Kachchi Aqni ki Dum Murgh Biryani

Note – Read the whole post very carefully (also watch the video link I have posted at the end of the post) before you try preparing the Biryani, Please do not be overwhelmed by the length of the post. I have tried to explain each and every step briefly and as efficient as possible. Do write to me, if you have any queries. I will be glad to help you out.

Biryani is one of the most famous Hyderabadi one-dish meals craved and devoured by people from all over the world. The basic process of preparing Biryani involves the layering of raw marinated or cooked meat along with half cooked long grained aromatic Basmati rice, and a range of fresh spices and herbs for exceptional flavor and aroma.

Basically, there are two kinds of Biryani: Pakki Biryani, and Kachchi Biryani.

Pakki Biryani: where are half Basmati cooked rice is layered along with completely cooked chicken or lamb meat and then cooked till done on slow heat on dum.
1. Pakki Gosht ki Biryani
2. Pakki Murgh Biryani

Kachchi Biryaniwhich is the true Hyderabadi Biryani – where are half cooked Basmati rice is layered along with raw marinated meat and then finished on slow heat till done on dum.
1. Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani
2. Kachche Aqni ki Dum Murgh Biryani (which I am writing about today)

The preparation process of Kachchi Biryani is rather simple compared to the Pakki Biryani. In Kachchi biryani all you have to do is to marinate the chicken for overnight preferably and the next day layer it along with half cooked Basmati rice and leave it cook on slow heat/dum until completely done; whereas in Pakki Biryani you have to stand in front of your stove attending the chicken as it cooks completely, and then layer it with half cooked Basmati rice and finish it until done on slow heat/dum.

As you use the raw marinated chicken in this method, while you slow cook the Biryani on dum, the flavor of the chicken intensifies and infuses with the rice and other aromatic fresh herbs and spices giving you a heavenly aroma in the end which will fills your kitchen and your entire house.

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Here is the outline of the steps involved in the preparation, so that it is simpler for you all to understand the detailed method, follow these steps while you prepare the Biryani:

Outline of the steps:

Day 1:
Marinate Chicken.
Day 2:
1. Add Fried onions to the Marinated Chicken.
2. Give a smoked flavor to the Marinating Chicken with Fried Onions (
optional, but gives a very good flavor to the Biryani).
3. Prepare Basmati Rice, also called as Adhaan.
4. Arrange layers and garnish.

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The Detailed method:

Kachchi Aqni ki Dum Murgh Biryani
Serves – 8-10Day 1Marinate Chicken:

Chicken marinating in a bowl

Ingredients:

Chicken – 1.4 kg, with bone, cut into medium size pieces
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Green chilli paste – 1 1/2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric/Haldi – 1/2 tsp
Tomato – 2, medium sized, pureed (optional)
Ginger-Garlic/Adrak-Lahsun paste – 2 tbsp
Yogurt – 2/3 cup, lightly whipped
Freshly squeezed Lemon Juice – 1/2 cup
Garam masala – 2 tbsp
Green Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
Dry roasted Cumin seed powder – 1 tsp
Dry roasted Coriander seed powder – 1 tsp
Fresh Cilantro and Mint – 2 tbsp, roughly chopped

Method:

In a large bowl marinate the chicken with all the ingredients. Make sure all the pieces of chicken are coated in the marinade. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.

Day 2.

1) Adding Fried onions to the marinated chicken:

Ingredients:

Canola Oil – 3/4 cup
Finely sliced Yellow Onions – 800 gms
Salt – 1 tsp

Method:

1. Remove the marinating chicken from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
2. Meanwhile, pour oil into a large non-stick frying pan at medium high heat. As soon as it gets warm, throw in the sliced onions and add salt. Stir fry until they are evenly golden brown in color. Make sure they do not burn them. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onions from the oil into a platter. Divide the fried onions into two equal parts and add one half of the fried onions to the marinating chicken and mix well. Spread the other half on a tissue lined platter to be used later for garnish, until cool. Once they are cool, they crisp up. Also divide the oil in which the onions were fried into two equal parts. Add one part of the oil into the marinating chicken and mix well. Reserve the other half to be added to the rice as the top layer along with garnish later on.

