Cooking Chicken Biryani in Restaurant style will be an easy task now. You could also make this wonderful, scrumptious and mouth-watering dish easily at home and serve fresh hot steaming aromatic Biryani to your family and friends.
The restaurant style Chicken Biryani is a combination of big chunks of chicken marinated in spices (ground), fresh herbs and spiced with green chillies and red chilli powder and soaked in yogurt overnight so that the pieces get marinated incredibly to infuse all its flavours into the chicken. This is then dum cooked with the aromatic basmati rice topped with brown onions and a nice shot of saffron is sprinkled over to give an amazing colour to the biryani.
Generally a typical Chicken biryani served in most restaurants in and around Hyderabad have a nice aroma and taste which actually comes from the rose and kewra water which is added into the biryani. Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani is by far the most popular Indian rice recipe around the globe. There are many ways of cooking the biryani and it mainly lies on the way cooking technique is used. Chicken biryani is heavenly, full of flavours and really rocks and melts into the mouth with every bite you eat.
Biryani was originated from Iran (Persia) and it was brought to the Indian Subcontinent by Iranian travellers and merchants. Biryani is not only popular in India but also in Arabia and within various South Asian communities in Western countries. Hyderabadi Biryani is an integral part of Indian cuisine and is popularly served at all marriages, feasts, occasions etc. There are about 49 varieties of Biryanis which includes Biryani made of fish, quail, shrimp, deer and hare. The most famous of all, Hyderabadi Biryani is called the “Kachi Akhni” Biryani as both the marinated meat and the rice are cooked together.
Hyderabadi Biryani is the most popular variety of Biryani all over the globe. The name Biryani was derived from the Persian word Beryan which means ‘fried’ or ‘roasted’. Biryani is a rice based preparation combined with rice (basmati), spices, meat, fish, eggs or vegetables. Chicken Biryani is one of the iconic dishes of Hyderabad, India. Traditionally Biryani is made from par boiled rice which is then assembled with other ingredients, sealed and kept on dum (cooked on a very low heat, so that the flavours inside the pot amalgamate well) for at least 45 minutes. The key in making a flavourful biryani is using very good quality basmati rice which gives the best flavours and appealing appearance.
Cooking the Biryani in dum is actually influenced from the cuisine of Awadh, the original cuisine which introduced Dum Pukht to the world, now it is also commonly used in other cuisines like Mughlai, Punjabi and Hyderabadi. Dum means to ‘breathe in’ and pukht to ‘cook’. In the Dum Pukht style of cooking, round, heavy – bottomed pot, a handi are used, in which food is tightly sealed and cooked over a slow fire. There are two main aspects to this style of cooking; bhunao and Dum, or ‘roasting’ and ‘maturing’ of a prepared dish. In this style of cuisine, herbs and spices play an extremely critical role. The process of slow roasting gently persuades each to release maximum flavor. And the sealing of the lid; the sealing of the lid of the handi with dough achieves maturing. Cooking slowly in its juices, the food retains all its natural aromas and becomes imbued with the richness of flavours that distinguishes the cuisines.
Onions are the main flavouring component that is browned well to give a nice flavour and colour to the biryani. Yogurt is another ingredient used for tenderising raw meat and to add tartness. Biryani is one dish which shows off the versatility of spices that are truly exploited in Indian cooking. The three main ingredients for making the Biryani is really a good variety of Basmati rice, Javithri (mace) and mint. Apart from these cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, fresh coriander leaves, ginger garlic paste, fried golden brown onions and saffron are added. A biryani is accompanied with dahi chutney or Raita (curd & onions), mirchi ka salan (big green chilli curry) or bagara baingan (roasted eggplant) and onion rings and lemon wedges.
Cooking of the Biryani at the first shot may not come perfect with the right texture and taste as you get at restaurants and do not let the long process and preparation time scare you. As you keep practicing it enough number of times, you will get faster and better at it.
There are various ways of making the biryani and umpteen types of biryanis that one can prepare with vegetables, meat and seafood etc. Some of the most popular varieties are:
How to prepare Chicken Biryani Restaurant Style:
Basmati rice - 500 gms
Bay leaf - 3 nos
Cardamom - 6 nos
Chicken - 1500 gms
Cinnamon sticks - 2 nos
Cloves - 3 nos
Coriander, chopped - 1 bunch
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Golden fried onions - 150 gms
Green chillies - 5 nos
Lichen (kalpasi) - 1 tsp
Lime juice - 2 tbsp
Mace - 2 nos
Mint, chopped - 1 bunch
Oil - ½ cup
Pepper corns - 6 nos
Red chilli powder - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Shahi jeera - 1 tsp
Star anise - 3 nos
Turmeric - ¼ tsp
Yogurt - 1 cup
Firstly make a powder of all the spices. Take a bowl, add chicken pieces and add the masala powder, chilli powder, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, salt, coriander powder, curd, chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves, fried onions, green chillies, lime juice, oil and mix well. Refrigerate the chicken mixture overnight.
Heat water in a vessel and let it come to a boil, add oil, salt, shahi jeera, bay leaf and basmati rice (soak the rice in water for 1 hour).
Cook the rice till 70% done. Add layer of chicken marinate in the biryani handi and then layer with rice (drain off the water).
Sprinkle fried onions, add dissolved saffron strands soaked in milk, ghee (optional), kewra water, rose water and cover the handi with a lid and seal with a sticky dough and leave it to cook on dum.
First cook it on high flame for first 4-5 minutes then reduce the flame to low. Use a griddle under this for even heat transfer and cook it for 25 to 30 minutes and switch off the flame.
After 40 minutes, the biryani is ready. Open the seal of the lid. Never mix the biryani, first check the rice on the top and bottom and then serve.
To actually relish a heavenly Nawabi style of meal, have a scrumptious plate of Biryani accompanied with Hyderabadi Mirchi ka salan, raita or dahi chutney, cut onions and later treat you with the luscious taste of khubani ka meetha or double ka meetha which on whole is the treasured food/ delicacies from the Hyderabadi cuisine.
Making a scrumptious chicken biryani is a lengthy process but it’s totally worth it. Generally biryani is made mostly on special occasions, so do put in all your efforts and heart into making this wonderful dish to satisfy your palate. On a quest to perfecting this authentic dish for the right taste you need to try it out a few times or else do watch the video and get to know the right method of cooking the Chicken Biryani Restaurant style: