Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Hyd Biriyani 1
This is one dish that I have tried a couple of times at home and never seemed to win at it with Jobin. I mean, he eats anything that I serve him and eats it happily without batting an eyelid. What I am trying to say is that,whenever we eat outside and order Chicken Biriyani, we are served the Hyderabadi biriyani style of biriyani. Jobin never agrees to it being anything close to the original and calls them all Yellow Rice & Chicken. Then my question would always be ' Then how is it actually?'. The Hyderabad born and bred husband of mine has tried his best to explain to me about it's taste but for me, that's not enough to recreate it at home.
Hyd Biriyani 6
I have grown up in the Malabar eating the typical Malabari food made by the Malabari's and the amazing Kuttanadan and other South Kerala food made by Amma. I can describe and re-create all those dishes without thinking twice. Having never eaten an authentic Hyderabadi Chicken Biriyani (yet!), I was at loss on how to make it or how to improve from what I've made following the recipes from various foodblogs over the years. So gradually, I gave up.  We would rather enjoy my Malabari Chicken Biriyani than experiment upon recipes that didn't quite hit the ball out of the park.
Hyd Biriyani 4
The other day, I was lying on the couch and was planning on what to make for dinner. There was barely anything cooked in the fridge so I thought I'll make Oats for the kids and we both can eat some junk food once they sleep. Then the craving for biriyani kicked in me so badly that Jobin decided we should eat out. 'We will be disappointed as always!', was my reply. So he took the phone from my hand and started searching for biriyani recipes and then found one which looked really good and sounded like the author knew what she was doing. We both were very excited to try it and it was then that we realized that there was no chicken at home and if we were to buy the chicken and come, dinner won't be ready until 10:30 pm and our weekday bedtime is at 8:00 pm. So we ate out that night and bought some chicken on our way back home. I promptly marinated it and went to bed. The marinade smelt amazing so I knew it would end up being good!
Hyd Biriyani 2
But that chicken stayed marinating in the fridge for the next two days. We were barely home after that! So finally, on Saturday night I decided to make it. I fed the kids rice and put them to sleep on the couch as I was cooking. I followed the recipe as is because I did not want it to taste different because of me. Finally the biriyani was ready and our home was filled with it's wonderful aroma!
Hyd Biriyani 6
We took our share and sat on the floor by the sleeping kids. Just then, Zara woke up and even before she opened her eyes she said ,'Amma, enikku biriyani venam!'. Our jaws dropped. All we could do was laugh at it and feed her the biriyani that she woke up for. She had no idea that I was making a biriyani that night but woke up from her deep sleep because of the aroma! She is a big time chicken & a biriyani lover and I am not one bit surprised! Don't let the length of the recipe fool you, there's barely any cooking involved but you will be rewarded with the most amazing Hyderabadi Chicken Biriyani in the end!

Hyd Biriyani 4 Serves 4-5

Fried Onions:
750 grams onions, sliced very thin
Oil for frying

Biriyani spice mix:
1 cinnamon stick
1 black cardamom
5 green cardamom
5 cloves
1 large bay leaf
1 teaspoon Shahjeera
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

For Marination:
750 grams bone-in chicken, cut up
2/3 cup thick yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2-3 green chilies,slit in half

For Rice:
2 cups good quality Basmati rice, washed & drained.
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon olive oil

For Assembly:
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon mint leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon saffron (ground & dissolved in 2 tablespoon hot water)
1 tablespoon ghee

Biriyani Spice Mix : Grind all together to a fine powder using a spice grinder.
Fried Onions : Fry the thinly sliced onions until they are crisp & golden brown in colour.
Marination : Combine all the ingredients given along with 1/3 of the fried onions and biriyani spice mix and leave it covered in the fridge for a minimum of 5 hours. Overnight is best!
Rice: Soak 1/3 cup of rice in water and keep it aside for 30 minutes.
Bring 2 1/4 cups of water to a rolling boil in a rice cooker. Add salt, oil and add the remaining 1 2/3 cups rice. Let it cook until all the water is absorbed.

