Lucknowi Nawabi Biriyani
In the subcontinent we have so many different recipes of biriyanies ; taste, flavor , aroma , process of making varying from region to region . Some of them are ravishingly spicy , whereas some are enchantingly aromatic. All the biriyanies , depending on the method of cooking, can be classified into two major groups; “Kachchi” and “Pakki” . Kachchis are those , where raw marinated meat is used with partially cooked rice . Our very own, world famous Bangladeshi version of Kachchi biriyani , Hyderabadi biriyani belong to that group . And Pakkis are those , where meat and rice both are pre cooked and then layered . “Sindhi”, “Luknowi” are of this kind .
Today’s post is “Lucknowi Biriyani”, delightfully aromatic and mild in flavor, rather than spicy . and it is prepared following the original, authentic method. There are so many recipes on internet as to Lucknowi Biriyani , but sorry to say , neither of them come close to the original version . The basic principle of preparing this recipe is , no powdered masala , only whole masala is used and the rice is flavored with the aromatic stock of the meat used in the recipe .
1 soft or baby chicken, cut in 6 pieces ( around 1.25 kg)
Basmati Rice 4 cups ( in a 1 cup=250 ml cup)
Masala/ spices for the stock:
2 black cardamom
8/9 green cardamom
2 sticks of 2 inches cinnamon
2 star anise
1 and half tea spoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon fennel
1 tea spoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of black cumin/ sha-jeera
1 teaspoon of mace/ javetri
Ginger chopped 2 tbl spoon
Garlic Chopeed 1 tbl spoon
For the chicken:
Half cup yogurt
1 tbl spoon Ginger
2 teaspoon garlic
Half cup fried onion Bereshta
4/5 green cardamom
1 stick of 2 inches long cinnamon
1 tea spoon mace / javetri ( dry roasted and broken by hands)
Milk, 200 ml ( three-fourth cup)
Sugar ( aound 1 teaspoon , heaped)
4/5 Whole green chilies
For the rice:
The stock , prepared by the chicken 6 cups
1 small stick of cinnamon
Salt to taste
Ghee less than half cup ( If you are using non-stick utensil , take less, just enough that the rice is well coated with the ghee and there is no extra ghee)
Fried onion or bereshta
Whole green chilies 5/6
Saffron or zafran soaked in milk
Dried plum/ alubokhara
Biriyani scent ( optional)
1. Soak the rice in water for at least 1 hour. In a cheese cloth put everything mentioned for stock, except salt. Now tie up the cloth and put it in a pot filled with 12 cups of Warm water. Put the chicken pieces and add salt . Let it boil till the chicken are three-fourths done. Take out the chicken pieces and reduce the stock to 6/7 cups. Don’t take out the masala bundle while doing so.
2. In a pot marinate the three-fourths done chicken with yogurt , whole garam masalas , ginger, garlic paste, Fried onion ,sugar and salt. Heat ghee and add the chicken with marinade . Cook on medium flame for few minutes and then add the milk . Cook on medium low flame .The gravy should not be too much or too dry .Add the green chilies and keep it on dom for 5 minutes more. Take out the whole garam masalas from the gravy.
3. Put ghee in a pot . Drain out the water from the rice and add into the ghee . Add 6 cups of stock . Add the cinnamon stick. Add salt, but careful , the stock has salt too . So Adjust the salt . Cover the lid and cook on medium flame . Don’t stir. When the water is completely dried out , turn off the stove . The rice would look like 80% done.
4. Now the layering part . Take a pot , first layer with the chicken with gravy . Don’t take any extra oil from the gravy. Now layer with the rice . Put some whole green chilies , alubokhara , raisins over the rice . Layer now with the remaining rice . Cover it with fried onion , bereshta . Add saffron and sprinke some keora and biriyani scent . Cover the lid tightly and keep it on “dom” for another 30 minutes.
For “Dom” , I always follow double boiler method . Put you biriyani pot over another same sized pot filled with water . Turn on the stove on medium flame. The steam will do the wonder . Those who will put it in the oven , cover the lid tightly or wrap with double layer of aluminium foil .In a bake mode , keep it in the preheated oven for 20/ 25 minutes at 350 FH.
Serve hot with kabab and salad.
1. Unlike other pakki biriyanis , the rice is not cooked in water and the nutrition and flavor of rice is intact for not throwing away the water . It makes the biriyani more flavorful .
2. For bereshta or fried onion , the tricks are , cut the onions as thin as possible.Heat oil on medium flame . The oil should not be too hot . Once you put the onions , lower the heat and fry until crisp and golden brown. The bereshtas get darker after taking out from the oil . So take them out from the oil , one shade lighter than the color you want.
3. If you prepare the biriyani for a larger batch , just don’t double up the ingredients . Go by adding extra half . Like if 1 tea spoon is required , take 1 and half teaspoon.
4. The stock can be preserved for other dishes as well , if you make in a large quantity . It would do wonder in pulao and korma for sure . Just put it in a closed lid bottle or container and preserve it in the fridge , if for more than 2 days then in the deep chamber