Chicken Dum Biryani

Anuj Solanki
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This week we have a very popular and desired non-vegetarian dish presented by our Guest Chef, Anuj Solanki. He has shared with us the recipe of Chicken Dum Biryani. This style of biryani is called “Pukka” biryani as the rice and chicken are partially cooked separately after which they are layered and cooked together using “dum” method. Anuj is an IT professional and claims he is no great chef, but has perfected a few dishes through trial & error over the years, with his wife being the guinea pig in his experiments. This Chicken Dum Biryani is one of such dishes which in his wife’s words is “totally awesome” :-)

Chicken Dum Biryani

Ingredients:

  • Chicken – 4 Large Legs (washed, cleaned and skin removed)
  • Basmati Rice – 2 Cups
  • Onion – 2 Large Chopped
  • Tomato – 3 Large Chopped
  • Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 Teaspoon
  • Raw Ginger – A small piece (finely sliced)
  • Cumin Seeds: 1 Teaspoon
  • Fenugreek Seeds: 1 Teaspoon
  • Whole Masalas: Tej Patta (1), Cardamom (4), Cinnamon stick (3 cm) , Cloves (8)
  • Salt, Red Chilli Powder and Turmeric Powder – To Taste
  • Chicken Biryani Masala – 3 Teaspoon
  • Cooking Oil

Servings: 3-4 Persons

Cooking Time: 2 Hours

Method

 Stage 1: Cooking the chicken

  • In a pan add 2 table spoons of oil. Add cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds and wait till they start to crackle.
  • Add tej patta, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and stir till the cumin seeds are dark brown.
  • Add onion to the mixture and cook till the oil starts to separate by stirring regularly (this takes about 10 minutes).
  • Add ginger garlic paste and the finely sliced ginger to the mixture.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes to the mixture and cook for 10 more minutes (till the mixture becomes very thick) and stir regularly.
  • Add salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder to the mixture.
  • Add chicken biryani masala and continue stirring for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chicken legs and 1 cup of water, mix well.
  • Cover and cook the mixture for 10 minutes on low flame stirring it every 2-3 minutes.
  • You can remove the pan from stove when the gravy is thick and chicken is (almost) cooked.

Stage 2: Half-cooking the rice

  • In a large pan, wash 2 cups of basmati rice.
  • Typically, the basmati rice would need double the water to cook (4 cups). Out of this, add half (2 cups) of water to the rice and cook till the water is absorbed.
  • Turn off the stove and wait for the pan to cool down.
  • Empty the half cooked rice to a large plate. Mix the rice well as the rice at the bottom of the pan may be cooked a bit more than the remaining rice grains. Set aside.

Stage 3: Final “Dum” to the Biryani

  • In the pan that you cooked rice, set a layer of the half cooked rice (about one third of the rice). Spread well in the entire base of the pan
  • In the next layer, add the cooked chicken with all the gravy and spread well.
  • In the third layer, add the remaining rice and spread well.
  • Add the remaining 2 cups of water by slowly pouring it down the sides of the pan.
  • Cook on a very low flame for about 30-45 minutes (depending on the flame).
  • Optional: You may seal the lid of the pan with dough (dum method), but that is effective if you are cooking on a very low flame for about 1 hour.

Your Chicken Dum Biryani is ready. Serve steaming hot with raita, papad and any salad of your choice.

 Tip 1: The key here is to keep the layers as distinct as possible. So use separate spreading spoons and add the remaining water carefully. From the top, it should just look like plain white rice.

Tip 2: It is important to cook the biryani in the final stage for at least 45 mins. If your stove flame is not really low, add a separator between the pan and the stove. If you cook it fast, the chicken would not become as soft as you would like it to be.

Tip 3: Try to open the lid of the pan containing the hot biryani for the first time on the dining table. The aroma that fills the room is amazing and would earn you praises.

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