2) Give a smoked Flavor to the Marinating Chicken (optional step, but gives a really good flavor to the Biryani. I recommend you try this atleast once. Skip to the step 3 if you want to avoid)

Ingredients:

3 or 4 Burning Charcoal briquettes
Canola oil/Ghee – 1 tsp
Disposable aluminium foil tray/loaf pan

Method:

1. Make a well in the center of the marinating chicken in the bowl so that the mini aluminium loaf pans fits into it perfectly. My Ammi uses an onion skin for this purpose. With the help of tongs, carefully put the burning charcoal briquettes into the aluminium loaf pan.
2. Pour about a teaspoon of oil/ghee onto the charcoal. You will see that dense fumes start forming.
3. Immediately cover the bowl with a lid, so that the fumes do not escape. Keep it aside until you prepare the rice.

3) Preparing Basmati Rice/Adhaan:

Ingredients:

Long grained Basmati Rice (preferably ‘Lal Qilla’ Brand) – 4 cups, presoaked in water for 30 minutes
Salt – 3 tsp
Bay leaf/Tej Patta – 1
Cloves – 3
Green cardamom – 4
Cinnamon stick – 3/4 inch
Caraway seeds/Shah Zeera – 1 1/2 tsp
Water – 9 cups

Method:

1. Wash the rice and soak it in surplus water for about 30 minutes.
2. In a large cooking pot pour in water along with cloves, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, caraway seeds and salt. Give it a stir, cover and let it come to a boil. (While the rice is boiling, follow the steps below under ‘Arranging layers and Garnish’ until step 4 and be ready)
3. Once boiling add the rice and mix gently, let the rice cook until it is half done, 2-3 minutes. Drain the rice and keep aside.

4) Arranging layers and Garnish: (Work fast while the rice is still hot! and try not to let the rice cool down)

Ingredients:

Marinating Chicken
Boiled, Quartered and shallow fried Potatoes – 2 cups (optional)
Mint leaves/Pudina – 1/2 cup, loosely packed, roughly chopped
Half cooked rice prepared earlier
Cilantro/Kothmir – 1 cup, loosely packed, roughly chopped
Ghee – 2 tsp (optional)
Reserved Fried Onions for garnish
1/4 Saffron strands, crushed and steeped in 1/4 cup warm milk
Rose water/Gulab Jal – 1 tsp (optional)
Green Cardamom seed powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Toasted Almonds and Cashewnuts – 1/2 cup total (optional)
Shelled Hard Boiled Eggs – 6-8 (optional)
Dough to seal the edges of the Casserole dish (optional)

(I use the ingredients stated as ‘optional’ only during parties when guests are invited)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 550°F (only if using an oven to prepare it on Dum, read below)
2. Carefully lift the loaf pan containing the charcoal briquettes from the marinating chicken, and discard it.
3. In a heavy bottomed casserole dish (which can be used in Oven-if using the Oven method (or) which can be used on stove-top-if using the Stovetop method – read below), arrange the marinating chicken along with all its juices in a single layer. Do not crowd it. (Use two casserole dishes if needed)
4. Spread the chopped mint leaves and the shallow fried potatoes (if using) over it.
5. Now add the drained warm half cooked rice prepared earlier and spread it nicely to cover the chicken all over. Reserve about 1 1/2 cups cooked rice for the top most layer.
6. Next, spread the chopped cilantro, toasted almonds and cashewnuts, hard boiled eggs (if using), reserved fried onions, cardamom seed powder and pour ghee (if using) and the saffron soaked in milk and rose water all over the rice. Add the 1 1/2 cup reserved rice and spread as the top most layer to cover evenly. Now pour the reserved oil in which the onions were fried evenly all over the rice.( I do not add fried onions over the top layer of rice to avoid getting the onions and herbs blackened or burned by steam).
7. Cover the dish with an aluminium foil or a tight lid (or) seal the edges with a dough and cover with the lid tightly, you can use some weight over the lid, so that no steam escapes.

