The recipe has a rich history of family tradition. It is heavily inspired by a dish cooked by the chef’s neighbour, whose family hail from Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, India, passed down through generations.
It offers an amazing combination of flavours, all in a dish that has a simple home-cooked feel.
The dish is simple, but to get it perfect there are a number of factors to consider. Cooking the rice correctly is very important, as is the timing of the marinade, the cooking of the spices and following the dum process, a slow cooking method, while ensuring that the biryani does not burn.
The dish is best served from a traditional clay biryani pot.
- Boneless chicken thigh: 750g( cut into chunks)
- 2 red onions (sliced)
- A tomato ( finely chopped)
- 5 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 400g basmati rice
- Bunch coriander
- ½ bunch mint ( use only leaves)
Spice for rice
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves
- 2 tsp black cumin
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp saffron
- 2-3 green chilies (finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- ½ tbsp salt
- 150g natural yogurt
- 2 tsp black cumin seeds
- 2 tsp red chili powder
- Juice of 1 lime
- ½ bunch coriander(chopped finely)
- 10 sprigs mint leaves (chopped finely)
- Pinch whole black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 green cardamom
- 100g wholemeal flour
- 100g plain flour
- 75g water
- Wash and soak the basmati rice for 20 minute in lots of water, this process creates "fluffy” rice which does not break up.
- Heat oil in a pan and add the sliced onion. Deep fry until crisp and golden brown.
- Cut the chicken in chunks and keep aside in a bowl. Meanwhile, fry the bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and whole black pepper in a pan without oil
- Grind the mixture into fine powder then add the mint leaves and coriander and pulse again for two seconds to make a coarse paste.
- Add the ground mixture to the chicken, followed by the remaining marinade mix and half of the fried onions.
- Mix everything together and keep it in the marinade overnight. If making on the same day marinate for at least 4-5 hours.
- Boil the water in a heavy bottomed pan. When it comes to a full boil, add oil, ghee, shah jeera, a bay leaf, cloves (2), and cinnamon (¼ stick ).
- When the water returns to boiling, add the soaked rice and cook on a high heat for 3-4 minutes. Check the rice - it should be half cooked.
- Now carefully drain the rice and keep it aside.
- Add the saffron to 3 tbsp of hot milk and mix well.
- Heat the same heavy bottomed pan, add some oil and ghee and spread the marinated chicken at the bottom.
- Now add the half-cooked rice on top of the chicken, then spread the remaining fried onions, mint leaves and coriander on top of the rice.
- Finally pour on the saffron milk. Now, mix both the flours, adding water until the dough comes together. Roll out then place over the top of the pan, sealing the edges with the lid , keep it fully enclosed so that no air escapes and the biryani is cooked in steam.
- You can dum cook the biryani by covering the vessel with wheat flour dough or with a thick kitchen towel.The dough is the better option, because it keeps the flavour intact
- Cook on high heat for 2–3 minutes, until water droplets form inside the lid.
- Now reduce the heat to a medium flame and remove the biryani vessel.
- Place a flat heavy-bottomed non-stick pan on the heat, and allow it to heat up.
- Once hot, place the biryani vessel and cook for 30-35 minutes. Alternatively you can use your oven at 110 -120°C.
- You will see the dough getting cooked, and a nice aroma will develop after 30 -35 minutes - a good indicator that the biryani is ready now.
- Remove from the heat and allow the biryani rest for 10 more minutes
- Slowly remove the lid by breaking through the dough, and you will see beautifully cooked dum biryani ready for you!
- Mix the biryani carefully using a wooden spoon , finally sprinkle ghee and any remaining fried onion, and serve hot.