|The biriyani pot|
The biriyani recipe that I am going to share today is easy, delicious and requires less prep time. (This is Calcutta style biriyani and is special in the way it contains boiled eggs and potatoes, something you will never find in biriyanis from other regions.) We finished cooking in an hour time and allowed it to rest for one more hour and there we were! Although the wait seemed really long it was worthwhile in the end. I decided to forgo the dessert and swapped it with another help of biriyani. Perfect choice!
Plum (aloo bokhra) (optional)
For the smoked flavour (dhungar):
Natural charcoal (Kath koyla)
Cloves, Cinnamon stick
How to prepare the beresta (crispy golden brown onion slices
Deep fry the onion rings in a deep pot till it turns golden brown
How to prepare saffron milk
In a bowl add a few saffron strands, teaspoonful of kewra, teaspoonful of rose water and ghee to 2-3 cups of warm milk. Keep it aside for 30 minutes till the saffron leaves a beautiful yellowish colour.
To be able to come up with a decent biriyani you will need a very special masala. Although this is easily available in the market I prefer to prepare it at home the same day. This adds much freshness and flavour to the rice. To prepare the masala you will need to heat the whole spices for a few seconds and then grind them on grinder. Store it in an air tight container to trap the flavour.
Now, the steps to make chicken biriyani
In a pot/ deep container/ handi deep fry the onion rings till golden brown. Remove from oil and plate
Fry the previously boiled potatoes cut into half from middle with little salt and keep aside. This step is optional.
Add ghee in the same oil and add the chicken with the marinade. Cook till the gravy thickens and the chicken gets tender. Remove the chicken pieces.
Add more ghee in the gravy and prepare a bed with an evenly spread out semi cooked basmati rice, then put a layer of chicken pieces and fried onions, boiled eggs, potatoes, plums and grated khoya and then a layer of rice again. Continue to make more layers till you use up all the rice. Spread more fried onion rings on the top.
I did not have khoya kheer at home. So I used kheer sandesh (a bengali sweet made from thickened milk).
Pour the saffron milk slowly on the top and close the lid with a heavy lid and make sure the vapour doesn’t escape the pot. You can also seal the sides of the lid and the sides with foil paper. Allow the pot to cook on very slow fire for 20 minutes. You may have to sprinkle more milk/ water to moisten the biriyani. Allow an hour of standing time before serving.
|The almost done chicken biriyani with eggs|
For this, burn the natural charcoal (kath koyla) on oven till red hot. Put it on the metal bowl. Add ghee, a few cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks. When you see white smoke coming out remove the lid of the pot and tuck it immediately inside. Remove after 2 minutes. The smoked charcoal can overpower the original biriyani flavour if kept for long. So watch out!
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