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Chicken biryani with alubukhara

Chicken biryani with alu bukhara is very unusual and different for me. In my biryani , I have used dry fruits and nuts but never tried with alu bukhara (dried prunes). I tasted this biryani in london in a pakistani restaurant near my place and I was surprised to see that dried prune, which was giving me sweat and sour taste, I thought it to be tamarind , as it was having a tamarind type seed and in dark colour. Alubukhara (dried prune) is a fruit which is dried and used in cookings. I used to have it when I was pregnant, because of its sweat and sour taste. If you are in Chennai , I think if you visit near triplicane or where there are some local grocery shops or any muslims grocery shop, they can guide you. After having that biryani in a Pakistani restaurant, I have decided to make my own biryani with alubukara for a change. As we all love biryani , and we should taste all types of biryani for a change. The spices and other ingredients which we use in biryani are the same, only difference is alu bukhara (dried prunes) and potatoes are used. I have made this biryani spicy and masala type as usual, as per my taste. If you do not want it to be spicy then add less chilli and can make mild biryani as per the taste. Always we say that 1kg biryani can be eaten by 6 to 7 people but it depends how hungry we are. You can add your own spices and garam masala in the biryani. If any spice is unavailable to you, you can omit it and make biryani, you will get some new and other taste. My alu Bukhara if you see in the picture is quite big , but in india the size will be small. You get different prunes from different countries. I think it is imported from israil . I have cooked this biryani in the style of pakki biryani, which I have already described you in detail about it. It is just cooking the meat from raw with other spices and giving it dum.

Ingredients

  • Chicken (medium size pieces) – 1 kg
  • Salt – as per requirement
  • Marinade

  • Chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt – as required
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Gravy

  • Oil or ghee – 3/4 cup
  • Onion (big) – 4
  • Cloves – 3
  • Javithri – 1
  • Cinnamon sticks – 2 (1 inch size)
  • Green cardamoms – 3
  • Bay leaf – 2
  • Star nice – 1
  • Black cardamom – 1
  • Black cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Tomatoes (chopped) – 4
  • Green chillies – 7
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 3 tsp
  • Dried prune (alu bukhara) – 12
  • Mint leaves – 15 to 20gms
  • Coriander leaves – 20gms
  • Water – 1cup
  • Curd – 1cup (thick)
  • Garam masala – 1/2tsp
  • Biryani masala – 1tsp (home made)
  • Jaifal and javithri powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Potatoes – 2 (big)
  • Rice

  • Green cardamom – 3
  • Cloves – 3
  • Javithri – 1
  • Cinnamon stick – 1(1inch)
  • Black cardamom – 1
  • Black pepper – 1/2tsp
  • Black cumin seeds – 1/2tsp
  • Starnice – 1
  • Layering

  • Biryani masala – 1/2tsp
  • Jaifal and javithri – a pinch
  • Mint leaves – few
  • Coriander leaves – few
  • Colour (biryani colour) – a pinch
  • Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Kewra (optional) – 2 tbsp
  • For raitha

  • Onion – 1
  • Tomato – 1
  • Green chillies 2
  • Mint – few
  • Coriander leaves – few
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Curd – 1 cup

Method

    Raitha

  • First chop the vegetables and put it in bowl.
  • Add salt and mix it well , lightly smash it all the ingredients , with your hand.
  • I sometimes add 1tsp of lemon juice to give sour taste, mix it well then add curd.
  • Now add curd and mix it well, can add little water , if the curd is thick.
  • Serve it with biryani.
  • Biryani

  • Soak dried prunes in hot water and keep it aside for 1/2hr or more.
  • Slice the onions and keep it aside.
  • Chop mint and coriander leaves with its stem roughly and keep it aside.
  • My curd is very thick, if it is thin use 1 1/2 cup curd.
  • Cut the tomatoes and potatoes into big chunks or just four pieces.
  • Marinate

  • Marinate the chicken with chilli powder, salt, turmeric powder and ginger garlic paste for 4hrs or overnight also.
  • Cooking gravy with chicken

