Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chicken Biryani For Rice-mela

What happens when you are tired after a hectic morning work schedules and you are preparing yourself for afternoon siesta, so that you can charge up the batteries for life.

You hear a commotion and you start cursing the things around you and with a tired look you roll over the curtain and see huge lighting equipments and professional cameras like these

And then you hear lights camera rolling and action …
You pinch yourself and wonder you are day dreaming while still awake or what?
This is what exactly happened on Monday and I was and am mesmerized by this experience, kind of awe of it.
Can you imagine my plight, all happening just in front of me; I can see clearly the whole unit of this Bengali Film, from director to cameraman to the upcoming actor and actress.
And hold your breath The dancing King, the Disco Dancer Mithun da Aai!
I was left little disappointed as his get-up was very unusual, couldn’t get the real image but then ,I had no other option also .

These are real hard working people, for one shot they gave 7-8 retakes, people behind these stars are the real heroes, they hold the camera, give the finishing touch, the light men, spot boys, junior artists and some unsung names also. Yes, I now exactly the ABCD of film making …Hurray!
Shooting of the movie, later I came to know, was made the entire day, exploiting the damn every corner of our housing society.
I heard a loud sound of “pack-up” and the park was all clear within 1 hour except for some “white plastic cups and plates” …ahhh! What a great evening it was.

Let’s just go to the Biryani recipe now.

Chicken Biryani
Serves for 4-5 people
Chicken 500-750 gms
Rice- 4cups ( I used Govind Bhog Rice ,little less long than the usual basmati Rice)

Masala For Chicken Gravy
5 onions chopped
5 garlic pods
½ inch ginger
1 ½ tsp of turmeric powder
2 tsp of red pepper powder
1 tsp of coriander powder
1 cup of fresh home-made yogurt
¼ cup of cream (optional, but if added it gives the richness to Biryani)
4 tbs of mustard oil
1-2 tsp of salt or as desired
1 tsp of sugar

Masala for Rice
2 onions chopped finely
4garlic pods chopped finely
2-4 tsp of ginger paste
½ tsp of red pepper powder
1 tomato chopped
2-3 tej patta
½ cup of cashews
½ cup of raisins
2-3 potaoes fried whole (optional to add in Biryani)

Wash the rice thoroughly in water and soak it for half an hour.
Meanwhile chop all the ingredients for chicken Gravy and make a smooth paste.
Make paste for ginger/garlic separately and the onion paste separately.
This would help fry the ginger and garlic well.

Now heat up a Kadhai, add mustard oil,add sugar and the smooth masala paste of ginger/garlic first fry at high for 1-2 mints.

Add the onion paste and continue frying at high for 2-3 mints.
Add the dry ingredients like turmeric, red pepper and coriander powder and salt.
Fry at high for 5-7 mints till the rawness of paste is gone.
Now add the chicken pieces. Add ½ cup of water and stir/fry for 5 mints.

Continue cooking at medium flame with out covering and sometimes adding little bit of water when the gravy dries out. Stop when the chicken is teneder, this generally takes about 30 mints without cover at medium flame.

Note-If the chicken is marinated before cooking,it tastes great even more.I didin't had that much of time ,so I skipped this step.But I would highly recommend to follow marinating the chicken pieces before cooking.
Making of rice or biryani
Heat up the kadhai, add refined oil, cumin seeds, tej patta
Now add chopped ginger/garlic and onions, stir/fry them till the raw smell fades away.
Add the rice and chopped tomatoes, fry at medium-high, stiring continuously and when the rice becomes translucent and shinning . Add cashews and raisins.

Transfer the entire fried masala rice to pressure cooker.I have cooked the biryani in pressure cooker(this gives the real space to rice grains and chicken pieces with bones to cook evenly) without locking the lid. You can use any big heavy bottom saucepan/dekchi for cooking the birayni.
Add water, it should be for 4 cups 5 cups of water. Cover the pressure cooker .You can add medium size fried potatoes to the cooking rice also.

Cook covered and check the rice when its half or ¾ done, this generally takes approx 10 mints.
Now transfer the cooked chicken gravy with chicken to the rice that’s being cooked.
Mix in well or you can layer the rice and then chicken gravy alternately,I generally prefer to slightly mix in with gentle touch.

Check if the rice is cooked, if not add little bit of more water, this time a little warm water to the cooking Biryani. Please cook at low.
Cover and place a weight over the saucepan. I had seen placing the Nora over it ,when my Father used to cook the Dum Ka Birayani .Since I didn’t had Sheel Nora , I didn’t put that .
This generally takes another 10 mints or depends on the rice you are using.

It’s better to prepare the Dum Ka Birayni 2 -3 hrs before serving ,as the cooked rice grains starts to dry up when it’s cooked, making it easily fluffy.Accompanied by lauki raita(will post later about it) ,it was a welcome change to our mundane menu.

This is going to Sri's Place at Cooking For All Season visit here for more details Rice Mela .

Happy cooking Friends


  1. Biriyabi looks delicious, i love them, yo should have taken a plate to Mithun :-)

  2. I am a diss-co dansser! Hahahahey, I am a diss-co dansser!

    What is sheel nora? Grinding stone?

  3. Happy,
    thanks for coming by .Yes you are right I shud have taken that plate to Mithun LOL....

    OMG! Thats hilarious ROFL...
    Sheel Nora in Bengali , is Grinding stone!
    You know so much about Bengali cooking !

    Hugs and smiles

  4. Ami ki ektu khani pete pari? I don't cook biryani only for myself .. :-(
    But I love it. Waiting for the raita recipe. :-)

  5. Thank you sister for your biryani. I love, love, love biryani and have not made it in months! You have inspired me to make it, delicious. I love to dance and suddenly would just break out dancing in front of my husband. He loves all my idiosyncrasies!
    I have an award for you!

  6. Sharmila,
    i Know What you mean by you dont cook only for urself!
    my family including in-laws are so fond of eating this biryani.They love it a lot..
    and ami tumake sobta hi detaam jodi virtual world na hoto! LOL..

    OH! Is it ,then just go ahead and try it...
    Thats really fun, fun and spontaneity is what makes life going...
    thanks for cmomg here
    hugs and smiles

  7. shesh e mithun dar jonne biriyani holo:-) just kidding. Looks great.

  8. Hi Jaya. Thanks for visiting. What a lovely experience you had. The chicken Biryani sounds delicious.

    In invite you and your friends to join us at BloggerAid http://bloggeraid.ning.com

  9. Hi Jaya. I sent you a comment a while ago but I am not sure if you got it.

    Thanks for visiting. What a lovely experience this was! Your chicken biryani sounds delicious.

    I invite you and your friends to join us at BloggerAid http://bloggeraid.ning.com

  10. Oh I would have loved to witness that. I've worked in television before but it is totally different on s film set.

  11. Soma.
    are hain re! thanks for coming.

    Thanks for coming to my small world.I will definitely check that link..and ya, it was such a great experience for me.

    Then you must be knowing the entire stuff, camera placing and lighting etc...Fun part was that even my little one enjoyed it also..

  12. Wow, it must've been a great experience... What excitement!!

  13. jaya..thats hilarious... heheh chicken biryani looks good


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