There’s biryani and then there’s Dum Biryani! Biryani is essentially a special dish of rice cooked with spicy, marinated meat. Your usual biryani is rice and meat cooked separately and then mixed together. Dum Biryani is cooked in a special way where the raw meat and rice is cooked together. Sounds intimidating… but trust me, it’s not!
This is a recipe I’ve always been afraid to try. I compare this recipe to baking a decedent dessert, you pretty much assemble all the layers then “set it and forget it”! There’s no stirring or tasting involved. And that’s what freaks me out…. I feel so helpless once I shut the lid :/
But once I tried it, I realized how easy it is. Once you have the concept down, it’s pretty much just layering your ingredients and letting it do it’s magic… undisturbed.
- 1 Chicken (about 1 1/2 lbs), skinless and cut into 8 pieces (you can definitely use thighs and legs only)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 3-4 chopped green chillies (you can use jalapeños)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 3/4 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon of garlic paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of ginger paste
- 1/4 cup of store bought fried onions (you can find already fried onions at Indian stores)
- 2 table spoon of oil (vegetable oil if recommended)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 1/2 cup basmati rice
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- 3 bay leaves
- 7-8 cardamons (in shell)
- Lots of salt
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup of fresh chopped mint leaves
- 1/4 cup of fried onions
- 1/4 cup of warm milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of red food color
- 1 teaspoon of rose water
- 1 teaspoon of kewra
- 1 tablespoon of Ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 cup of plain dough (made with 2 cups of flour and water)
- Mix everything for the chicken marination, and marinate for 4 hours up to overnight.
- In a large pot, bring some water to boil.
- Add lots of salt to the water along with the cinnamon, cardamons and bay leaves (remember this is the only time you can flavor the rice).
- Add the rice and cook about 70% through (depending on the type of rice, it should take about 6-8 minutes).
- Drain the rice and set aside.
- Layer the marinated chicken on the bottom of a heavy pot.
- Layer half the parboiled rice on top of the chicken.
- Sprinkle half the chopped cilantro, mint and fried onions.
- Layer the rest of the parboiled rice on top and repeat with the rest of the herbs and fried onions.
- Mix the warm milk and food color; pour the over the rice.
- Add the kewra, rose water and ghee.
- Put the dough on the inside rim of the lid and press the lid down on the pot to close it shut.
- Cook on high heat for 5 minutes.
- Then place the pot over a flat pan/griddle/tawa and lower the heat to minimum and continue to cook undisturbed for 35-40 minutes (try not to cook more than that as your rice will get mushy. Just trust me, that’s enough time for the chicken to cook through).
- After 40 minutes, switch off the flame and let the biryani start for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, break the dough seal with a knife and open the lid.
Serve with some Raita (Yogurt Sauce)