Lahori Charga Biryani

This mouthwatering, extremely rich, & flavorful dish is influenced by streets of Pakistan and Punjab. The chicken is marinated in spices and left overnight. It is then baked or steamed and deep fried to get a crispiness on the outer side of the chicken!

Basmati rice – 2 cups
Chicken – 1 kg, cut into medium size pieces
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Onions- 2, thinly sliced
Tomatoes – 2, finely chopped
Curd- 1/2 cup
Kashmiri red chili powder – 2 tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Black pepper powder – 1 tsp
Chaat masala – 1 tsp
Cardamom pods- 5 pods
Bay leaves – 2
Cinnamon stick – 1” stick
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves- A small bunch, finely chopped
Oil- As needed
Salt- To taste

Method: Clean, wash, & drain the chicken pieces. Marinate the chicken with 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste, 1/2 cup of oil, 1/2 tsp of lemon juice, 1/2 tsp of cumin powder, 1/2 tsp of pepper powder, 1/2 tsp of garam masala, 1 tbsp of red chili powder, 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp of chaat masala, & salt. Leave it aside for 30 mins or preferably overnight in the refrigerator.

Wash and drain the basmati rice. Boil 4 cups of water in a large vessel. Add 1/2 tsp of lemon juice, a pinch of turmeric powder, & salt to the boiling water & mix well. Add the drained basmati rice and cook until the rice is done. Drain and keep aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the marinated chicken into a baking tray. Bake for 25-30 mins. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven. Heat oil in a kadai and fry the chicken pieces until golden brown. Drain them onto a paper towel and keep aside. In the same oil, add the whole spices and fry until the aroma arises. Add the sliced onions and sauté until golden brown. Add the chopped tomatoes. Cook until they are soft and mushy. Add the remaining ginger-garlic paste and fry for 1 min until the raw smell goes away. Add the remaining spice powders and mix well. Fry until the oil starts to separate. Add the fried chicken pieces and mix well. Cook for 5 mins until the masala gets well coated with the chicken. Remove from flame.

In a biryani pot, add some rice as the bottom layer, sprinkle some coriander leaves, followed by a layer of the chicken masala, another layer of rice, some more of the coriander leaves, remaining chicken masala, and finally a layer of the rice. Garnish with leftover coriander leaves. Heat a tawa on medium flame. Place the biryani pot on the tawa and slow cook it on dum for 15-20 mins. Remove from flame and serve hot with raita of your choice. Enjoy!

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