Shahi Chicken Biryani Recipe

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Chicken – 800 gms
Yogurt – 1 cup
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Basmati rice – 2 cups
Milk – 1 tbsp
Water – 6 cups
Cinnamon – 2 inch sticks, broken
Bay leaves – 4
Cloves – 4
Black cardamoms – 4
Green cardamoms – 4
Black peppercorns – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Ginger – 1 tbsp, chopped
Garlic – 1 tbsp, chopped
Mace – 1 blade
Nutmeg – 1 tsp, grated
Green chillies – 6
Coriander and mint leaves – 1 cup, chopped and mixed
Poppy seeds – 8 tbsp
Tomatoes – 2, medium sized and chopped
Onions – 2, medium sized and chopped
Ghee/Butter – 4 tbsp
Saffron – 2 tsp, dissolved in some warm milk
Potatoes – 6, medium sized, boiled, halved and deep fried
Onions – 2, large sized, cut into rings
Cashew nuts and raisins – for garnishing
Sheet of aluminum foil for sealing
Salt as per paste

1. Put a little clarified butter/ghee in a pan, heat it and fry onion rings in it till they turn brown.
2. Make a paste by grinding a small portion of the browned onions, ginger, garlic, mace, nutmeg, green chillies, coriander-mint leaves, poppy seeds, tomatoes, chopped onions and half of the cinnamon, cloves, black-green cardamoms, black peppercorns and bay leaves.
3. Next, take the chicken pieces and make some cuts on them.
4. Take a bowl and put in it the yogurt, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, turmeric powder and the ground paste with some salt. Mix well and rub this mixture on the chicken pieces. The paste needs to enter the chicken pieces. So leave it for at least an hour.
5. Combine the rice, water, milk, remaining whole spices (except cumin seeds) and salt in a large vessel. Cook till till the rice is half-done. When thats done, drain away the excess liquid and then spread the rice on a plate to cool.
6. Put the clarified butter/ghee in a heavy bottomed pan, heat it and when it is hot, splutter some cumin seeds. Then add the chicken pieces with the marinade and cook on a high flame. Do this for a few seconds. Now, take the fried potato halves. Add them to the chicken pieces and mix well. Cover it and cook on a low flame for 15 minutes, or cook till the chicken is almost done. Remove from flame and keep aside.
7. Next, arrange the rice and the chicken in layers. To begin with, put the ghee/butter in the same heavy bottomed vessel and arrange a layer of chicken with gravy, a layer of rice topped with a portion of brown onions and saffron milk. Repeat the same process, till all is used up. Keep the topmost layer of rice with melted ghee/butter, browned onions and saffron milk on top of it.
8. Once the arrangement of the ingredients in layers is concluded, spread an aluminum foil on top of the pan and use a tight fitting lid to cover it.
9. Cook over a very low flame for the next 12-15 minutes, placing the biryani on a tawa.
10. Use fried cashew nuts and raisins for garnishing.
11. Serve hot with raita.

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