Our favorite comfort food that both me and my husband love to indulge in is Chicken Biryani! My mouth waters just writing about it:) This all in one meal can be very time consuming if made the traditional way so I came up with a version that is easier, healthier and quicker. Are you ready to bake chicken biryani in the oven with me? I promise you this version does not compromise with flavors or taste of the traditional dum pukht Biryani!
Biryani is an Indian rice dish in which rice is cooked together with vegetables or meat along with exotic indian spices. It is full of bold and aromatic flavors. Dum pukht is a technique of cooking in which the cooking vessel is sealed tight (usually with flour dough) so the steam and aroma does not escape thereby making the food more flavorful.
There are two basic types of Biryani- pakki and kacchi. In pakki biryani, the meat and rice are both cooked first and then layered or mixed together. In kacchi biryani, raw meat is marinated and layered with raw or half cooked rice and then they are cooked together. My favorite is the kacchi biryani as it is packed with flavors:)
Biryani is usually served with raita (yogurt dip) to cool off the spices!
Chicken – 4lbs
Basmati Rice – 5cups
Green chilies (split in half) -10
Mint and cilantro leaves- ½ cup chopped
Fried red onions – 2 julienned and fried
Lemon juice- 4tbsp
Red chili powder- 2tsp
Biryani Masala – 1tsp
Garam masala -1tsp
Whole green cardamoms- 4
Bay leaves- 2
Cinnamon stick – 1inch
Vegetable oil- 2tbsp
Spices to flavor the boiling water:
Green cardamoms – 4
Cumin seeds – 1/2tsp
Cloves – 3
Bay leaf – 1
Ginger garlic paste – ½ tsp
Peppercorns – 6
Ghee (melted butter) – 2tsp
Step 1: Marinate the chicken with ingredients mentioned above under the marinade for overnight or at least 4 hours.
Step 2: Soak rice for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Sauté one thinly sliced red onion in 1 tbsp. oil in a non-stick pan. Chop some cilantro.
Step 4: Soak few saffron strands in warm milk. Pre-heat oven to 400 deg F (200deg C).
Step5: Boil water in a big pot and add the above-mentioned spices to flavor the water. Add rice and let it boil on high for 2-3 minutes or until ¾ cooked. Strain immediately.
Step 6: Take a big oven safe pan. I use a roaster pan to make Biryani. Start layering with chicken on the bottom followed by rice, then chicken again and the topmost layer with rice. Sprinkle saffron milk, fried onions and cilantro on top. Cover with an aluminum foil.
Bake for 20 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 300F (150 C) and bake for another 45 minutes.
Enjoy with some cucumber Raita (yogurt mixed with grated cucumber)!
Tip: You can garnish the biryani with fried cashews and raisins to make it richer!