Meanwhile. Transfer the marinated chicken to a heavy bottomed oven proof dish about 8-9 inches in diameter. If you've used thick curd, there shouldn't be any watery marinade left in the bowl. If there is, please discard it, it will make the rice soggy.
Sprinkle the cilantro, mint ,1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and most of the remaining fried onions over it. Drain the 1/3 cup of basmati rice that was soaking and sprinkle over the chicken. This helps in absorbing the juices from the chicken and gets cooked eventually.

As soon as the rice is done,carefully transfer it over the chicken. Sprinkle the remaining lemon juice, saffron, fried onions and ghee over it. Cover it tight with two layers of foil and place the lid over it. Bake at 375 F for 1 hour.

For stove top : Heat the assembled biriyani at medium high for about 10-15 minutes and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for one hour until the steam builds up.

  • I used storebought fried onions, 2 cups worth. That way it all was all done in the oven, our stove was never used! Eaaaaasy peasy!
  • If you don't own a rice cooker, you can cook it over the stove. It takes about 15 minutes in the rice cooker.
  • The original recipe calls for 2 tablespoon lemon juice while assembling, which I felt was too strong for our liking.
  • The original recipe calls for the biriyani to be baked at 350 F but our chicken was a bit raw even after an hour, so I increased the heat to 375 F and ended up baking for another 40 minutes checking in between. So I guess, 375F would be a better temperature to bake this biriyani.

Hyd Biriyani 5
This recipe really hit the ball out of the park. It's exceptionally good. It's very flavourful and not masked with spices. This recipes is an example of less is more. The flavours of the chicken and rice really shines through.
My advice would be to use a good quality Basmati rice. We get so many brands out here and most of them are pathetic. The rice has no aroma to it, the grains are not long, some of the brands have broken ends for the grains. We buy Royal brand of Basmati and it's been very good!
So officially, I am ending my search for a Hyderabadi Chicken Biriyani recipes because Jobin really enjoyed it and couldn't stop saying 'Wow!'. The kids ate it happily and so did I !


Unknown said...

I got a very useful tip which I never ever thought of.... Adding 1/3 of the soaked rice on the layered chicken. I always cooked the entire rice and then layered it. So the rice at the bottom invariably gets soggy a bit. This tip is very useful. Thanks Ria.

Deepa said...

Riya, im glad u approve of Royal Basmati...the fact that we get it in Costco& Sams Club is definitely is a plus. Also can u link the blog u got the recipe from? Would be nice to check out other recipes esp since this recipe was such a success.

Unknown said...

Can we do in foil tray instead of heavy bottomed oven proof dish?

Also, can olive oil be replaced with any other oil?

Anuji said...

I tried this recipe last week and it came out so well. Thank you

Chinnu said...

We are die hard fans of biriyani.. I tried ur hyd biriyani recipe yesterday and we all absolutely loved it.. my lil ones were like “more binyaayi Amma”.., as per my husband it got “subtle flavours, nothing overpowering, still yummy.. best one u made in a long time..let’s make this and move away from the more onions and strong flavor ones” thank u Ria for posting the recipe.. You have got fans for life.. �� Chinnu

Saira said...

Thank you for this superb recipe. We absolutely loved it.

Ria Mathew said...

Thanks to all who have tried this recipe!
Annie, so glad to be of some help!
Deepa, I have linked to her page in my write up already. The due credit was given. :-)
Beryl, yes both works!

Unknown said...

This is the best hyderabadi biriyani recipe I have tried. Its so easy and also nails the taste! Defenitely going to make it very often. :)
Thank you so much for this recipe Ria.

sonu said...

hi ria ,
biriyani came out super yummy.....thank u for the great recipe.....going to try orange cream pudding tomorrow....will let you know the results....thank u once again

Unknown said...

Should the spices be dry roasted before making the biriyani spice mix?

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