Rich in Flavours

All You Need to Know about Biryani

Are you a Biryani lover? Just hearing the name “Biriyani” can make your mouth water. If you have tasted you would know it’s worth all the hype. You can have a biryani at any hour of the day or night.

Biriyani is a mixed rice dish made with Indian spices, rice, and usually with some type of meat and sometimes eggs and potatoes. There are vegetable biryanis too which contain no meat or egg. Some of the common ingredients that are added are Mutton, chicken, beef, eggs, nuts, vegetables, and dried fruits. 

Biryani is largely eaten by Indians and is the most popular dish in South Asia. Biryani originated from Persia and then brought to India.  Biryani is derived from the Persian word “Birian” which means “fried before cooking”.  Biryani is famous because it is rich in flavour. It has a strong savoury taste. It can be eaten by any age group. But not small kids though, they might not be good for them.  Due to its flavour, it is one of the most famous dishes eaten by people all around the world. 

There are a lot of types of Biryani. It is famous in South Asian communities. Every region and every family has its version. There are almost  30 different biryani types in the world. 

Biryanis are named according to the main ingredients used or named after the region or named after spice blends used.

Some of them are Hyderabadi Biryani, Mughlai Biryani, Lucknow Biryani, Nasi Kebuli, Afgani Biryani, Malabar Biriyani,  Dindigul thalappakatti Biriyani, Berian, Pakistani Biryani and many more.

Hyderabadi biryani is known as India’s most popular and well-known biryani. It is indeed every Biryani lover’s favourite.  If you want a biryani that is light on the stomach, you should try the Lucknowi Biryani. It has a comparatively mild flavour. It doesn’t include potatoes and uses very few potatoes. One of the fun facts is that Biryani is the most googled dish all across the world for its recipe. Can you believe it?  

Making a chicken biriyani in a traditional authentic way isn’t that easy. It does take some time and good practice. 

Here are the steps to prepare the most delicious chicken biryani.

STEP 01: 

Take a half kg chicken. Then make a few slits on the chicken pieces and add them to a large bowl. Then add 3 tablespoons plain yoghurt, 1 ¼ tablespoon ginger garlic paste, ½ to 1 tablespoon garam masala, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric and add red chilli powder according to your need.

STEP 02: 

Mix everything well and marinate the chicken. You can rest it overnight in the fridge or cover it and set it aside for 1 hour.

STEP 3 :

Put 2 cups of basmati rice into a large pot and rinse it at least thrice. Drain and soak in fresh water for 30 mins. Drain to a colander after 30 mins.

STEP 04:

Heat ghee or oil in a heavy bottom pot or pressure cooker. Using whole spices is optional but recommended. You can add bay leaf, green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon piece, star anise, ¾ teaspoon of caraway seeds, 1 strand of mace

STEP 05:

Slice the onions into thin pieces. Add them to medium heat, and fry them stirring often until uniformly light brown. Do not burn them! 

STEP 06:

Add marinated chicken and salt until it becomes pale for 5 mins.

STEP 07:

Lower the flame completely. Cover and cook until the chicken is soft, tender, and completely cooked

STEP 08:

Check if the chicken is cooked by pricking with a fork. It has to be just cooked and not overdone. Evaporate any excess moisture left in the pot by cooking further without the lid.

STEP 09:

Taste test and add more salt if needed. You can also add ¼ cup plain yoghurt, 1 teaspoon garam masala, ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chilli powder, 1 slit green chilli pepper, and 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves.

STEP 10:

Mix everything well. Spread it evenly in a single layer

STEP 11:

Layer drained rice all over the chicken. To a separate bowl, pour 3 cups of water and add ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt. If cooking in a pot, start with 3 cups of water at this stage. Stir and taste the water. It must be slightly salty. Pour 2 cups of this across the sides of the cooker or pot. Pour the rest of the water over the rice gently

STEP 12:

Level the rice gently on top. Add 2 tablespoons more mint leaves. Do not mix up everything, the taste of the biryani cooked in the shown method is good. Optionally you can sprinkle 2 tablespoons of fried onions and saffron-soaked milk.

STEP 13:

Finally cover the pot or cooker. If cooking in a pot, cook on medium heat until the rice is done completely. If the rice is undercooked pour ¼ to ½ cup of boiling water at this stage. How much to add depends on the quality of basmati rice. Cook covered until the biryani rice is perfectly done, grainy, and fully cooked. Rest it covered for 15 mins. If cooking in a cooker, cook for 1 whistle. Later remove the cooker from the hot burner to stop cooking further.

STEP 14: 

When the pressure releases naturally, open the lid. Gently fluff up with a fork.

STEP 15:

Serve chicken biryani in layers – top layer with rice and bottom layer with chicken. 

To make the best biriyani, you should choose the best quality ingredients. Rice is the main ingredient so the quality of rice is very important. It all enriches the flavour of the Biryani. It can be made in a pressure cooker or pot.

Chicken Biryani is a rice and chicken dish that includes layers of chicken, rice, and fragrance that are streamed together. Traditional chicken biryani is made by layering marinated chicken at the bottom of a pot. It is covered with another layer of cooked rice, herbs, ghee, and milk. 

The top layer of rice looks all white and fluffy while the bottom layer of rice absorbs all the chicken juices. Marinating chicken with yoghurt and spices is the first key step to making the best chicken biryani. Marinating and resting chicken makes it soft and succulent. 

You should cook the rice and meat separately. You should not overcook the rice. Then it will become mushy and you will not get the perfect biryani taste. 

Using fried onions is the key! They will add authentic flavour as well as pleasing colour to the dish. In the end, you can add extra ghee or butter, milk, rose water, edible fragrance, etc. Adding any of these can make your biriyani shine and will add extra flavour. However, the quantity you add should be looked at. To bring the best taste you should be careful with how much you add to the portion. 

When you pay close attention to the cooking method, you should not forget about the cooking time. Overcooked biriyani wouldn’t look good or taste better. The biriyani should also look good and taste good. Serving the food beautifully and at the perfect temperature can enhance the flavour of the dish. 

Even though Biriyani is mostly famous around South Asia, it is becoming a hot topic all around the world. It is one of the most popular dishes around the world. If you haven’t even tried a biryani, it’s highly recommended to taste one. Or else you would miss the best, most delicious dish in your lifetime.

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