Lid sealed with dough and being cooked on stovetop

If using an oven to cook:
Put the sealed casserole in the preheated oven at 550°F for 20 minutes. Later, lower the heat to 300°F and leave the casserole dish in the oven for about 30 minutes. Remove from dish from oven once done.

If you are cooking on stove top:
1. Take a flat Dosa Tawa or a griddle pan and put it on the stove at high heat. As it gets warm, put the casserole dish on the tawa and let it cook for about 5 minutes on high heat.
2. Later, lower the heat to medium and let it cook for about another 15 minutes.
3. Now, reduce heat to very low and let cook for another 15-20 minutes and your Biryani will be done by now.

Once done, let the dish rest for 30 minutes. Later, open the lid and a heavenly aroma fills your house inviting all your house members. Carefully dig your spoon deep into the casserole dish until it touches the bottom, and gently mix the rice with the chicken until it is all completely mixed. Serve immediately.

Tip: Adding salt to the water in which you cook rice is essential, or else the whole taste of Biryani turns upside down. One tip if you have forgotten to add salt to the water while boiling rice is – stir the required amount of salt in a little quantity of hot water, about half cup or a few tablespoons, and pour this on the biryani evenly. Warm the biryani in microwave and serve immediately.

Suggested accompaniments: I enjoy my Biryani with Mirchi Ka Salan or Baghare baingan and Dahi ki Chutney as a side dish, and glass of chilled coke alongside. Yumm-O!

Note: You can also go through this video of ‘Khan Biryani’ showcased by VahChef, one of my favorite chefs, to get an idea on how to prepare Kachchi Murgh Biryani. His method for Khan Biryani is a bit different but quite interesting though.

I shared this recipe as part of the RCI:Authentic Cuisine of Hyderabad Event that I am hosting this month on my blog.

Be sure to read all the rules for the event and drop me your entries. The last date to send me your entries is September 15th’ 07.

Luv,
Mona

Pakki Gosht Ki Biryani, and Dahi Ki Chutney

Dear readers, today I present you with renowned Hyderabadi Lamb Biryani. Biryani is one of the most famous Hyderabadi one-dish meals craved and devoured by people from all over the world. The basic process of preparing Biryani involves the layering of raw marinated or cooked meat along with half cooked long grained aromatic Basmati rice, and a range of fresh spices and herbs for exceptional flavor and aroma.

Basically, there are two kinds of Biryani: Pakki Biryani, and Kachchi Biryani.

Pakki Biryani: where are half Basmati cooked rice is layered along with completely cooked chicken or lamb meat and then cooked till done on slow heat on dum.
1. Pakki Gosht ki Biryani
2. Pakki Murgh Biryani

Kachchi Biryaniwhich is the true Hyderabadi Biryani – where are half cooked Basmati rice is layered along with raw marinated meat and then finished on slow heat till done on dum.
1. Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani
2. Kachche Aqni ki Dum Murgh Biryani

Biryani always reminds me of my wedding, when I wore a very beautiful Khada Dupatta. It was on that day that I had best Biryani ever! This dish is so important in the Hyderabadi Muslim community that it is served along with Mirchi Ka Salan and Baghare Baingan and Dahi Ki Chutney, as the main dish at almost all gatherings, occasions, parties, all kinds of merry making get togethers. Essentially all weddings in Hyderabad are suposed to have Lamb Biryani and Mirchi Ka Salan in the menu.

My lovely sister had prepared this dish on the weekend. We were all in a mood to treat our family and ourselves with something special, and we immediately thought of this dish. What could be a more better meal to delight ourselves than this flavorsome fare.

Gosht Ki Biryani, Dahi Ki Chutney

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Dahi Ki Chutney – Yogurt Chutney
Makes:One small bowl

Ingredients:

Plain Yogurt (low-fat or full-fat)- 375 ml
Salt – 2/3 tsp or according to taste
Thai Red Chillies – 2, chopped (optional)
Green Chillies – 2, chopped
Yellow Onion – 1, medium, finely chopped
Mint leaves – 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Coriander leaves – 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Firm Red Tomato (fresh) – 1, small, deseeded and chopped finely (optional)

Method:

1. To the yogurt in a bowl, add salt and half a cup of water and whip it till smooth, and creamy for approx 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and fold them into the yogurt gently. Adjust salt according to your taste and cover the bowl with a plastic wrap.
3. Put it in the refrigerator to serve it later along with Biryani.

