Lucknowi Dum Biryani: The word Biryani is derived from 'Persian' language. Biryani is classified in to two main groups one is Kacchi Biryani in which the meat is kept uncooked and the other one cooked meat is used to make biryani that is called Pakki Biryani. This 'Awadhi Dum Biryani' that is otherwise called 'Lucknowi Biryani' belongs to Pakki type that is cooked meat is used to prepare this biryani.

Here i have shared 'Awadhi Chicken Biryani' you could make the same version with Mutton too. But have to cook the meat for longer time till it cooks well. It is similar to Hyderabadi Pakki Biryani, but it varies from that because of its spiciness and richness in taste.We donot add green chillies for this biryani as it is less spicy and we do add some cream or cashewnut paste with the chicken for the richness in taste and also a thickening agent. I got this recipe from NDTV cooking program hosted by Aditya Bal.

Awadhi Chicken Biryani

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Cuisine: Awadhi (Uttar Pradesh)
Makes: 5-6

Basmathi Rice-  3 cups
Chicken/ Mutton, cut in to pieces- 1 kg (I used one whole chicken)
Shah jeera/ Normal Jeera- 1 teaspoon
Whole garam masala (cinnamon, clove, green cardamom, black cardamom, star anise, bay leaf) - each 3 nos
Salt- to taste
Onion, chopped lengthwise-2
Ginger garlic paste- 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Chilli powder- 3 teaspoons
Garam masala powder- 1 teaspoon+sprinkle while layering
Cashew nut paste- from 10 nos (or) fresh cream- 2 tablespoons
Yogurt/curd- 1 cup
Ghee/ Butter- 6-8 teaspoons
Coriander and mint leaves- handful (optional)
Milk- 1/4 cup
Saffron/ Turmeric powder/ Food colour- 1/2 teaspoon
Oil- 1 cup (to fry the onions)

Awadhi Chicken Biryani

  • Soak the saffron in warm milk i have added some turmeric powder too in the milk.
  • Soak the cashew nuts in hot water for 10-15 minutes and grind as a smooth thick paste with a dash of water using a blender.
  • Meantime fry the onions in a cup of oil till golden. Do not over cook the onions overcooked onions tastes slightly bitter and change the taste of the chicken masala; drain the fried onion from oil using slotted spoon and set aside.
  • In deep bowl keep the cut chicken, half of the fried onion, 1/2 a cup of onion fried oil, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala powder, coriander and mint leaves, cashew nut paste, yogurt and salt.
  • Mix well all the ingredients and allow to marinate for half an hour to one hour minimum.
  • While the meat is soaking, Soak the rice in water for about 10 minutes. In a big vessel add water and allow to boil and add the rice, whole garam masala (cinnamon, clove, green cardamom, black cardamom, star anise, bay leaf) and cook with salt. Once it is half cooked drain the excess water and  spread the rice in a flat plate and allow to cool.
  • In a big nonstick sauce pan or heavy bottom vessel transfer the marinated chicken and switch on the gas.
  • The mixture starts to cook and forms a gravy. ( In case if you make this with mutton, cover it with a lid and cook till the meat get tender (or) even you could pressure cook the meat and transfer to the sauce pan).
  • Chicken cooks within 10 minutes in the gravy. If you have added more yogurt the gravy turns so watery so reduce a little if you added more.
  • Switch off the gas if needed and layer the half of the cooked rice and spread some coriander and mint leaves, fried onions and sprinkle some gram masala, jeera and ghee.(If you are cooking for huge quantity take some cooked chicken with some gravy and keep on top of this layer. I have not done and it is optional)
  • Keep another layer by adding remaining half of the cooked rice and drizzle  the saffron milk in circular motion and add some ghee on top.
  • Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil (or) dough (atta+water) to seal the vessel to keep it air tight.
  • Keep some weight over the pan to seal the edges well to retain the aroma inside the pan.
  • Heat a tawa well and place the sauce pan over the tawa and cook for 40 minutes in medium flame. If you have very slow flame you could cook directly on stove top too (or) microwave or cook inside the gas oven.
  • Serve the biryani with raita or salan.
Lucknowi Biryani