Shahjahani Biriyani is one of the precious gems of the Mughal kitchen . Shahi indeed , no doubt !! Traditionally it is cooked with mutton / lamb or bone less chicken , but if you want you can definitely use beef or chicken with bones .
For the chicken:
1 and 1/2 kg boneless chicken ( save the bones for preparing the stock)
3 potatoes , cut in halves, crosswise
1 cup yogurt
1 and half cup chopped onion
2 tbl spoon ginger paste
2 tea spoon garlic paste
1 heaped tea spoon chili powder
4/5 green cardamoms
1 tea spoon cinnamon powder
1/2 tea spoon mace powder
1/4 th tea spoon nutmeg powder
2 whole black cardamom
1 star anise
1 tbl spoon almon paste
Shahi masala paste , apply all ( grind 1 tbl spoon desiccated coconut , 1 tbl spoon poppy seed or posto and 1 tea spoon of sesame together into a fine powder then make a thick paste with 3 tbl spoon evaporated milk or heavy cream or thick milk, add 1 tbl spoon almond paste in it)
1 tbl spoon maowa / khoya ( optional)
Salt to taste
10/12 whole green chilies
1 heaped tea spoon sugar or according to your taste ( just to enhance the taste , must not be too sweet)
For the rice :
4 cups of aromatic rice , Basmati or kalojeera
6 cups of Chicken stock
A little more than 1/3 rd cup of ghee
If you don’t have the stock , don’t bother , just add regular water with 2 black cardamoms , 1 star anise ,4 green cardamoms , 1 bay leaf , 1 cinnamon stick .
Ghee , around 4 tbl spoon
Zafran/ saffron , soaked in milk
Good quality Keora water
Eggs , hard boiled
Bereshta/ fried onion to garnish
Alubokhara/ dried plum
Food color , orange or zaafrani
1. Boil the bones of the chicken with 9 cups of water and 2 black cardamoms , 4/5 green cardamoms , 1 stick of cinnamon , 1 tea spoon of fennel , 1 tea spoon of shajeera , 1 tea spoon of black pepper , 6 / 7 cloves , 2 star anise , 1 tbl spoon of julian cut ginger and salt . Reduce the water to 6 cups .
Strain the stock .
2. Marinate the Chicken with all the ingredients mentioned above , except onion , ghee , green chilies , sugar, maowa and shahi masala paste .
3. Rub little food color over potatoes and eggs .
4. Heat oil + ghee and add the potatoes . Fry them for a while . Keep them aside . Fry the eggs for a while . Keep them aside too .
5. Now in the same pan add the onion , fry them until golden brown or looks like bereshta . Now add the chicken with the marinade . You can add little zafrani food color in it now . Cook for a while in low flame with lids on . After 15 minutes add the potatoes and 1 cup of water . Cook on medium low flame for about 30 minutes. Since the chicken is boneless it won’t take much time .
Don’t reduce the the gravy too much . There should be at least little more than 1 cup of gravy . If you want you may add little water and add the Shahi masala paste , just before you turn off the stove , add the whole green chilies , sugar and maowa . take out the whole masalas from the gravy .
6. In the mean time , prepare the rice . Boil 4 cups of rice with 6 cups of chicken stock or water and 1/3 rd cup of ghee . Chicken stock has salt in it , so you may add salt if needed .
If you are not using chicken stock , as I said earlier just add 2 black cardamoms , 4/5 green cardamoms , 1 star anise , 1 cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf and salt to taste .
Try not to put too much salt , as the chicken will have salt in it too .
7. The rice will not be fully done . It would look like 90% done . But the water will be dried out . Don’t stir the rice while boiling . just when the water is dried out , with a gentle hand stir once around the pot .
8. Now most important layering part . Take a wide , deep bottomed utensil . Layer with half of the rice . Then add the chicken with all the gravy, potatoes and green chilies . Add some alubokhara too .Sprinkle some keora water .Cover with remaining rice . Pour some ghee, around 4 tbl spoon over the rice in circular motion . Pour zafran/ saffron , soaked in milk , in circular motion too . Add generous amount of keora water . Now Cover the lid tightly and keep it on “Dam” for another 30 minutes.
For “dam”, I always steam using double boiler method .
For that take a same sized utensil or any utensil , on which you can put the biriyani pot . Now fill that utensil with water and place the biriyani pot over it . Turn on the stove on medium heat . The water will create steam and will evenly distribute the steam to the biriyani pot .
Serve with kabab and salad . 🙂
1. If you are using mutton and lamb , while boiling the meat and preparing the stock ,add enough water , so that the meat is 70% done . Reduce the stock to 6 cups .