Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biriyani - Friday Fiesta Anniversary Special.

I lost my heart in Hyderabad.. and the love affair has been going on ever since.

I don't mean my love affair with Daddylonglegs P, although as you all know by now that too started in Hyderabad! But hey.. I lost my heart to the wonder thats the Hyderbadi Chicken Dum Biriyani. There is no other word to describe my feelings for this dish.. 
If made properly , there is hardly anything that can make me forego my plate of biriyani..and let me assure you ,my standards for a good Hyderabadi biriyani are very very high. 

A perfectly made bowl of Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biriyani can elevate me to levels thats close to ecstasy. I kid you not. Its India's answer to Italy's pasta, the French Beef Bourguinon and the Spanish Paella.A one pot meal of what is essentially just rice and chicken taken to another level altogether with various spices and the special style of cooking.i.e. "DUM" - sealing the fragrance and the essence of the dish by making sure its slow cooked on dum..

Imagine opening up the lid, lifting off that piece of foil...and do you what happens?? 

Your senses will get hit with a high dose of fragrance that in itself can take you to gastronomic heaven...and you will try your mightiest not to sneak in a bite  and control that sudden explosion of saliva in your mouth!!
But I am never that strong... (weakling I tell ya!) and I always grab a forkful or two of it as I serve...(just to make sure its salted right, of course...not coz I am such a gigantic glutton) ;) ;) 

The chicken will be extremely moist and succulent, fragrant and coated with the spices or masala.. the rice grains perfectly separated..some wrapped up in the masala ..some in the saffron milk...some simply smelling of roses...

As you take a good spoonful of it, the fragrance from the ghee...the richness of the spices coating the chicken..the tenderness of the meat...the gloriousness of it all will hit you, and before you know it, you will have finished 5 quick spoonfuls as though in a daze. 

And finally..you will slow down...and start to savor the various intricate complex flavors of the dish..wonder at how a few ingredients can be turned into something thats an art in itself.. how the marriage of basmati rice and chicken can seem like its made in heaven... 

And then you will forget everything else..and simply sink in. 

PS: Do you know I started making this 7 yrs back when I was dating P?? I think it was the first dish I made on my own..and the taste of it as we shared that simple meal has helped us bond on a different level. Over the years I have tried many changes in the spices, but finally found the one thats simply the best. And here it is. 

Let me state this before we get to the recipe. 
If you are going to make this, promise to make it completely as mentioned below. You cannot miss out or substitute even one of the ingredients. Its all a must. And no corner cutting on the dum or the time and patience.

Hyderabadi Dum Biryani is hands down the king of all biryanis. It is a mixture of original Andhra cuisine and Hyderabadi cuisine, and has Mughlai influence. Basically, there are two kinds of Biryani: Pakki Biryani and Kachchi Biryani.
We are going to make the Pakki Biriyani version.

Do give this a try... and please refrain from adding dry fruits. This is not a Kashmiri Pulao. A typical Hyderabadi Biriyani doesn't have dry fruits. End of debate. Now get your aprons on...and lets go !!

I know this is a late entry to the Fiesta Friday's anniversary special...No matter how badly I missed the weekly visual extravaganza,I was tied up with other things and simply couldn't contribute. 
So,here is my first and most beloved entry to the party..

One yr since Angie started this brilliant virtual potluck..the most happening party in town to share posts, try out new food but mostly to support each other in our kitchen endeavors. I still consider myself a new entrant here..Having been featured here is an honor that Angie bestowed upon me...
I greatly admire all you girls here and consider myself lucky to have found some very friendly ladies here,...I learn from each one of you..and I try to do different cuisines ,but at the end of the day, for the anniversary, I decided I will bring you a glimpse of me..and the perfect dish to do that is this Chicken Biriyani.

This is a must try for all Chicken lovers..and for those who wish to get a taste of the complexities that make India what it is..Angie, Selma,Hilda thanks for hosting this!! And here's to another year of fabulous food,laughter and friendship!
Love ,
Fiesta Fridays

For the Biriyani Garam Masala: 
For marination of meat:
Rice preparation:
Some other ingredients:

Start by making the garam masala. 

Next, start with the marination. 
I typically do the marination the previous night so that I can prepare this for lunch. Mostly made on Sundays as it takes time and not possible on working days.
Next day: (or whenver you are making the biriyani)
Next, for the Rice Preparation:
Cooking the chicken
Fluff up the rice when ready to serve..and serve by sinking in a spoon to get all the layers.
Serve with a simple cucumber raita,some salad and masala mint lemonade!!
Simple,delicious..and perfection!

Chef's Notes: 
  • When you are choosing meat for biryani, make sure meat pieces are big in size and they are raw tender otherwise the biryani will not come out well.
  • I use rice and meat in 1 :2 ratio. However If you want you can make 1:1 or 1:1.5 ratio. 
  • Now what is the right kind of cookware to make biryani? Traditionally the biryani is cooked in degchi. As it is not available everywhere except India, you can use a vessel whose bottom is round, thick and deep to make sure that the meat does not stick to the base of the vessel. I use a basic deep cauldron with a tight lid (which is really essential)
  • I tie up the whole spices in a muslin cloth coz then it can flavor the rice without me having to bother picking them out later. You can omit this if you so wish or don't mind biting into whole spices. 
  • Soaking the rice is also very important because it helps the rice expand to maximum length. So soak it in the water for 30 minutes. Choose long grain basmati rice.
  • I got Hakim Biriyani Masala from a gourmet store here. If you can't find it, you can use Everest Shahi Biriyani Masala.Or make your own if you are so inclined. I generally don't coz of the shortage of time.
S :) 

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