Biryani, a fragrant and flavorful one-pot rice dish, is a celebrated part of Pakistani cuisine. Known for its aromatic spices, tender chicken, and perfectly cooked rice, Pakistani Chicken Biryani is a culinary masterpiece. This recipe blends a symphony of spices, creating a tantalizing explosion of taste in every bite. Follow along as we guide you through the steps to create this delectable dish in your own kitchen.
For the Marination:
- 500g chicken (cut into pieces)
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
For the Rice:
- 2 cups long-grain Basmati rice
- 4-5 cups water
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 green cardamom pods
- 2-3 cloves
- 1-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
For the Biryani:
- 2 large onions (sliced)
- 3-4 green chilies (slit)
- 2 tomatoes (chopped)
- 1/2 cup cooking oil
- 1/4 cup ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron strands (soaked in warm milk)
- A pinch of orange food color (optional)
- Fresh coriander leaves and mint leaves for garnish
1. Marinating the Chicken
- In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, salt, ginger-garlic paste, fresh coriander leaves, and fresh mint leaves.
- Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and mix well. Cover and let it marinate for at least 1-2 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator for best results.
2. Cooking the Rice
- Wash and soak the Basmati rice in water for 30 minutes.
- In a large pot, bring 4-5 cups of water to a boil. Add salt, green cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf.
- Drain the soaked rice and add it to the boiling water. Cook until the rice is 70% done. Drain the rice and set it aside.
3. Preparing the Biryani
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat cooking oil and ghee over medium heat.
- Add the sliced onions and fry until they turn golden brown. Remove half of the fried onions and set them aside for garnish.
- Add the marinated chicken to the pan and cook until it changes color and the oil separates from the masala.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and green chilies. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and the oil separates again.
- Layer the partially cooked rice evenly over the chicken mixture.
- Drizzle saffron milk and, if desired, orange food color over the rice.
- Sprinkle the reserved fried onions on top.
- Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the rice to finish cooking.
- Gently fluff the Biryani with a fork, mixing the chicken and rice.
- Garnish with fresh coriander and mint leaves.
- Serve hot with raita (yogurt sauce) or a side salad.
Pakistani Chicken Biryani is a dish that captivates the senses with its aroma, taste, and visual appeal. With the perfect balance of spices and the richness of marinated chicken, this Biryani is sure to become a cherished part of your culinary repertoire. Whether you’re preparing it for a special occasion or as a flavorful weekend treat, the effort you put into making this authentic dish will be rewarded with the smiles and satisfaction of those who savor it. Enjoy!