It is always pleasing to get back to blogging that too after a long hiatus. Now what could be more gleeful than sharing a recipe of grandeur on your comeback. Here I bring it on the table the recipe of Mutton Biryani, an all time favourite for the Mughlai Khana enthusiasts. If you ask me the “Gharana” of the biryani, I can declare it to be originally Lucknowi which found its proud inheritance in Kolkata since the later part of eighteenth Century. However, for me while admitting its glorious legacy, I find this biryani to be typically Kolkatan, which ignited my love for Mughlai food in childhood that I carry till date. Hope to get your love and affection for this recipe too.
Biryani ranks at the top of my favourite food list. Whenever there is a special occasion in my house, the very first dish comes to my mind is Biryani. It is a very well known Mughlai dish, cooked with meat and rice in dum, adored all over the sub-continent. However, Vegetable biryani is also well accepted among vegetarians.
Biryani should ideally be prepared in dum, where the meat and rice are cooked together in an air tight container over low flame. I already posted the recipe of dum biryani which is cooked with raw meat and known as Chicken Kachchi Biryani. However, one who is giving it a first try can have a doubt if the meat is properly cooked or not. So this time I am sharing with you an easier version of dum biryani which is followed in most of the biryani houses in Kolkata. The difference with the earlier version is that here, the meat is already cooked before putting over dum with rice. The result is by no way inferior to the Kacchi typed biryani.
Ingredients to serve 4 :
- Chicken thigh – approx. 700-800 gm.
- Basmati rice – 400 gm.
- Potato (large) – 2
- Hard boiled egg – 4
- Beresta (out of 3 medium-sized onion)
- Plain yogurt (beaten) – 3-4 tbspoon
- Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbspoon (heaped)
- Lime juice – 1 tbspoon
- Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
- White pepper powder (samorich) – ½ teaspoon
- Biryani Masala – 1½ tbspoon
- Cloves – 5-6
- Green cardamom – 5-6 pods
- Alubukhara/dried plum – 2-3 (I didn’t have that, so I skipped)
- Milk powder or Khoya/Mawa – 2 tbspoon (heaped) (I used milk powder)
- Rose water – ½ tbspoon
- Kewra water – 1 tbspoon
- Few strands of saffron (soaked in 2 tbspoon warm milk)
- Milk – 1 cup of a large coffee cup
- Salt to taste
- Ghee/Clarified butter (melted) – 3 tbspoon
- Cooking oil – 3-4 tbspoon
- Wheat flour – 1 cup
Cooking Chicken and Rice :
Marinate the chicken with salt, ginger-garlic paste, yogurt, chilli powder, white pepper powder, 1 tbspoon of biryani masala, ½ tbspoon kewra water and 1 tbspoon of cooking oil for minimum 2 hours. (For best result marinate the chicken overnight).
Peel the potatoes and cut them into two halves, coat with salt and turmeric powder and boil them till half-cooked. (I cooked them in microwave and it takes around 8 minutes. You can also fry them in oil till half-cooked.)
Also smear the boiled eggs with salt and turmeric powder and shallow fry in 1-2 tbspoon of oil.
Heat 1 tbspoon of oil in a frying pan or kadai over medium flame. Add the marinated chicken and half of the beresta into it. Cook till oil separates from the mixture, then add approx. 1½ cup of hot water into it. Cover the pan with a lid and let the chicken get cooked. As chickens become tender, remove them from the pan and keep aside, reduce the gravy to ¾ of a cup.
Wash and soak the rice in cold water for at least 10 minutes. Then bring to boil sufficient amount of water in a pan. Add drained rice, salt (approx. 2½ teaspoon), green cardamom and cloves. Cook the rice till it is 50% done. Drain the water and discard whole spices from cooked rice, keep it aside.
Make a soft dough by wheat flour and water.
Assembling Chicken & Rice for Dum :
Now grease a heavy bottomed pan or preferably a “Handi” (a deep, narrow-mouthed cooking vessel) with ½ tbspoon of ghee. Pour the chicken gravy/broth into it. Add lime juice, alubukhara, remaining biryani masala, 1 tbspoon of ghee, ½ cup of milk and the chicken pieces, mix them well.
Place the potatoes over the chicken and sprinkle over remaining beresta.
Now spread half of the rice over it. Spread saffron milk, rose-water, kewra water, milk powder and remaining ghee over the rice.
Then spread the remaining rice and milk at the top and place the eggs over it.
Cover the pan with a lid and seal with the dough to make it air tight. Now put a “tawa” on medium-high flame and place the sealed pot containing the meat & rice over it, cook for 6-8 minutes and then put the flame on low. Cook for another 30-35 minutes till rice get properly cooked. Check for the liquid at the bottom, whether it is completely dried out.
Serve hot with salads and raita.
- Try to use less weight chicken thighs. It is better if the total weight of 4 chicken thighs is to 700-800 weight.
- You can also use food colour for colouring the rice. Even ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed with 2 tbspoon of milk can also serve the purpose well. Sprinkle it over the first layer of rice.