Yup. This is for all those kids who can’t touch/ handle the smell of raw whole chicken, don’t have time to cook between their lattes and avocado toast(=P), but still want biryani on Fridays like back home. I got you. Jk. I kid. This boneless chicken biryani is perfect for picky eaters, and I happen to know a whole lot of them. This always comes to the rescue, even though I’m a traditionalist who likes fighting over the best boti in the biryani. I’ve started making this to keep the peace.
This is the easiest version of biryani and you will love it, and you will make it.
Here’s what you need for about 3-5 people:
2 cups rice soaked for about 15-20 minutes
1 pound boneless chicken cubes
1/3-1/2 cup oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 Tblspns yogurt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder (add less if you wish)
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp crushed coriander seeds
1/2 tsp salt
4-6 whole peppercorns
1 black alaichi
1 inch piece cinnamon stick
2 whole dried chillies
1-2 Tblspns Shan biryani masala (I prefer sindhi biryani)
2-3 green chillies, chopped
2-3 Tblspns lemon juice
Start by boiling a huge pot of water and par boiling the rice. That means boil it till it still has a bite to it, al dente to be exact. You can add salt, whole peppercorns and zeera/cumin seeds to the water for the rice. Drain the rice and set aside.
Then in a pan add the oil and sliced onions and sauté till golden brown. In a chopper/blender add the roughly chopped tomatoes, the yogurt, and fish out the fried onions and add them too. Keep the oil in the pan because you’ll use it in just a moment.
Once everything is blended add it back to the oil and add all the seasoning and whole spices. The Shan masala is optional, but it adds that nostalgic aroma to the biryani, and that’s why you’re making it in the first place, right?
Cook the blended masala, stirring occasionally, till the oil separates and the color has deepened. At this point add the boneless chicken cubes, stir and cover to cook for about 5-7 minutes, till the chicken cooks through.
Then it’s all about the layers. Get a large enough pot to fit the chicken and the rice. Layer half the chicken and masala on the bottom, top with half the rice, then chicken then rice. You can also add sliced lemons and coriander leaves along with the sliced green chillies between the layers. Pour about 1/2 cup water with some lemon juice added over the rice. Then cover the pot, turn the stove on low and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until steam starts escaping the lid.
For the perfect combination, make a bowl of Raita. Chop some onions, tomatoes and cucumbers. Add to some yogurt. Add cumin powder, salt, black pepper and chili powder. Top with coriander leaves and eat!