Biryani Without Shan Masala

Things You’ll Need

3 cups of basmati rice

1 chicken (about 3 lbs)

¼ – ½ cup oil

3 medium onions (finely sliced)

6 roma tomatoes (chopped)

½ cup of yogurt

10 cloves garlic (about 1 tbsp minced garlic)

1 tsp ginger (minced)

2-4 green chilies (sliced in half)

1 lime

Half a bunch of cilantro (chopped)

Handful of mint (chopped)

2 Potatoes (optional)

½ tsp of turmeric

1 ½ tbsp red chili powder

1 tsp salt (then as needed)

1 tbsp lemon pepper

1 tbsp vinegar

4 black cardamom

1 tsp whole black pepper

6 cloves

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp cumin

2 tbsp coriander powder

2 amchur (dry mango) powder

1 tbsp rose water

½ jaiphal (nutmeg) and javitri (mace) powder

1 tsp kasuri methi powder (dried fenugreek leaves)

1 tsp garam masala (you can substitute allspice)

4-5 drops saffron essence

4 bay leaves

3 star anise

Handful of dry plums (optional)

Egg yellow food color powder


Let’s get started!

Step 1: Finely chop onions and fry in the oil until it is light brown. Once the onions are light brown in color take out of the pot and set aside.

Step 2: Add ¼ cup of oil and fry the chicken until the chicken is light brown. Add minced garlic and ginger. Fry with chicken for about 2 minutes. Add yogurt, keep stirring then add turmeric, red chili powder, salt, black cardamom, black pepper, lemon pepper, cloves, and coriander powder. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Add chopped tomatoes and the onion you fried earlier (and potatoes if you so choose, cut into 6 pieces). Cook on high heat for 5 – 8 minutes while stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to low and add dry plums and green chilies. Cook for 10 – 12 minutes and then add kasuri methi powder, mint, and cilantro. Mix well and then turn off the heat.

TIP! Make sure most of the water is dried up and the oil has separated. Always remember to taste your food!

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Step 4: Soak your rice for 15-20 minutes (TIP! NO more than 20 minutes)

Step 5: Boil 10 cups of water (salt your water 2 tbsp) while your rice is soaking. Add cinnamon powder, bay leaves, jaiphal and javetri powder and vinegar. Boil rice for 2 minutes and then add rose water. Cook rice until al dente (check a grain of rice and once it is half way cooked). Drain rice.

Step 6: Preheat oven to 350° F. In an aluminium tray or casserole dish start to layer your biryani! First add a layer of rice then add a layer of the chicken masala and then another layer of rice. Garnish with slices of lime, cumin, and garam masala (or allspice). Top off with a few drops of saffron essence and egg yellow food color. (Sprinkle a little bit of oil on top – optional)

Step 7: Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Take out of the oven and indulge.

Thanks Mom!!


2 thoughts on “Biryani Without Shan Masala

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