  • Now take a big utensil, add oil/ghee, let it get warm, then add sliced onions and cook till it is golden brown and soft by closing the lid, it will take 15 to 20min, in between keep stirring the onions in the oil/ghee.
  • After frying the onions well, take some 1/4th of fried onions and keep it aside (for layering or garnishing).
  • Now add chopped tomatoes, ginger and garlic paste, all whole spices, stir it well and close the lid and cook till the tomatoes are soft and smashed well. Stir it in between.
  • Now add chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, green chillies (2) chopped, alu Bukhara, water 1/2cup, so that the spices are not burnt.
  • Let it cook for 5 to 7min till it forms like thick masala type and it starts leaving oil slightly. Roast it well.
  • Now add 1/2cup curd, 1/2the mint leaves and coriander leaves mix well and cooks till it forms like gravy and all the spices are cooked well, it will take 10min.
  • Now add the marinated chicken pieces, curd, slit remaining chillies mix it well.
  • Then add remaining mint leaves, coriander leaves keeping few for the last layering of the rice.
  • After adding chicken pieces, add garam masala, biryani masala, 1/2cup water, jaifal and javithri powder, stir it well and close the lid.
  • Cook till the chicken is well cooked and forms like gravy and oil starts floating on top. Stir it well.
  • It will take 20 to 25 minutes to cook, in between stir the gravy, so that it is not burnt below the vessel.
  • Now simmer the gravy by adding salt, till your rice is ready, it will take 10 to 15min.
  • You can see that chicken is cooked well and the gravy is ready to mix with the adequate rice.
  • You can see in the picture that, alu bhukhara is cooked well, it has become very soft and well blended with the gravy.
  • Cooking rice

  • In mean while, when the gravy is in simmer, cook the rice 3/4 with whole spices and required amount of water (5 to 6 cups) and salt, keep it aside.
  • When you press the rice with your 2 fingers, rice in between it, rice will be still hard not soft and the grain will be long than its usual size during cooking, that time drain the rice and keep it aside. It is still raw. It will take 10 to 12 min, the total time (cooking with cold water).
  • Cook the rice when you simmer the gravy or can be made in advance and kept aside.
  • Now, layering is done.
  • Mixing gravy and rice (layering/dum stage)

  • First when the gravy is ready and the rice, you should see whether the gravy is adequate for the half cooked rice or not.
  • If the gravy is more, cook for sometime by keeping the lid open, so that the liquid can be reduced, keep stirring, otherwise the rice can become very soft and smashed type also.
  • If the gravy is very little then, it will not be adequate to mix the rice.
  • Now put the rice on the gravy, spread it, and layers it with fried onion on top of the rice.
  • Put all the other remaing ingredients, now sprinkle colour, biryani masala, jaifal and javithri powder, mint leaves, coriander leaves, milk and spread evenly and close the lid tightly and simmer it and keep it for dum for 25min to 30min. We call this process as a dum also, as rice is cooked in simmer. Switch it off, let it rest closed.
  • While giving dum or simmering you can keep a flat tava below the vessel and simmer it to avoid the burning of rice. after sometime open the lid and take the biryani out with a wider spoon, mixing slowly from one side only. mix it from downwards, from sides, so that gravy and rice is mixed well. As soon as you open the lid you can see that full flavour and aroma comes from the biryani, while the rice is in dum.
  • Serve with raitha (curd mixture), chicken 65, brinjal curry.

Notes

  • You can reduce the chillies if you do not eat spicy food or if your chillies are very hot.
  • Rice should be only 3/4 cooked. The grain might have become longer than its usual size, but when pressed with fingers it is not cooked fully. While cooking the rice you can add a few drops of oil or vinegar. While draining wash it under cold water to keep the rice grains separated. Otherwise when the chicken is almost cooked and is simmering, cook the rice and add to the gravy during layering. There is no need to keep the rice aside also. Immediately you can do this after cooking rice.
  • You can buy biryani masala or just powder 1 starnice, 2 green cardamoms, 3 cloves and dagad phool (optional) 3tsp. It will be like kasoori methi leaves with some small sticks or just put some garam masala on top. View my biryani masala recipe.
  • The gravy quantity should be such that it should be enough for the rice when you mix it.
  • While making gravy, can avoid water also, as when marinated chicken is added, it leaves Water, to form a gravy consistency.
  • If you want to reduce the oil, then reduce it, its your wish. but the onion has to be roasted in oil or ghee well.
  • Carefully add salt for the gravy and rice also. divide the salt quantity and put, it will be easy for you.
  • Whenever I grind 300 gms ginger and 300 gms garlic paste,I have grounded with whole spice. View my ginger and garlic paste recipe. But in this biryani I have added plain ginger and garlic paste.
  • Mix colour with 2 tbsp of water or with milk also and put on rice. Saffron can be used instead of colour or can just like that sprinkle on biryani. You can sprinkle few drops of lemon juice if you wish.
  • Always whenever biryani is cooked equal amount of chicken rice is taken,or 1 kg chicken for 500 gm rice.
  • If you are not having jaifal and javithri powder can avoid (I have grounded jaifal and javithri powder with few green cardamoms.
  • If you are not having biryani masala, you can omit it, as we have added whole spices and garam masala in the biryani, but the taste can differ.

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