Hyderabadi style Chicken Biryani


4  tsp ginger paste
4 tsp garlic paste
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp chili
1 tsp garam masala
2 green chilies, chopped
1/3 cup choppped  cilantro
1/3 cup chopped mint
1 1/2 lb chicken thighs
Pinch of saffron
2 tbsp butter or  ghee
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 onions, sliced
1/3 cup blanched almonds
2 bay leaves
3 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
3 cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp caraway seeds
3 cups basmati rice, soaked 2 hours


Combine ginger and garlic paste in a bowl, along with the yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, green chiles,  1/2 tsp salt and half the coriander and mint. Mix well, then add chicken and coat. Marinade for at least 30 minutes. Combine the saffron and 2 tbsp of warm water in a bowl and set aside for the marinade time.

Heat up the ghee and oil together in a nonstick pan with a lid on high heat. Add the onions and cook until lightly browned. about 15 minutes. Drain on paper. Add  almonds to the pan and cook until golden brown.  Remove and drain as well.

Keep 1 tbsp of oil  in the pan and reserve extra. Drain chicken from marinade and cook on low heat.

Heat up a saucepan filled with water on high heat and add the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, cardamon, and caraway seeds. Drain the rice and add to the pan and bring to a boil.

As soon as it starts to boil, remove half the rice and strain and spread over chicken, then drizzle over extra oil from the pan. Top that layer with half onion and almonds, with mint and cilantro. Cook on low heat for  2 minutes on low heat, while cooking remaining rice or until tender.

Drain remaining rice, then place on top of chicken and rice mixture. Top with fried almonds, and drizzle with saffron water and cover with a tight fitting lid and cook 30 minutes or until cooked through and rice is cooked. Top with onions, and serve with cilantro and mint.

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