Step beyond to the repetitive flavors of restaurant biryanis across North America and welcome the allure of homestyle cooking with Banglar Rannaghor's exceptional biryani recipe. It's a unique blend of aromatic spices and tender chicken, all swaddled in perfectly steamed basmati rice, promising a flavor that's both profound and pleasantly familiar. Each spoonful transports you to a world where the homely touch meets no compromise on taste and depth of flavor.Imagine the surprise and delight of discovering a biryani that veers from the predictable to the extraordinary. Whether it's the rich hue of the saffron or the earthy crunch of the toasted spices, our recipe brings back the nostalgia of authentic home-cooked meals. It's not just a dish; it's an experience, meticulously designed to be a must-try for those yearning for the true essence of this South Asian culinary masterpiece.
For the Spice Mix:
2 tsp coriander seeds
1½ tsp cumin seeds
¾ tsp fennel seeds
½ of a nutmeg
1 whole mace blade
For the Marinade:
1 cup strained yogurt or Greek yogurt
2 tbsp chopped mint
6-7 green chilis, crushed
4 tbsp chopped coriander
2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder or paprika
½ tsp turmeric powder
1½ tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 kg chicken, cut into large pieces
For the Biryani:
3 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp ghee
6 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2 black cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2-3 small cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
2 bay leaves
1½ cups chopped white onion
½ cup tomato puree (canned or 2 small tomatoes chopped)
½ cup water
3 cups basmati rice, rinsed and soaked for 1 hour
Salt, to taste
3 slices of unpeeled ginger
Few drops of lime juice
1 tbsp saffron water (pinch of saffron mixed with water)
Food coloring, a few drops (optional)
Additional ghee, 1 tbsp
Kewra water ¾ tsp
A few lime slices
Fresh mint leaves
Dried rose petals (optional)
Start by making the spice mix. In a small frying pan, toast the coriander seeds on low heat for 1 minute. Add the cumin and fennel seeds, continuing to toast until fragrant, which should take no more than 2 minutes. Transfer the toasted spices to a mortar and pestle. Stir with a spoon to help them cool down; once cool, grind them together. Then, add the nutmeg and mace blade, and grind coarsely. Set this spice mix aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, mint, green chili, coriander, red chili powder, turmeric, salt, garlic paste, and ginger paste. Add the chicken pieces and coat well with the marinade. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the cooking oil and ghee. Add the cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, and bay leaves, and sauté for about 20 seconds. Then, add the onions with a pinch of salt, and sauté until light brown over medium heat (8-10 min).
Add 2 tsp of the spice mix to the onions and cook for another 30 seconds on medium-low heat. Pour in the tomato puree and cook until the oil separates, adding a splash of water if necessary to prevent sticking.
Add the marinated chicken and the remaining spice mix to the pot, ensuring the chicken is well coated with the spices. Stir thoroughly to combine. Cover the pot and allow it to cook for 2 minutes on low heat. This step is crucial as it lets the chicken release its natural juices, creating enough moisture for the chicken to be sautéed without the need for additional water. After 2 minutes, uncover the pot, turn up the heat to medium, and sauté the chicken for 8 minutes, allowing the flavors to deepen and the chicken to attain a rich color
Pour in ½ cup of water, mix, and cover. Cook for 25 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, boil enough water in a separate pot to parboil the rice. Season the water with salt—it should taste as salty as seawater. Add the ginger slices and bring to a boil.
Add the soaked and drained rice to the boiling water with few drops of lime juice Parboil for 6½ minutes until almost done. Drain well.
Check the chicken; if the gravy is watery, reduce it by cooking on higher heat. Then, layer the parboiled rice over the chicken. Drizzle with saffron water, add drops of food coloring, ghee, Kewra water, lime slices, mint leaves, and rose petals if using.
Cover the pot with aluminum foil and cook ('dum') for 15 minutes over the lowest heat.
Serve this heartwarming biryani to your family, and it's bound to be a new favorite! Enjoy the rich layers of flavor, the tender chicken, and the perfectly cooked rice. This dish not only promises a feast for your taste buds but also a beautiful presentation that will bring joy to any dinner table.