Tag Archives: Mughlai recipe

Shahjahani Biriyani

Shahjahani Biriyani

Shahjahani Biriyani

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 .

Ingredients :

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
2 bayleaves
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
4/5 cloves
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)
oil+ ghee

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 .

Other Ingredients:

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

Procedure :

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 .

Shahi Tukra

Shahi Tukra

Shahi Tukra

Who doesn’t love Shahi Tukra ?? That velvety , soft Indian bread pudding having it’s roots in Mughlai cuisine . For me it’s absolutely a dessert which I without any hesitate can call ” Beheshti” or “heavenly” in English!!! I have two different versions of making Shahi tukra . But the recipe I’m sharing today is the most authentic and easiest of the two . The other version includes making sugar syrap and rabri ( milk sauce ) separately . You have to soak the fried bread into the sugar syrup first , then the milk sauce is poured over the fried breads . But that process seem unnecessarily time consuming and laborious to me . So here you go with my super easy shahi tukra without compromising it’s shahi taste at all !!! 🙂
In the original recipe the breads were deep-fried into pure ghee!!! We just can’t think of that !!!! But to get that authentic “ghee flavor “, I mentioned a little trick in my recipe and who are health conscious and doesn’t want to deep fry the breads can go for toasted bread too . I’ll share the recipe in notes too . So please go through the notes after going through the recipe .

Ingredients :

4 slices of bread
2 cups of regular whole milk + 1 cup of evaporated milk ( see the note for the substitution)*
Sugar to taste ( around 1/2 a cup , you can always adjust the sugar to your taste)
3 cardamoms
1 small stick of cinnamon
Rose water
Malai/ maowa / khoya
Dried nuts
Saffron food color ( optional)
Ghee 2 tbl spoon
Oil for frying the breads


1. Remove the crust edges from the bread and cut into any shape of your choice , rectangular, square , circle , triangle or even round .

2. Put milk in a deep bottomed pot , add cinnamon, cardamom in it and bring it to boil . Add the sugar and turn the heat to low .

3. The same time heat oil and add two tbl spoon of ghee into the oil . That would make the shahi tukra smell like fried in ghee . Deep-fry the bread slices until dark golden and crispy . The color should not be light as the color gets lighter if soaked in milk.

4. Now immediately put the fried breads into the milk . Milk shoud not be thick . Just a little reduced . that would help the fried breads to soak the milk . Remove the breads from the milk after 40 second to 1 minute or until little soft . the breads should be soft but firm . If it is too soft , it will break apart and will get mushy after final pouring of the rabri over it . so just a little while to get the breads little soft and soaked completely .

5. Arrange the soaked bread pieces on to the serving dish .

6. Now reduce the milk until thickens . You may add saffron and little food color at this point .Don’t thicken it too much because it will get thicker after cooling down . Nor it should be liquidy too . Sprinkle some rose water and take out the cinnamon, cardamoms from it . Let it cool a bit . Don’t pour the hot milk over the breads . It often makes the shahi tukra too mushy !! I like a little crunch with softness . So pour the luke warm milk over the breads . It helps to retain the good texture too .Garnish with khoya , chopped nuts , dried fruits . You can use some silver edible foil paper to get the Shahi look !!


1. If you don’t have evaporated milk , just use 3 cups of regular whole milk with 1/4 th cup of powder milk .

2. Some use condensed milk too . If you wish , you can put condensed milk too . But then adjust the sugar .

3. Those who are health conscious can toast the bread in the oven until brown and then follow the other steps . If you toast it in oven , just apply butter or ghee over the slices of bread and then toast .

4. For the homemade maowa , khoya , you can check this link of kheer kadam, where I explained , how to make khoya at home .