
Biryani contains more gravy and is cooked for longer with condiments.
pulao, as it is known in the Indian subcontinent, is another mixed rice dish popular in the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, and Middle Eastern cuisine.
There may be following distinction between pulao and biryani according to some researchers.
Biryani is the primary dish in a meal, while the pulao is usually a secondary accompaniment to a larger meal.
In biryani, meat(or vegetables) are marinated with spices and then layered with half-cooked rice. After that cooked or steamed together. Pulao is a single-pot dish: meat(or vegetables) and rice are simmered in a liquid until the liquid is absorbed.
Types of biryani
There are a lot of variations of biriyani according to the local influence and method of cooking. Some popular among them are
Lakhnowy biryani etc
Nowadays it is a trend to make biryani by infusing different popular dishes. So there is tandoori chicken biriyani, chicken tikka biryani etc are gaining popularity.
I am sharing a very easy chicken biryani recipe that you can make with regular household ingredients. It is easy, quick and delicious biryani recipe that you can make in the upcoming eid festival.
- Preparation time: 2h 30m(including resting time)
- Cooking time: 50m
- Serves: 4
- Difficulty level: medium
- 600g Boneless and skinless Chicken
- 800g long grain Basmati rice
- 2 cup Yoghurt/homemade Curd
- 3 big Onion thinly sliced for deep frying
- 1 tablespoon Ginger-garlic paste
- 2 teaspoon Lemon juice(1 teaspoon for Chicken+1 teaspoon for Rice)
- 2 tablespoon homemade Garam masala powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander powder (you can also use curry powder)
- 1 teaspoon red Chilli powder
- 3 fresh green Chillies
- A handful of Mint+Coriander leaves
- 2 tablespoon Ghee+2 teaspoon more
- 5-6 Saffron strands
- 1 tablespoon warm Milk to soak saffron strands
- 2 small stick of Cinnamon( 1 for Chicken+1 for Rice)
- 6 green Cardamom( 3 for Chicken+3 for Rice)
- 1 black Cardamom ( for Chicken)
- 2-3 Cloves(for Rice)
- 1 cup vegetable Oil to deep fry the onions
- Salt as required
- 2-3 drops of Biryani essence
Clean, rinse and soak basmati rice with water for about an hour.
Cut boneless chicken into small bite side pieces.
Cut onions into long thin strips. Be sure that the slices should be uniform otherwise onions won’t be fried uniformly.
Heat vegetable oil in a deep yok or kadhai and fry onions in medium heat until light golden brown.
Soak saffron in warm milk for 10 to 15 minutes.
Take chicken pieces into a bowl. Mix with 1teaspoon lemon juice and ginger-garlic paste. Then add in 2 cups of beaten yoghurt, all the powdered spices, 1 stick cinnamon, 3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, chopped coriander-mint leaves, chopped green chillies and salt.
Add in salt and mix everything well with the chicken pieces. Crush half of the fried onion and add into the chicken. Mix well again.
Also add in 2 tablespoon of ghee and mix.
Note that chicken pieces should completely coat with the spicy yoghurt mixture. So be generous to add in yoghurt. If you feel that chicken pieces are not covered completely with the mixture, add more yoghurt. Cover and keep aside for at least 2 hours for marination.
Heat sufficient water in a big saucepan to cook the rice. Add in 1 tablespoon of salt and rest of the whole garam masala like cinnamon stick, green cardamom and cloves. Also, add in 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. When water starts boiling add in the rice.
Cook in high heat until the rice cooks almost 70%.
In the meantime, transfer the marinated chicken with yoghurt mixture to a heavy bottomed broad saucepan. Place in the stove top with medium heat.
With a perforated spoon transfer half of the 70% cooked rice over the chicken and spread uniformly.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of ghee, 1-2 teaspoon of saffron milk,some mint+coriander leaves, some fried onions and 1 drop of biriyani essence.
Now spread the rest of the rice (drained) over the 1st layer and sprinkle herbs, fried onions, saffron milk, ghee and essence as before. Cover with an aluminum foil.
Put on the lid to seal completely so that steam won’t come out. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for about 20 minutes. This is the process of dum. The meat and rice will cook on the steam produced.
After 20 minutes remove the lid and foil. Biryani is ready now. Carefully fluf the rice along with the chicken below. You will be delighted by the flavour emits from the biryani.
Transfer to serving bowl, serve with some spicy yoghurt and any kind of meat curry. I served with some chicken gravy.
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