Murgh/Chicken biryani....dum pukht style, is one the most famous blend of spices, meat and rice...a rich culinary tradition of Awadhi cuisine from the Dastarkhwan (the dining spread) of Nizams and from the city of nazaqaats and tehzeeb, Lucknow, Northern India.
What is called Mughlai cuisine is actually the cuisine of Moghuls or Mongols as we know with influences from Persia, Middle East, Northern India and even Punjab and Kashmir. Awadhi cuisine bears a near resemblence to Mughlai type of slow cooking of meat with addition of aromatics, dry fruits and aphrodisiacs too.
My bias nature towards royal cooking always leaves me wanting for more and more historic information about how this rich exoctic cuisine has evolved right from the time of Nawab Asf-ud-Daulah to the great India gourmet Nawab Wajid Ali Shah.
This humble biryani has fashionably matured into many variations during the royal period and is still in every household. For more on Awadhi cuisine watch out my other blog 'Indulgence' in the coming few days...have gathered quiet a few interesting facts all these years, high time I pen it down and share some knowledge.
Coming back to the biryani, I wore my khansama (chef ) cap and entered my bawarchikhana (kitchen) to cook up this chicken biryani, dum pukht style (in simple terms it means to cook the biryani in its own steam, slowly in a pot sealed with flour and water) with homemade green chutney. Traditionally the pot is buried in hot sand to mature with hot coals on top......but then click click come back to the real world.....isn't oven the best invention of all. My oven makes up for the hot sand, tandoor and even for patther ke kebabs (these kebabs are cooked over a hot stone slab).
This biryani is simple,do not get scared with the long list of ingredients and don't let the double marination put you off, just follow the recipe. The chicken is marinated twice for added flavor and is half cooked separately. The gravy in which the chicken is cooked can be served as an accompainment to the biryani as Murghi ka Salan (chicken curry). The biryani is also incomplete without a cucumber, tomato and yogurt salad -Kachumber (Diced cucumber and tomatoes, mixed in yogurt with salt )
- Chicken 1 kg (cut into chunks, as desired)
- Basmati/Fragrant rice 2-1/2 cup
- Fried Onion/Brista 1 cup (sliced onions fried in fat until caramalised and dark in color)
- Cumin/Jeera powder 1 tbspn
- Coriander/Dhania powder 2 tbspn
- Cardomam/Elaichi powder 1/2 tspn
- Yogurt/Curd/Dahi 1 cup
- Salt to taste
- butter-oil">Ghee/Clarified butter 1/2 cup
- Garnish a wedge of lemon
- Whole Spices:
- Cardamom/Elaichi 2-3
- Cinnamon/Dalchini 1
- Clove/Laung 2-3
- Black Cardamom/Badi elaichi 1
- 1st marination:
- Ginger 1/2 tspn
- Garlic 1/2 tspn
- Lemon Juice 1/2 tspn
- Red chilli/Lal mirch powder 1/2 tspn
- Salt 1/4 tspn
- 2nd Marination:
- Hari/Green chutney:
- Coriander/Cilantro 1 cup
- Mint/Pudina 1/2 cup
- Green chilli/Hari mirch 3-4 (as desired)
- Onion 1
- Garlic 2
- Salt 1/4 tspn
- Sealing the pot:
- Flour 3 tbspn
- Water 1 tbspn or as required
- Make a stiff dough and keep aside.
- Simply use a tight lid pot and place anything heavy on the lid to save the steam from escaping.
- As I have used a special claypot used specially for cooking biryani for that perfect aroma.
- 1.Clean, skin and cut the chicken as desired.
- 2.Rub the 1st marination onto the chicken and keep aside for 20 mins.
- 3.Grind all the ingredients of the 2nd marination and keep aside.
- 4.After 20 mins rub the second mariantion on the chicken and massage slowly. Keep aside upto 3-4 hours or overnite.
- 5.Wash and soak rice for 1 hour.
- 6.Boil a pot of water with whole spices and parboil rice till 3/4 done. Drain and keep aside with the spices still in the rice.
- 7.Fry the sliced onions in oil/ghee until caramalised and dark in color. Drain and keep aside.
- 8.Take ghee in a deep hot pan, add the chicken with all the marination and cook on high flame, browning all sides for 3-4 mins.
- 9.Turn the flame to medium and cook, stirring at regular intervals.
- 10.Throw in the cumin and coriander powder and saute.
- 11.After 5 mins add the yogurt and stir. Let it cook for another 8-10 mins slowly.
- 12.Add water as required. Turn the gas off and keep warm. Do not discard the gravy, use in the biryani as required to keep the biryani moist. Rest serve as salan.
- 13.Take a separate pot to layer the biryani.
- 14.Start with some ghee on the bottom of the pot. Spread a layer of rice evenly at the bottom, topped with the fried onions and chicken with a spoonful of gravy.
- 15.Sprinkle cardomam powder on top and layer again with rice, onion, chicken and cardomam powder.
- 16.Lastly spread the rice and fried onions on top.
- 17.Close the lid tight with the flour and cook in a moderate oven at 140-150 deg C for 1-1/2 hours.
- 18.The leftover gravy from the cooked chicken can be used to serve with the biryani as Murghi ka salan (chicken curry).
- 19.Serve the biryani hot with salan and kachumber
|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Serving Size 454g|
|Recipe makes 4 servings|
|Calories from Fat 616||67%|
|Total Fat 68.9g||86%|
|Saturated Fat 26.83g||107%|
|Trans Fat 0.0g|
|Total Carbs 10.32g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 1.3g||4%|