You can store Dahi Ki Chutney in the refrigerator in an air tight food storage box for only one more day in a refrigarator, it doesnt last long. It is always better if you have an idea how much your family memebers will have it and you prepare it in only the required amount.

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Hyderabadi Dum Pukth Pakki Gosht Ki Biryani – Fragrant Flavored Meat and Rice Casserole
Serves:5-8

Ingredients:

For the Marinade
Canola/Vegetable/Sunflower Oil (or) Butter/Makhan (or) Clarified Butter/Ghee – 90 ml/6 tbsp
Yellow Onion/Pyaz – 2, large, thinly sliced
Lean Lamb leg meat – 1 kg, washed and cubed into 3 cm pieces approx (with bones preferably if available, I have used only boneless here)
Plain Yogurt/Dahi – 500 ml, lightly whipped
Red Chilli Powder/Lal mirch powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Salt/Namak – 1 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice/Nimbu Ras – 4 tbsp
Garam Masala – 1 tbsp
Turmeric/Haldi – 1/2 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Water/Meat Stock – 1/2 cup
For the Garnish
Green Chillies/Hari Mirch – 2, each slit into two
Thai Red chillies/Choti Lal Mirch – 2, each slit into two (optional)
Fried Onion reserved for garnish earlier
Mint Leaves/Pudina – 1/2 cup
Cilantro/Kothmir – 1/2 cup
Toasted sliced Almonds/Bareek Kata Badaam – 2 tbsp
Fried Red Raisins and Cashwnuts/Tala-huwa Kishmish – 3 tbsp
Pinch of Saffron threads/Zaafraan soaked in 1/2 cup warm Milk
A dollop of Butter/Makhan or Clarified Butter/Ghee (optional)
For the Rice
Long Grained Basmati Rice/Chawal (preferably ‘Lal Qilla’ Brand) – 4 cups
Salt/Namak – 4 tsp
Black Cumin seeds/Shah Zeera – 1 tsp

Method:

1. Wash and soak the rice in a big bowl for about 30 minutes.
2. In a pressure cooker at medium high heat, fry the onions in oil/butter until they are golden brown in colour. Remove with a slotted spoon on a kitchen towel and reserve half for garnish. Blend the other half in 2 tbsp water inoi a paste.
3. In the same pressure cooker, with oil/butter in it, add the washed cubed meat pieces, Stir fry till the meat has browned on all sides. Add the fried onions paste and the ginger garlic paste and turmeric. Saute them for 2 minutes. Throw in the red chilli powder, salt, garam masala, half cup water, and yogurt. Mix well and pressure cook for about 15-20 minutes until the meat is tender.
4. Meanwhile drain the soaking rice and keep aside. Bring 9 cups of water in a to boil in a large saucepan with Black cumin seeds and salt (do not forget to add salt to the rice!!) in it. As soon as its boiling, add the drained rice and let it cook till the rice grains are just done. Drain and keep aside.
5. Now, open the lid of the cooker and cook the meat mixture well without covering the lid on medium high heat until the meat mixture is done and most of the liquid has dried up. It should be a little bit dry mixture.
Add lemon juice to the meat and mix. Remove from heat.
6. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
7. In a large oven proof baking dish, add half of the rice in a layer at the bottom of the dish. Now add the whole meat mixture in one layer. Then cover it with the remaining rice completely and work gently, try not to break the rice kernels.
8. Garnish the layered rice with the reserved fried onions, mint and coriander leaves, slit red and green chillies, toasted and fried nuts, and sprinkle the milk with saffron threads in it. You can also add a dollop of butter if you wish.
9. Cover the dish with a tight lid or aluminium foil and keep it in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes, till a nice steam has formed inside.
10. Before serving, dig the spoon into the dish till the base and take the rice and meat in a bowl. mix it and serve it hot.

