A sumptuous chicken biryani that is cooked with such precision that you are bound to make this dish again and again to relish the delicate flavours.
500 gm rice (long grain, basmati rice)
6 (400 gm) chicken thighs (boneless)
1 tsp white pepper
A pinch of salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
For the Masala:
1/2 Tbsp desi ghee
1 bay leaf
A small piece of cinnamon
2 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 cup onion, sliced
1 cup yoghurt
1 tsp yellow chilli powder
2 tsp fennel or saunf powder
Salt to taste
2 cups water
For the Finishing spices:
1 tsp green cardamom powder
1/2 tsp fennel powder
1/2 cup cream
For the rice:
3 tsp rose water
2 green chillies, sliced
For the Jhol:
Scrub and wash the rice and soak it in water for about 15-20 minutes.
Cut the chicken into even-sized pieces.
In a bowl, add all the marinade ingredients and coat the chicken pieces well with it. Let it marinate for a while. (15 minutes)
In the meanwhile, heat some ghee in a pan and add all the whole spices for the masala along with ginger-garlic paste. When the spices turn slightly brown, add the onions.
Cook the onions partially on slow heat to ensure that they do not change their colour. If you think the heat is getting too high to handle, put in a little bit of water.
Once the onions are nice, glossy, well cooked and on the verge of changing colour, add the yoghurt.
Add the yellow chilli powder and cook on low heat for 1 minute.
Now add the chicken, followed by saunf powder and salt. Mix well.
Add some water and let it cook for 10-12 minutes (till the chicken is partially cooked). Once done, remove from heat and let it cool. Pick out the pieces of chicken and strain the gravy over them.
Add the finishing spices to the 'jhol' (the chicken and liquid), then add the cream to it. This is the jhol or the infusion in which the rice will be cooked. Keep this aside.
For the rice:
In a pan, heat some water. Add salt and rose water to it.
As soon as it comes to a boil, add the rice. Cook it partially and keep aside.
In another pan, heat half of the jhol you made earlier with all the chicken pieces. Once this comes to a boil, add half of the rice to it.
Check seasoning before adding rice after which you would not be able to adjust it.
Add the rice to the jhol and sprinkle some ginger juliennes and sliced green chillies.
Now add the other half of the rice and jhol. Let it cook on a low heat (on dum, in it's own heat) covered with foil for about 10 minutes (till the water evaporates and chicken and rice are fully cooked).