Biryani is popular in many South Asian countries, especially India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. But what exactly is a biryani? A biryani is a dish that combines rice, meat (or vegetables), and/or vegetables in one dish. It can be wrapped and cooked in a special pot called a biryani pot.
It’s been over a week since I’ve had chicken and potato biryani. I’ve been away at the gym and the kitchen has been bare. I had promised to make some biryani for my brother and I after I have finished my work. It’s been a hot week and I’m tired of eating out all the time. We have a family biryani party every year and growing up, I have always loved the smell of biryani from the kitchen. I love biryani in all its forms. There is nothing as satisfying as a steaming hot biryani.
Recently, my mother-in-law introduced us to the most delicious recipe of chicken and potato biryani with lemon wedges. She was serving this dish to her friends and their children as well. After tasting the dish, we couldn’t wait to try it at home. The dish is simple yet interesting. It has the slight sweetness of lemon and spice of black pepper.
Chicken Biryani with potato, alu bhikhara (dried prunes) or dried plums, and lemon wedges is distinctive and unique for us. I’ve used dry fruits and nuts in my Biryani before, but I’ve never tried it with potatoes and alu bukhara (dried prunes). I had this Biryani at a pakistani restaurant near my home in London, and I was shocked to find that dried prune, which made me sweat and had a sour flavor. I assumed it was tamarind since it had a tamarind like seed and was black in color.
Alu bukhara (dried prune) is a dried fruit that is used in recipes. Prunes are a dried form of European plums that belong to the plum family. Dried plums or dried prunes are the names for dried plum fruits. But I constantly got various kinds of alu bhukhara (dried plum or dried prune), sometimes tiny, sometimes large, sometimes light brown, sometimes dark brown, but they always tasted different. Real alu bhukhara, on the other hand, should have a light brown color, similar to that of fresh dried tamarind. See my recipes for prawn biryani with dill leaves and dried prunes. Because the dried prunes I used in this chicken biryani are very large and meaty, and because I didn’t obtain tiny dried prunes, the flavor was extremely distinct.
Because of the perspiration and sour flavor, I used to drink it while I was pregnant. If you are in Chennai (India), I believe that if you go around Triplicane or to a local grocery store or a Muslim grocery store, they would be able to assist you. After eating that Biryani at a Pakistani restaurant in the United Kingdom, I decided to make my own Biryani using spices from my pantry and alu bukara for a change, and I also sought advice from a friend who makes biryani with alu bhukhara.
We all adore Biryani, therefore for a change, we should try different kinds of Biryani. The spices and other components in Biryani are the same; the only variation is the addition of alu bukhara (dried prunes) and potatoes. As usual, I made this Biryani hot and masala-style, according to my preferences. If you don’t want it to be hot, use less chilli and create a mild Biryani to your liking. We often claim that a 1kg Biryani can feed 6–7 people, but it all depends on how hungry we are. In the Biryani, you may add your own spices and garam masala. If you don’t have any of the spices, you may leave them out and still create Biryani; you’ll get a different flavor.
This Biryani was prepared in the manner of pakki Biryani, which I have previously explained in detail. It just entails cooking raw beef with additional seasonings and serving it dum. Because this biryani has potatoes, alu bhukhara (dried prunes and dried plums), chicken, and lemon wedges, it may also be termed Sindhi biryani; however, I will publish Sindhi biryani shortly.
- 1200 g chicken (medium sized chunks)
- a pinch of salt (as needed)
- 3/4 cup oil or ghee
- 4 or 700 gms onion (large)
- Cloves (about 5 cloves)
- 3 cinnamon sticks (1 inch in diameter)
- 4 green cardamoms
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 star anise
- 1 tsp. black cardamom
- 1 teaspoon black cumin seeds
- 4 tbsp. chopped tomatoes
- 10 green chillies (slit)
- 4 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 cup curd
- 1 1/2 cup mint leaves (roughly chopped)
- 1 cup coriander leaves (roughly chopped)
- 2 tbsp Kewra water
- 1 teaspoon green cardamom powder
- 1/2 teaspoon mace and nutmeg powder
- 12 to 15 alu bhukhara (dried prunes)
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups rice (700 gms)
- 2 tblsp. cloves
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1 teaspoon black cumin seeds (optional)
- Water (as needed) (approx 5 to 6 cups)
For stacking purposes
- a smidgeon of color
- 2 tbsp. curd
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 tbsp Kewra water
- 1/2 cup mint
- 1/2 cup coriander leaves
- 1/4 cup fried onions
- 2 lemon wedges or slices
- Cut the onions and lemon into slices, slit the green chilies, and cut the tomatoes and potatoes into medium pieces.
