A warmly spiced one pot meal with sizzling flavors and juicy bites of grilled chunky chicken tikka pieces that completely excites you!
Boneless chicken – 1 kg, cut into medium size pieces
Basmati rice – 3 cups
Onion -2, finely chopped
Tomatoes -2, finely chopped
Green chilies – 3, finely chopped
Yogurt – 3 tbsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 3 tbsp
Red chili powder – 3 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder – 1 tsp
Chicken tikka masala powder – 2 tsp (optional)
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Vinegar – 1 tsp
Cinnamon – 2″ inch
Cardamom – 5
Mint leaves – A small bunch, finely chopped (optional)
Fresh coriander leaves- A small bunch, finely chopped
Ghee/clarified butter- As needed
Oil- As needed
Salt – To taste
Water- As needed
Method: Clean, wash, and drain the chicken pieces. Marinate the chicken with half of the ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, lemon juice, and salt. Leave it aside for 2-3 hours or overnight. Heat a pan/tawa with few drops of oil. Add the marinated chicken and grill them in batches on low flame until half cooked. Prick each chicken piece with a fork or a skewer and place them over the direct flame to get the “tandoori smoky flavor” until the pieces have a “charred effect”. Repeat the process for all of the chicken pieces and keep it aside. You can also grill the chicken pieces to give more flavor.
Heat oil in a pan. Fry the whole spices until the aroma arises. Add the chopped onions and saute until golden brown and translucent. Add the green chilies and the remaining ginger-garlic paste and fry until the raw smell goes away. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until soft and mushy. Add the spice powders – turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, pepper powder, chicken tikka masala powder, and salt. Keep stirring on low flame until aromatic and the oil separates from all sides. Add the yogurt and mix well. To this, add the cooked chicken pieces and half of the chopped mint & coriander leaves and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook on low flame for 10-15 mins. Once cooked, switch off the flame.
Wash the rice thoroughly and soak for 30 mins in water. Heat a large heavy bottomed vessel filled with enough water. Bring to a boil. Add bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cardamom, vinegar, salt, and 2 drops of butter. Add the soaked rice and cook till the rice is 90% done. Drain the rice in a colander and keep it aside. In the same large vessel, sprinkle ghee generously all over. Add half of the chicken tikka masala as first layer. Spread half of the cooked rice. Sprinkle a few drops melted ghee. Add the chopped mint + cilantro leaves and a pinch of garam masala. Add the remaining chicken masala as the third layer followed by the remaining rice. Make some deep dents in the rice so that the steam can easily circulate. Pour some melted ghee over the rice and seal the vessel with a foil and a tight lid to avoid the steam from escaping. Cook on low-medium flame for 10-15 mins. Once the foil has puffed up due to the steam, switch off the gas and let the biryani stay covered for another 10 mins. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve hot with raita and pickle of your choice.