Pakistan has a diverse culinary heritage, with a wide variety of dishes influenced by regional flavors. One popular dish is “Chicken Biryani,” a fragrant rice dish layered with spiced chicken and aromatic spices. Here’s a concise recipe for Pakistani Chicken Biryani:
Ingredients: For the chicken:
- 2 pounds chicken pieces (with bone-in, skin-on for extra flavor)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Salt to taste
For the rice:
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- 4 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 4 whole cloves
- 1-inch cinnamon stick
- Salt to taste
For the biryani:
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron strands, soaked in 2 tablespoons warm milk
- Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
- Fried onions, for garnish (optional)
- In a bowl, mix together the yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, and salt to create a marinade.
- Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, coating them well. Let it marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator for the best flavor.
- Rinse the Basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes, then drain.
- In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the soaked and drained rice, bay leaf, green cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, and salt. Cook until the rice is 70-80% cooked (it should still have a slight bite to it). Drain the rice and set aside.
- In a separate pot or deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove the fried onions from the oil and set them aside on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
- In the same pot with the remaining oil, add the marinated chicken pieces and cook until they are browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside.
- In the same pot, layer half of the partially cooked rice. Arrange the chicken pieces on top of the rice, then layer the remaining rice over the chicken.
- Drizzle the saffron milk over the rice and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Cook on low heat for about 20-25 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the rice to fully cook.
- Remove the pot from heat and let it rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Gently fluff the rice with a fork, taking care not to break the rice grains. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, mint leaves, and fried onions.
- Serve the Chicken Biryani hot, accompanied by raita (yogurt sauce) or a side salad.
Enjoy the aromatic and flavorful Pakistani Chicken Biryani!