I must admit that I was skeptical when I first heard of the chicken and prunes biryani. This was not the first time I had tried biryani, but I can’t say that I am a fan of the dish. There is something about it that just doesn’t taste right to me. I suppose I am a little partial to curries, but the biryani is not one of my favorites.
Chicken and prunes biryani is one of my favorite Indian dishes. To make it, chicken is marinated in spices and cooked with onions, tomatoes, cashews, and yogurt. Then the onions, tomatoes, and yogurt are cooked down with the chicken, along with a mixture of spices to make a rich sauce. The result is a wonderful take on this classic dish – curry-flavored chicken with the tang of yogurt and sweetness of the tomato, onions and cashews. As a side note, the original recipe uses a type of rice called “Hindi pilau” which is made by boiling rice in chicken broth. To this day, I still don’t know how to cook that rice.
Chicken and prunes biryani is a Bengali recipe consisting of ground chicken or turkey meat, soaked in yogurt marinated in spices and cooked with black and golden prunes. The main ingredients in the biryani are ground meat and chicken, followed by spices, spices, spices. And the final touch is the prunes.
For us, chicken Biryani with potato and prunes (alu bukhara) or dried plums is uncommon and unique. I’ve used dry fruits and nuts in my Biryani recipes before, but never with potatoes and alu bukhara (dried prunes). I had this Biryani at a Pakistani restaurant near my home in London, and I was startled to find dried prunes in it, which gave it a sweet and sour flavor. Because of the sourness, dark color, and similar seed within, I assumed it was tamarind.
Alu Bukhara (dried prune) is a fruit that has been dried and used as a dried fruit in cuisine. Prunes are the dried form of European plums, and they belong to the plum family. Dried plum fruits are sometimes known as prunes or dried plums. Different kinds of alu bukhara (dried plum or prune) may be found in shops or supermarkets, ranging in size from tiny to large, light brown to dark in color, but all have a sweet and tart flavor. I buy alu bukhara at Indian stores, which is tiny and light brown in color. Pictures of my prawn biryani with dill leaves and dried prunes and Sindhi biryani can be seen here.
The dried prunes I used in my chicken biryani are quite large, pitted, and meaty. The spices and other components used in biryani are almost identical, with the exception of alu bukhara (dried prunes) and potatoes. I made this biryani in the pakki biryani method, which involves cooking the meat and rice separately before adding the dum.
Time to prepare: 30 minutes (excluding marination time)
Time to cook: 1 hour
Medium spiciness, sweet and sour
- Soak pitted dried plums or prunes in boiling water to remove dirt and soften somewhat. Set aside for half an hour or more (optional); I sometimes use it right away.
- In the image below, you can see how dried plums seem.
- Set aside the onions, which have been sliced.
- Mint and coriander leaves (with stalks) should be chopped and kept aside for garnishing and stacking the biryani.
- Cut the tomatoes into medium-sized slices and the potatoes into halves or quarters.
- Chicken biryani is cooked in five steps.
1. Prepare the marinade
2. Prepare a chicken curry
3. Rice preparation
4. combining the curry and the rice (layering)
Chicken that has been marinated
- In a large mixing basin, combine all of the ingredients.
- Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight after adding the chicken pieces to the marinate mixture.
- 30 minutes before cooking, take it out of the fridge.
Chicken curry in the oven (gravy)
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil or ghee, then add all of the entire spices and whisk for a few seconds.
- Cook till golden brown, then add the chopped onions. In between, stir in the onions. It will take about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove 1/3 cup of the fried onions to use as a garnish or as needed.
- Add the ginger and garlic paste once the onions have finished cooking. Cook for approximately 2 minutes.
- Sauté for 3 minutes with the mint and coriander leaves. Then add the tomatoes and simmer for approximately 4 minutes, or until soft. Stir the mixture every now and then.
- Stir in the marinated chicken and onion mixture well. Allow for 4 to 5 minutes of cooking time. Stir often to prevent the marinade from sticking to the bottom. Allowing it to burn is not a good idea.
- Add 1/2 cup water and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes on medium heat, until it thickens into a curry and the oil separates.
- Reduce the heat. Combine the curd (yoghurt), green chilies, prunes (dried plums), and potatoes in a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. Because I wanted it to be more sour and sweet, I added approximately 15 prunes (to taste).
- Cook for 15 minutes on medium heat and 10 minutes on low heat (simmer) with the lid closed, stirring occasionally.
- Stir slowly and carefully to avoid breaking the chicken parts. In between, check and stir.
- If the potatoes are not cooked and the curry is getting too thick and dry at this point, add approximately 1/4 cup water to loosen it up.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender and the prunes have softened and mixed nicely with the curry.