Tip: Adding salt to the water in which you cook rice is essential, or else the whole taste of Biryani turns upside down. One tip if you have forgotten to add salt to the water while boiling rice is – stir the required amount of salt in a little quantity of hot water, about half cup or a few tablespoons, and pour this on the biryani evenly. Warm the biryani in microwave and serve immediately.

Suggested Accompaniments: Mirchi Ka Salan or Baghare Baingan or Dahi Ki Chutney or Tomato Chutney.

This is my entry for Meeta’s Monthly Mingle-One Dish Dinners

Luv,
Mona

Sheer Qurma

We celebrated Eid-Ul-Fitr, our festival after the month of fasting 3 days ago. On Eid I had prepared Chicken Biryani, Sheer Qurma and Cholay.

Sheer Qurma is a meetha/dessert prepared using roasted fine Vermicelli Noodles, or Seviyan cooked in milk with some fried dried nuts and sprinkled with saffron and nutmeg, cardamom powders to enhance the savory flavour of the dessert.

Sheerqurma

It is traditionally served after the Eid prayers to the entire household and also to all the guests who arrive to greet you on Eid, and is served hot along with other snacks, I usually serve spicy Cholay along. Some people like this dessert rich and slightly thick in consistency and some people like it a bit thin in consistency with less seviyan and more of milk. To make it rich, you can add khoa to it, or add a bit of condensed milk. I and my family prefer the latter kind. If you like it thick, you can cook the Sheer Qurma a bit more on medium heat till you get your desired consistency.

Sheer Qurma – Vemilcelli Cooked in Fragrant Milk

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

*Fine* Vermicelli noodles/Seviyan – 3/4 cup
Ghee/Oil – 2 tbsp
Almonds – 1 tbsp, deskined and thinly sliced
Pistachio – 1 tbsp, halved
Chironji nuts – 1 tbsp, soaked in water for 15-30 minutes and skinned
Melon seeds – 1 tbsp, shelled
Dates – 5 dates, halved and stoned
Saffron strands/Zafraan – 1/2 tsp
Raisins/Kishmish -1 tbsp
Milk – 5 1/2 cups
Nutmeg powder – 1/4 tsp
Green cardamom/Elaichi powder – 1/4 tsp
Green Cardamom/Elaichi – 1, whole
Sugar – 4 to 5 tbsp

Method:

1. Soak the saffron and the halved and deseeded dates in 1/2 cup warm milk. Cover and keep aside.
2. Pour milk into a large pan. Throw the skin of the whole cardamom and add the seeds to the milk. Boil milk in the pan at high heat with sugar and green cardamom powder, nutmeg powder until it is reduced by one-fourth.
3. In a heavy bottomed pan at medium low heat add ghee/oil and stir-fry the raisins, almonds, chironji, pistachio and melon seeds separately for just a few seconds until golden and remove using a slotted spoon into a small cup and keep aside. In the same oil/ghee roast the vermicelli noodles stirring them until they are a just few shades dark. Pour the reduced milk into it and let it come to a boil once. Add the dates and the saffron with the milk in which they have been soaking. Cover and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. By now the noodles must have become very soft. Remove from heat. It can be served hot or cold.

Note-Make Ahead:You can roast the vermicelli and store in the refrigerator for more than a week, a make ahead for this dish. If you prepare the whole thing and store it in the refrigrerator it will become a thick paste in consistency as the days pass. You can also fry the nuts and store in the refrigerator a day before to prepare this sweet savory instantly when your guests arrive, as you will just have to cook it all in milk and serve.

Luv,
Mona

Paratha

Parathas are my favourite variety of Indian flat breads. They are deliciously flavoured with ghee/oil. I prefer oil mostly and restrict ghee only for special occasions.

The combination of Parathas and Kawabs goes very well and is utmost delicious. We usually have Parathas and Rice with curries at meals. Its our staple diet.

