Few places and cities are recognized by the food they serve besides having other famous things to boast of .Hyderabad in southern India is one of those cities.The first thought with Hyderabad comes to mind is of Hyderabadi biryani and Charminar a historical monument that has become a global icon of Hyderabad.
Biryani from hyderabad is a spicy mouth watering dish for all the non vegetarians and especially for biryani lovers like me.In one of my previous blog on Awadhi mutton biryani I have stated the difference between the Awadhi and the Hyderabadi biryani.To me this dish is very simple to make as I have been cooking it for years now as it simply involves marination of the chicken and assembling it with the rice and cooking it on dum(cooking covered with lid on a very low heat for longer duration).Though the dish appears to be very simple, the main expertise lies in getting the rice perfectly cooked along with meat without getting gooey.The main USP of the perfect biryani lies in its rice cooked to perfection .Hyderabadi biryani is high on spices unlike Awadhi biryani but the level of spices can always be adjusted according to ones own preferences.Below follows the recipe of this mouth watering dish to which I have tried my level best to explain each and every step in detail which if followed methodically will ensures excellent results.
Marinating the chicken
- 1 kg chicken cut into medium size pieces(I have used whole legs i.e drumsticks and thigh combined cut into 2 pieces each ,so I have 12 pieces weighing approximately 1 kg)
- 1 cup thick plain curd
- 1 lemon juice
- 2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste(1:1 ratio)
- 1 tsp black pepper corns(kali mirch sabut)
- 1/2 tsp cloves(laung)
- 1-2 blade mace(javitri)
- 1 big star anise(phool chakri)
- 2 bay leaves(tezpatta)
- 8-10 green cardamom(hari elaichi)
- 1 tsp cumin(jeera)
- 1 tsp black cumin(shahi jeera)
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds(sabut dhania)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder(haldi powder)
- 1 tsp black stone flower(a kind of lichens also called kalpasi or dagad ke phool and is a must spice in this dish)
- 8-10 red chilies whole or according to taste
- salt to taste
- 1 cup coriander and mint chopped(3:1)
- Few green chilies chopped (optional)
- 2 large onions sliced and deep fried
- 1 cup cooked oil(use the oil in which onions were fried)
- Wash and clean the chicken.Make sure the pieces are big enough….like cutting the chicken into 10 -12 pieces ,not more then that.
- Grind all the spices together into a fine powder.
- In a bowl mix curd,ground spices , ginger and garlic paste and salt together uniformly.Squeeze juice of one lemon in it.
- Put the chicken pieces into this mixture and mix it gently rubbing the marinate on each piece of chicken.
- Mix in 1/2 quantity of chopped coriander and mint leaves and green chilies.
- Mix in the cooked oil and half of the fried onions.Cover it and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.The longer the chicken gets marinated the better it tastes.Thus the preparation of the dish starts one day before.
Cooking the Biryani
- 3 cups long grain aged basmati rice
- 6-7 green cardamoms crushed
- 1 kg Marinated chicken
- 1 -2 tbsp kewra water( if using essence put only few drops of it as it is very concentrated)
- Orange colour (liquid/powder)
- Salt to taste
- Fried onions and few mint leaves for garnishing
- Some chapati dough to seal the lid
- Wash and soak the rice for about 30 minutes
- Take a large and deep sauce pan .Fill three quarter of it with water.Add enough salt so that it tastes like tear drop. Put crushed cardamoms into it.Heat the water till it starts boiling.Add the soaked rice in it and cook till it is 70% done.
- On the other hand take another large and deep sauce pan and and place all the marinated chicken along with the marinate at the bottom of the pan.Make sure that the chicken is at room temperature.Put this on very low heat till the rice is getting cooked till 70%.
- Check for the moisture content in the chicken.It should be just covering the chicken.
- Drain the rice and top it over the chicken ensuring not packing the rice tightly over it.
- Sprinkle kewra water on the top.Put a streak of orange color on one side and sprinkle some fried onions on top.
- Line the rim of the lid with chapati dough and cover the vessel with this ensuring proper sealing.Lightly grease the rim of the lid so that it comes of easily when the biryani is done because sometimes the lid sticks very tightly on the vessel that it becomes difficult to take it off.
- Cook the biryani on high heat for initial 5 minutes followed by medium heat for 10 -15 minutes.Thereafter transfer the vessel onto a heated girdle(tawa) which is on very low flame.Cook it for about 25 -30 minutes.Switch of the heat and let it rest for 15 minutes.Thereafter open the lid and mix it gently bringing the bottom contents on top .It is ready to be served.
- Serve hot along with mint raita (curd blended with mint leaves and seasoned with salt) and salad.Traditionally it is served along with mirchi ka salan,a dish consisting of fried green chilies put in groundnut and sesame seed based gravy.
GO GET COOKING TO ENJOY THE SPICY AROMATIC DISH FROM HYDERABAD INDIA.
TILL THEN HAPPY COOKING!!!