~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chicken Biryani...Hyderabadi Biryani(Katchi Style)

Chicken Biryani...Hyderabadi Biryani(Katchi Style) Ok, so I have been anxious to cook this particular dish for a long time now. Ever since I made the Chicken Tikka Masala, I wanted to learn how to make more Indian food. I began doing some research on Biryani....India's favorite dish. First of all, I would like to set some things straight...I am by no means an expert in Indian food. But I am fascinated by their food, and want to learn as much as I can. This was a step in that direction...
There are so many types of dishes when it comes to the Indian cuisine..... quite a variety, I must say. Just check out Sailaja's Kitchen and you will know what I mean! She has some wonderful dishes...In case you would like to see her version of the Chicken Biryani click HERE. Actually, I felt inspired by her dish! Hers looks so authentic...
Anyway, back to the Biryani...:)
I know that there are a number of variations to the dish...it all depends on what part of the country it is derived from. The Hyderabadi Biryani is derived from the southern part of India, known as Hyderabad. So this is the one I made...or a version of it:).
In short...
There are 2 major styles of preparing Hyderabadi Biryani. The Katchi Biryani is prepared by making the dish with raw marinated meat. The raw meat is first marinated in spices and yoghurt. This is then added to the pot, where 50% cooked rice is added on top of the raw meat. It then continues to cook using the traditional dum, or the baking process. It is where the cooking vessel(pot) is sealed completely with a lid. Oftentimes, a flour and water dough is made(sort of like playdough) and placed on the rim of the pot before adding the lid. This dough prevents any steam/moisture from escaping. The dish continues to cook in a sealed pot on low heat until the meat and rice are done. It is advised that the dish be cooked in a heavy-bottom pot so that the chicken doesn't burn as it cooks. In the Pakki Biryani style, the meat is cooked before being placed in the pot. The rice is cooked to about 75% ....before it gets added to the cooked meat. This process is quicker. The dish just needs a few more minutes to combine flavors and completely cook the rice. I noticed most of the recipes required the spices to be whole, not ground... though some did use ground spices in their recipes. I only had ground, so that is what I used. The amounts used were simply my own creation. But we liked the way it came out... I chose to watch this Video to help me understand the dish a bit better. But, this is my version of the dish. I am sorry the photos don't do the dish justice. But I hope you enjoy....
You will need:

2 cups basmati rice
5-6 chicken thighs(boneless)
1 tsp coriander powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chile powder(mild)
1/4 tsp allspice
2 tsp ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 TBS mint chopped
2 TBS cilantro,chopped
3/4-1 cup plain yoghurt
1-2 fresh green chiles(spicy)...I used a 1/4 tsp chile flakes

Additional meat ingredient:
1 large tomato, chopped

Layering ingredients:
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced + oil, for frying
  • "saffron milk": 1 1/2 TBS milk + a pinch of saffron ( or 1/4 tsp turmeric)
  • Ghee: 2-4 TBS butter, clarified (I just used melted butter)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1-2 TBS mint
1-2 TBS oil ( for the bottom of the pot before placing the meat)
1. Cut each chicken thigh into 6 pieces and place in a large bowl.
2. Add all of the marinade ingredients, except the tomato.
Mix to coat.

Cover and marinate for a few hours or preferably overnight. Take chicken out from the fridge, add chopped tomato, and bring to room temp. while you prepare the rice.
3. Rinse rice till water runs clear. Soak rice in plenty of water for 30-40 minutes.

4. Cut onion in thin slices and fry in hot oil until light brown.
Keep the heat on med-low and stir often so that they don't burn. I use a small pot so that I don't waste too much oil. I then fry the onion in batches. Drain on paper towels . The onion should crisp up as it cools. Set aside. (Frying the onion can be done ahead)

5. Fill a large pot with water... 3/4 of the way(maybe 8-10 cups). Add plenty of salt, just as you would season pasta water. Maybe about 1 TBS(or more) of salt.
6.Bring the water to a full boil.
7.Drain the soaked rice and place in boiling water.
8.Boil for 3 minutes(my stove at 5000 ft. elev.) Basically, when the rice is 50% cooked. Do not overcook. Drain rice completely.
9. Add a bit of oil on the bottom of a heavy bottomed pan. Place the marinated chicken in a layer on the bottom.
10.Add half of the 50% cooked and drained rice. Spread evenly over chicken.

11.Sprinkle half of fried onion, half of the chopped cilantro, half of the chopped mint. Sprinkle half of the saffron(or turmeric) milk and half of the melted butter.
12.Add the rest of the rice and sprinkle yet again with the rest of the onion,cilantro,mint,saffron(or turmeric), milk and melted butter.
13.Cover with a tight-fitting lid.

Cook for 30-40 minutes on very low. Mine was done close to 35 minutes...at my elevation. Do not uncover lid anytime during the cooking process...except at the end when you want to check to see if it is done.
14.Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy with some raita ( a yoghurt dip) and roti(flatbread).


Sailaja Damodaran said...

Excellent,it has come out so good.No words to say.Thanks for telling about me.My all time favorite is Biriyani.

Fred said...

Hi, thanks for the comment!
This is an amazing recipe! I've got to try this one someday when I feel ambitious :). I'm a big fan of Indian food too - there's just nothing else like it in the world is there?

Ellie said...

Fred, Thanks for stopping by...We really like this dish. I am sure there are a ton of versions out there, this worked for us. I have just started to make Indian food.... And to think that we missed out... all this time?:)~Ellie