Pakistani Chicken Biryani Recipe

What You Need:

  • 1 chicken, cut into large pieces
  • 1 kg basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup oil/ghee
  • 4-5 potatoes, cubed
  • 3-4 green chili, slit/hari mirch
  • 4 cardamom/elaichi
  • 4 cloves/laung
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon/dal chini
  • 1 tsp shahi jeera
  • 4 onions/pyaaz, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp ginger garlic paste/adrak lahsun
  • 4 to matoes, pureed
  • 2 cups yogurt/dahi
  • 2 tsp crushed red chili flakes / lal mirch
  • salt to taste
  • bunch of mint leaves / pudina
  • bunch of coriander leaves / cilantro / hara dhaniya
  • orange food coloring, optional

How To Make:

  • Wash the chicken thoroughly and set aside.
  • Wash and soak the basmati rice for an hour.
  • Heat oil in a large pan and fry the potatoes till golden brown. Remove the potatoes from the pan and set aside.
  • In the same oil, add the green chili, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, shahi jeera and onion. Fry till the onion turns lightly golden brown color. Now add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell evaporates from it.
  • Add the chicken and fry till it is done and add the tomato puree, yogurt, red chili flakes, salt, coriander leaves/cilantro and mint leaves. Cook on high heat till it the oil starts leaving the side of the pan. Add the potatoes and give it a gentle stir.
  • Now get your rice ready.
  • Boil sufficient water in a large vessel to cook the rice. Add salt and a tbsp of oil to the water. The oil helps to keep the rice seperate. Add rice to the boiling water.
  • Cook rice to 70% (This step is absolute crucial. Do not leave the kitchen at this point. If you don’t know how to identify the cooking of the rice. See notes below).
  • Add rice to the yakhni. Do not mix. Spread a tbsp of ghee on top of the rice. Spread the food coloring on top of the rice now.
  • Cover with foil and close the lid. The foil do not let the steam escape.
  • Place on a tawa on cook on low heat for 15 minutes. If you do not have a tawa, cook on low flame for 10 minutes. (see Notes)
  • Mix the rice and gravy gently before serving. Serve hot with Raita or bagare baingan

Recipe Notes

To cook the rice perfectly, bring the water to a boil, add rice. When the water starts boiling again, cook for another 5 minutes. This absolutely depends upon the quality of the rice. When you press the rice between your fingers, it shouldn’t feel like a grain or feel cooked. It is somewhere in between. It is half grainy. When you cook on a tawa, the bottom doesn’t get burnt.Some people cover the lid edges with chapati dough to conceal the steam. Lazy me, opt for foil instead.