Biryani is synonymous with celebration and today happens to be women’s day. I am posting an easy home style chicken biryani that can be cooked entirely in a pressure cooker. I am dedicating this biryani recipe to all women (Can dedicate songs, films, match victories, awards and what not? Why not biryani recipe?). I am specially dedicating this recipe to all those time-pressed moms and wives who are always in a rush, who have a hundred items on their to do list and another hundred on their mind, who are constantly putting things back in their places, who are badly in need of a pedicure and haven’t really read the newspaper in a long time (shocking, but I haven’t really read the newspaper since sometime in 2009 when my daughter was born – a cursory glance of the headlines doesn’t count). I hope this recipe helps ease biryani making for you.
This is a home style biryani, fragrant and spicy with strong ginger tones. The rice turns out beautifully long and perfectly cooked and the chicken is juicy. Two things to keep in mind are the amount of water and the time you cook the biryani. Watch the amount of water you add at the end and use the index-finger thumb-rule (Ha.. but pun not at all intended). Switch off the stove after 10-12 minutes whether or not you hear the whistle. Follow these steps and you won’t go wrong. Happy Women’s Day!
Preparation time – 20 mins
Cooking time – 30 mins
Chicken – 1/4 kg
Basmati Rice/Long grain rice – 2-1/2 cups
Onions – 2 chopped fine
Tomatoes – 2 chopped
Ginger paste – 3 tbsp
Green Chillies – 4 slit lengthwise
Curd/Yogurt – 1 cup
Fennel seeds/Sombu – 2 tsp
Cardamom – 2
Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
Cloves – 3
Marathi Moggu – 1
Star anise – 1
Bay Leaf – 1
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 2-3 tbsp
Garam Masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Ghee – 3 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
1. Wash and clean the chicken and cut into fairly large pieces.
2. Rinse Basmati rice/long grain rice in 2-3 changes of water till the water runs clear. Soak basmati rice in water for 1 hour.
3. In a pressure cooker, pour in 3tbsp oil and 2 tbsp oil and when hot, drop the fennel seeds. Let fry till fragrant. Then throw in the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, Marathi moggu, star anise and bay leaf and stir around. Let fry till fragrant.
4. Add the ginger paste and fry till it starts browning. Keep stirring and scraping to prevent the ginger from burning.
5. Throw in the chopped onions and sauté till translucent. Add the tomatoes, mix and let fry till cooked through and soft.
6. Add the chicken, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and salt. Mix well. Cover with a lid and let the chicken cook for about 10-12 minutes on low. Open and stir at intervals.
7. Pour in the curd and mix well. Cover and cook on low for another 10-12 minutes till the mixture attains a gravy consistency and the chicken is cooked through. Open and stir periodically.
8. On low, drain the water and tip in the rice. Drop in the green chillies. Mix gently and level the rice mixture. Add enough water to cover the rice. Use your index finger to measure the water level above the rice mixture. It should be just a little above the first line on your index finger.
9. Taste the water and adjust salt. Close and pressure cook on low for 10-12 minutes. Switch off.
10. Let the steam escape. Open and drizzle 1 tbsp ghee all over and around the edges. Use a fork to gently fluff up the rice so that it doesn’t lump up as it cools down. Close with pressure cooker lid to keep hot.
11. Serve hot with Onion raita (Onion Pachadi) and boiled eggs.
Alternately, you can marinate the chicken in the spice powders (turmeric, red chilli, garam masala and salt) and curd for half an hour before adding it to the cooker. The chicken cooks faster and would have soaked up the spices well.