- When it comes to the mixing step, the curry (gravy) should be thick and sufficient for the rice.
- Soak the rice for approximately half an hour in water. Drain the water and set it aside.
- In a large pot, pour 2 1/2 litres (or a sufficient quantity) of cold water to make a fragrant stock. Fill the water with all of the entire spices.
- Boil for approximately 5 minutes on medium heat, then reduce to a low heat and cook for another 15 minutes with the lid covered. Turn off the light.
- Return the stock to the vessel after straining it through a strainer. The stock is fragrant and aromatic, and the color will be similar to that of a tea decoction.
- Bring the stock to a boil, then add the rice and the necessary quantity of salt.
- Only boil the rice for approximately 5 minutes. Only 3/4 of the rice has to be cooked — approximately 75%.
- If you stir the rice grains too much when it’s cooking, they’ll shatter. The rice grains will be longer after a little cooking, but they will still be uncooked.
- Strain the rice and store it in an airtight container until dum time (layering).
- Cook the rice while the curry/gravy is boiling. It may also be prepared ahead of time and set away (for advanced cooking, you strain the rice, rinse under cold water to stop further cooking).
(layering/dum stage) combining gravy with rice
- In a bowl, set aside some curry and chicken pieces for layering.
- For the first stacking, make a curry with chicken pieces (I used the same pot), maintain the heat low, layer with 12 cups rice, a few mint and coriander leaves, and fried onion, and distribute evenly.
- Distribute the remaining chicken curry in a bowl on the second layer, then top with the remaining rice and spread evenly.
- Saffron color and oil are added (optional). Instead of oil, spread a few drops of ghee evenly over the rice.
- Mint leaves, coriander leaves, fried onions, lemon juice, and rose water should all be equally distributed and the lid should be firmly closed.
- Heat the pot in which the biryani has been stacked for 5 minutes, or until steam is emerging from the sides. Alternatively, just place your palm near the rice to see whether it is becoming hot.
- If steam is visible, continue to simmer for another 4 minutes over medium heat with the lid rapidly closed with aluminum foil (to seal the steam from escaping). Cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until the rice is done.
- When you can smell the biryani from other rooms, you know it’s cooked and ready.
- Turn it off and set it aside for 15 minutes. Because the steam within the pot will continue to cook the biryani, do not open the lid right away.
- While the biryani is done, you must be cautious when serving it. To prevent the rice grains from splitting, remove the biryani with a large spoon or a saucer gently from one side.
- Serve with raitha (curd mixture), brinjal curry, and chicken 65.
- Keep a level tava underneath the vessel and a hot boiling water vessel covered with the lid above the biryani vessel lid when providing dum or simmering, so that dum may be supplied properly and rice is not burned.
- If you don’t like spicy cuisine or your chilies are extremely hot, you can cut down on the chillies.
- Rice should only be 3/4 cooked; the grain may have grown longer than normal, but it should still feel soft when pushed between your fingers. 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 combine the rice with the gravy, there should be enough to cover the rice.
- Reduce the oil if you want to save money. It’s all up to you. However, the onion must be thoroughly cooked in oil or ghee.
- Season the gravy and rice with salt. Divide the salt and place it in a bowl. It’ll be simple for you.
- Color is mixed with 2 tbsp of water or milk and applied on rice. Color may be replaced with saffron. Even simply sprinkling the color over biryani would enough. For biryani, I add saffron or lemon color.
- You may keep the chicken to rice ratio between 2:1 and 1:1 while preparing any biryani. You may use 500 gms to 1 kilogram of chicken for 500 gms of rice, for example. Obviously, the spices must be adjusted accordingly.
- You may tie the spices in a muslin cloth and place the package in the water instead of putting them in the water, boiling it, then filtering it. The spices will be a bit simpler to remove.
- When layering, if the heat is on low and the curry and rice are both hot, you must work quickly and cover the lid as soon as possible.
Biryani is a South Asian dish made from rice and spices, and it isn’t particularly difficult to make. Once you have all your ingredients, you’ll want to saute the chicken pieces in a little oil, and then add in the rice. Next, you’ll add in the lentils, onions, tomatoes, and spices and cook everything for a little while. Finally, you’ll add in the chicken pieces and the liquid. Once that’s all cooked, you’ll add in the prunes and cook everything for another 10 minutes on low heat.. Read more about hyderabadi chicken biryani and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is different about Sindhi biryani?
Sindhi biryani is a type of rice dish that is typically cooked in a spicy tomato sauce.
How can I make my biryani taste better?
Biryani is a dish that has many different ingredients, so there are many ways to make it taste better. You can use more spices, or add in extra vegetables like carrots and potatoes.
Which chicken cut is best for biryani?
The best chicken cut for biryani is the boneless one.