- Prepare coriander leaves by coarsely chopping the stem and keeping it ready.
Using chicken to make gravy
- In a large skillet, heat the oil/ghee until it is heated, then add the onions and cook, covered, until tender and brown in color. It’ll take 10-12 minutes.
- After thoroughly frying the onions, set aside 1/4 cup of the fried onions (for layering or garnishing).
- Now add the entire spices, ginger, and garlic paste, and stir quickly for 30 seconds before adding the chicken pieces and stirring thoroughly for 3 minutes.
- Stir in the turmeric and chili powder for 2 minutes, then add the curd and tomatoes, combine well, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Mix in the potatoes, mint, coriander leaves, and green chilies, as well as the alubhukhara (dried prunes or dried plums).
- Close the cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until it resembles a curry. Stir gently to avoid breaking the chicken pieces. You may check on it and stir it in between. Season with salt to taste.
- When the chicken is done and the sauce has thickened, add the kewra water, green cardamom, mace, and nutmeg, stir well, and cook for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, the chicken curry begins to release oil, and the curry (gravy) should be neither too thin nor too thick, with enough gravy to cover the rice while mixing.
- Meanwhile, boil the rice for 3/4 of an hour with the necessary quantity of water (5-6 cups) and salt, then set it aside. When you push the rice between your two fingers, it will still be firm, not mushy, and the grain will be longer than normal while cooking; at this point, drain the rice and set it aside.
- You may also add a few whole spices (cloves, green cardamom, black cumin seeds) and 1 tablespoon oil if desired.
- Rice may be cooked at the same time as the gravy or prepared ahead of time and set aside.
- The layering is now complete. Take some gravy and set it aside with the chicken pieces.
combining the gravy and the rice (layering)
- Take a bowl and combine the color, curd, milk, kewra, and a sprinkle of salt before layering.
- Now, layer some rice on top of the chicken gravy in the vessel with a few fried onions, then second layer, distribute chicken gravy that you set aside equally, then rice again, layer all other ingredients, sprinkle green cardamom powder, mace, and nutmeg powder, and curd mixture evenly.
- Arrange lemon wedges or slices equally, sprinkle mint leaves, coriander leaves, and fried onions as well, ghee 3 tbsp, distribute evenly, and heat for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the rice is completely cooked. We also refer to this procedure as a dum since the rice is cooked at a low temperature. Turn it off and leave it closed.
- To prevent rice from burning when providing dum or simmering, place a flat tava underneath the pot and simmer it.
- Open the cover after 10 to 15 minutes and remove the biryani using a broader spoon, mixing gently from one side alone. Mix it from the bottom up, from the sides, to ensure that the gravy and rice are well combined. The entire flavor and fragrance of the biryani may be detected as soon as the lid is opened. While the rice is still in the dum
- Serve with chicken 65, raitha (curd combination), and brinjal curry.
- If you don’t like spicy cuisine or your chilies are extremely hot, you can cut down on the chillies.
- You may add a few drops of oil to the rice while it’s cooking. Wash it in cold water while draining to keep the rice grains separate.
- When you mix the rice and gravy together, the amount of gravy should be adequate to cover the amount of rice.
- When preparing gravy, there is no need to add water. When marinated chicken is added, water evaporates, resulting in a gravy-like consistency.
- You may decrease the amount of oil/ghee if you want to. It’s all up to you. However, the onion must be thoroughly cooked in oil or ghee.
- The amount of salt used must account for both the gravy and the rice.
- When I crush 300 grams of ginger and 300 grams of garlic paste, I use entire spices. See my recipe for ginger and garlic paste.
- Saffron may be used as a substitute for color or simply sprinkled over biryani. If desired, a few drops of lemon juice may be added.
- When making biryani, always use the same quantity of chicken and rice, or 1kg chicken for 500g rice, or as needed.
There are many varieties of biryani, but this one is typically made with meat and chickpeas and features a sweet and tangy gravy. It’s an Indo-Persian dish that was once considered a royal dish, but is now common at throw-together dinner parties.. Read more about hyderabadi chicken biryani and let us know what you think.