Chicken Dum Biryani (kacchi style)
Updated: May 18
Kacchi style Chicken Biryani is prepared using raw, well marinated chicken. The chicken in this recipe is not cooked before layering the biryani and cooking it on dum.
This is a simple recipe, with complex flavours, which does not require you to be in the kitchen all the time.
Marinate the chicken a day in advance. Refrigerate the marinated chicken on warmer days / in warm tropical climates. When you're ready to cook the biryani, thaw the chicken by leaving it on your kitchen counter for some time.
Fry the onions. Parboil the rice. Place the marinated chicken and rice in layers, cover tight so no steam escapes and cook. Couldn't get simpler!
Serves: 6 – 7
Prep: 20 minutes
Marination: preferably overnight or minimum 4 hours
Cooking: 30 – 35 minutes
Ingredients to make Chicken Dum Biryani
2 cups basmati / biryani rice – soaked for approx. 1 hour
800 gms chicken – medium / large pieces
3 medium size potatoes – sliced in to thick roundels
5 – 6 medium size onions – sliced and fried
For the marinade
1½ cups yoghurt
2 tbsp ginger – finely chopped
2 tbsp garlic – finely chopped
6 – 7 green chillies – finely chopped, adjust to taste
2 tbsp biryani masala (recipe below) or regular garam masala / chicken masala
2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 whole cinnamon stick (about 2 inches)
3 – 4 black cardamom pods
5 – 6 green cardamom pods
2 dried Kashmiri red chillies
8 – 10 cloves (laung)
3 tbsp black peppercorns (kali mirch)
1½ tbsp coriander seeds (dhania)
1½ tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1½ tbsp caraway seeds (shahi jeera)
1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
½ mace (javitri)
1 star anise
Red food colour – optional
Method of making Chicken Dum Biryani
Dry roast all the spices till they start to release their flavours and the aroma fills your kitchen. Cool and grind to a fine powder.
Lightly fry the potato roundels to a half-cooked stage. If you do not wish to add potatoes to your kacchi style chicken dum biryani (really?) skip this step.
Mix the yoghurt, spices & aromatics and massage the chicken pieces nicely with the marinade. Add fried potato roundels and keep the marinated chicken and potatoes aside for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Refrigerate if marinating overnight.
Beresta / birista (fried onions)
Fry the sliced onions on medium high heat, cool and keep aside.
You could fine grind a portion of the beresta / fried onions and add it to the marinade if you wish to.
Layering and dum
Bring the marinated chicken and potatoes to room temperature, if stored in a refrigerator.
Place marinated chicken and potatoes in a flat bottom biryani pot.
Crush and add some of the fried onions. Mix well. (Skip this step if you have already added the fried onion paste to the marinade).
Cook rice in salted water, with a few whole spices (bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and black peppers) for added flavour, till half done.
Drain rice and layer over the chicken.
I usually add half a cup of the rice water to the chicken to avoid catching at the bottom of the pot, although it is not part of the traditional dum biryani making process.
Place the lid on and seal tight with dough (or place a heavy object over the lid) – to trap the steam.
Place the biryani pot on high heat for the first 5 minutes allowing the entire mix to heat well and for the chicken to start cooking.
Reduce heat and continue to cook on ‘dum’ for about 20-25 minutes.
Leave the kacchi style chicken dum biryani to "rest" for a while before opening the lid.
Serve kacchi style chicken dum biryani with kachumber raita - a mix of finely chopped onions, tomatoes and cucumber in yoghurt or this cucumber raita even. A garlicky Burhani Raita goes well with chicken dum biryani.
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