In a hurry? You can
use a pre-mix
This a flavorful, aromatic, medium spicy dish made with basmati rice, spices, herbs and chicken. It can also be made with beef or even goat meat.
Total time: about 1.5 hours not counting optional overnight marinating
Preparation time: about 1 hour
Cooks for about: 25 minutes
Yield: 10 - 12 servings. You can scale this up or down and it freezes very well.
Easy to make!
They add flavor, but are also for appearance and tradition. The downside is some folks don't like biting into a pure spice, it can be intense. So I put them in a cheesecloth bag or just add a pinch of the ground versions (aside from the bay leaves) instead. If you don't want to do this, you can use the ground equivalents shown below
In a large container that you can seal, add
Make slits on the chicken pieces. Add it to the marinade and mix well. Cover and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour to as long as overnight.
Rinse the basmati rice three times and then
cook (2 cups of water per cup of rice) over very low heat for 30 minutes. This results in the rice being mostly but not completely cooked.
Then drain in a colander or sieve.
Heat the ghee, unsalted butter or oil in a large pot.
Add the whole spices bay leaf, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, shahi jeera and mace. Skip this step if you do not have whole spices, Instead, you'll add the ground versions to step 5..
Scoop them out, let them cool for a few minutes then tie them all together in a spice bag or cheesecloth
After removing the spices, add onions and fry them evenly stirring often until uniformly golden brown but not burned (about 15 minutes)
Add chicken and sauté until for 5 minutes on a medium heat.
Then cover and cook on a low flame until the chicken is cooked and tender about 20 minutes more. Uncover and sauté to evaporate any excess moisture in the pot.
To the pot add
Mix everything well and layer chicken evenly at the bottom.
Spread the drained basmati rice in a layer over the chicken and gently pat down.
To a separate bowl, add 3.5 cups water.
Add 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt and mix. It will be slightly salty.
Pour 2 cups of this water across the sides of the pot. Gently pour the rest on top of the rice.
Pat the rice level again if needed. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons mint leaves.
Add the saffron-soaked milk.
Put in a pot, cover and cook on a low flame until the chicken biryani is done to your liking, about 30 minutes. If the rice is still under cooked or hard, pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup boiling water and cook further. When done it has to be fully cooked, yet remain grainy.
Fluff up the chicken biryani with a fork.
Serve from top to the bottom layer. Each serving gets biryani rice from top and chicken from the bottom layer..
Serve the chicken biryani with raita and shorba (biryani gravy)