Getting the perfect round shape with the correct thickness of each paratha is a bit difficult, but it comes with practice and time. You can use a platter and cut the ends to attain a perfect circular shape for your parathas. But it is not very necessary to get the perfect circular shape always. They are easy to prepare once you get the hang of it.

Tawa ~ flat griddle
Indian cooking utensil used for making flat breads

Paratha – Flat bread

Ingredients:
Makes-7 Parathas

Whole Wheat Flour/Durum Atta – 2 1/2 cups
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
Water – 2/3 cups
Ghee/Oil – 6-8 tbsp
Extra ghee/Butter/Oil for cooking

Paratha – Indian Flat Bread,
kept warm stacked in a Milton hot-pot/casserole

Method:

1. Sieve the wheat flour, salt into a mixing bowl or a food processor bowl pour rub in one table spoon ghee. Add water all at once, and knead dough if you are preparing it with your hands for atleast 10 minutes (the more it is kneaded, the lighter the bread will be), or if you are using a processor, use the dough blade and pulse till the dough forms into a ball. Form dough into a ball and cover with clean plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour.
2. Later divide the dough into 7-8 equal portions and roll each ball one by one on a lightly floured board into a very thin circular shape (approx 10 cm in diameter) with a rolling pin on a flat surface like the thoroughly clean platform of your kitchen. Pour 1 tsp melted ghee/oil into the centre of each and spread lightly with your fingers on the rolled out discs. With a knife, make a cut from the centre of each circle to the outer edge. Starting the at the cut edge, roll the dough closely into a cone shape. Pick it up and press the apex of the cone and base towards each other and flatten slightly. You will now have a small roughly circular piece of dough again.
3. Lightly flour the rolling board(girda)/platform again and roll over the dough with the rolling pin(belan) very gently, taking care not to press too hard and make them too thin. Sprinkle extra flour if needed while rolling. Cover the rolled out discs with a kitchen towels to prevent them from drying out.

rolled out Paratha’s, ready to be cooked

4. Heat a flat griddle/tawa on medium high heat. Once it is hot, put the rolled out disc on the heated griddle. Let it cook for 1 minute. You will notice small bubbles on the disc. Flip it with a rubber spatula or a flat spoon which you have and again cook it on the other side for a further 1/2 minute.
5. Now quickly brush it liberally with 1 tsp oil/ghee using a silicone basting brush or a teaspoon all over, and flip it over again and cook for a few seconds. Again, working quickly, spead the ghee/oil over the other side too and flip it to cook that side and remove into a plate lined with a paper towel. Keep stacking them over one another and cover the dish with a towel to keep them warm. I have a Milton hotpot/casserole which I had bought from India, and I use it to keep the Parathas warm until I finish cooking all.

Luv,
Mona

Chatpata Tamatar Chawal

Tomatoes are rich in Lycopene. And a very important ingredient in an Indian kitchen.

Fresh Tomatoes

This One-Dish meal is healthy and nutritious, and a hit with kids. When you feel tired and do not feel like being in the kitchen for a long time, this recipe goes well, as it does not need any accompaniments, and you can prepare this in a jiffy. You will love it. Comfort food it is! Try it out, and enjoy.

Chatpata Tamatar Chawal – Spicy Tomato Rice
Serves: 5

Ingredients:

Rice – 4 cup
Tomato – 6 medium
Tomato paste – 2 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Split Black gram/Urad Dal – 1 tbsp
Split Bengal gram/Chana Dal – 1 tbsp
Small Green chillies – 8, finely chopped
Red Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Yellow Onion – 4, medium
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Salt – To taste

Method:

1. If you have left over plain rice then you can use it or else cook the 4 cups rice with about 2 tsp salt and keep aside.
2. Slice green chilles, onions, and tomatoes finely.
3. Heat ghee in a pan and add split black gram and bengal gram along with onions, tomatoes, green chilles. Fry well stirring until the dal gets a reddish tinge. Add salt, tomato paste, red chilli powder and turmeric powder and stir well. Cook and let cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes are slightly mushy.
4. Remove in a large bowl and add cooked rice to it and mix it throughly and gently. Reheat it before you serve.

Luv,
Mona