Nizami chicken biryani is a world-famous delicacy originated in Hyderabad. Biryani’s origin can be rooted in the royal kitchen when Mughal emperors ruled India. It is served as a main dish in dinner parties, lunch parties, in festivities and marriages.
Team it up with Nizami raita and any dessert of your choice like fruit custard, sheer khurma etc., for a complete full course meal.
Though making biryani looks like a big task, trust me, it’s not. You can make Nizami biryani in 4 simple steps: Marination, cooking the rice, layering and steaming.
Nizami chicken biryani / Hyderabadi Nizami Biryani
For layering and steaming
Wash and drain the chicken.
To the chicken add ginger-garlic paste, Red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, coriander powder, cumin powder, shah jeera, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, green chillies, coriander leaves, mint leaves, lemon juice. Mix well. Keep this aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a Kadai or wok and fry the onions in 240 ml oil until they turn golden in colour. Remove from oil and keep the deep-fried onions aside.
Add half of the deep-fried onions to the marinated chicken, along with curd, ghee and about 120 ml of the oil used for deep frying onions. (Keep the remaining oil to be used later for layering). Mix all the ingredients well and keep aside for 10 minutes. This is the marination for biryani.
Cooking the rice
Wash and soak the basmati rice for 15 minutes.
In a cooking pot add water, shah jeera, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, black peppercorns, ginger garlic paste, salt and ghee. Bring this to a bowl on high flame.
When the water starts boiling add the rice and cook on high flame until the rice is 65 per cent cooked.
Drain the rice using a colander. Keep this aside.
Soak saffron in the milk and keep aside. (optional)
Now in a cooking pot pour all the marination at the bottom. Add 1/3 of the cooked rice on the marinated chicken as the first layer.
Then add half of the coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chillies and deep-fried onions as the second layer.
Repeat the same with another 1/3 of the rice and rest of the coriander, mint, green chillies and deep-fried onions as the third and fourth layer respectively.
Top it up with the remaining 1/3 of rice.
Make 4-5 holes in the rice with the help of a spoon handle and add the remaining onion oil little by little in divided portions in all the holes. Then drizzle the ghee and saffron milk all over the top of rice.
Now cover the cooking pot with aluminium foil. Then place the lid on it. (Covering with aluminium foil ensures thorough trapping of heat inside and even cooking)
Place this on the stove on high flame. Place some heavyweight like a vessel filled with water, on to the lid of the cooking pot. (This ensures the steam doesn't escape out). Cook this on high flame for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes lower the flame to sim mode and cook for another 20 minutes.
Switch off the flame and do not open the lid for another 5-10 minutes.
That's it. Nizami biryani is ready. Mix little by little from the sides as required and serve hot with Nizami raita.