I still remember that flavour… The last time I was in Hyderabad


I still remember my first trip to Hyderabad, I was fifteen then, I also remember the second time, when I was seventeen, during a school vacation. If you look at Hyderabad closely it is a unique meeting point of traditional and modern India. The old buildings of Hyderabad, the antique museums tell the tale of the glory of a long gone Empire and its Nizams. It has a historical, regal quality which makes you want to keep coming back. But that was not the reason I wanted to keep coming back to these lovely twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, even as a teenager. The prime attraction is always food. What really makes you want to come back is “the world’s best Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani at the Paradise”. I cannot forget that flavour, it has been over six years and I still feel that the yummy Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani is calling out to me.




Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani

Chicken                 1 whole, cut into joints

For Marination
Yoghurt (Dahi)    1 cup
Lemon                  1
Turmeric (Haldi) 1teaspoon
Red chilli paste  1 tablespoon
Garlic paste       3 tablespoon
Salt                         to taste
Garam masala powder (Indian Spice Mixture)  1 teaspoon

For the Biryani

Basmati Rice  200g
Onion                  2 large, sliced
Bay leaf               2
Cloves                 4
Shahi Jeera (Or use regular Cumin) 1 teaspoon
Cardamom (elaichi)   4, without the pods
Cinnamon                 ½ inch piece
Poppy seeds (khuskhus) 2 teaspoon
Coriander powder (Dhaniya Powder) 1 teaspoon
Red Chilli powder                   1 teaspoon
Roasted Cumin powder(Bhuna jeera) 1 teaspoon
Salt                                      to taste
Coconut Powder                1 tablespoon
Coconut Milk                     ½ cup
Saffron                             a pinch soaked in milk
Desi Ghee (clarified Butter)        100 ml

For Garnish

Egg                                   1
Cashew nuts                      5

Method:

Take Chicken joints in a bowl. Add yoghurt, garlic paste, turmeric, chilli paste, garam masala powder, lemon juice and salt. Mix it in well and allow the chicken to marinate overnight or at least four hours.

Soak the rice for at least an hour. Add in 200ml of water and allow it to cook on a low flame until half done with 1 bay leaf, clove, cardamom, cinnamon.







Boil the egg. Set aside.

Fry onions in ghee, Set aside.

In a pan, heat desi ghee, add cumin, bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon. Stir till the cumin crackles.

Add in half of the fried onions, add in the coconut powder, add in the chicken and allow it to cook for 7 minutes on a low flame, till the chicken gets partially done.

Take a deep, heavy bottom pan add the first layer of half cooked rice, a drop of saffron, fried onion and the partially cooked chicken. Keep layering in the same order and fill it to the top. Leave ½ inch on the top of the vessel, the top, last layer should be rice. Sprinkle the remaining saffron, top with fried onion and add in coconut milk.

Now, line the rim of the biryani vessel with dough. Fit in the lid and press it over the vessel to seal the vessel from all sides.

Cook the biryani on a low flame for 20 minutes. Do not open the vessel right away, allow the rice and chicken to cook with the steam sealed inside the vessel.

Garnish with fried onions, fried cashew nuts and Hard boiled eggs.

Serve with Pudina Raita (Yoghurt flavoured with mint).


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