Hara masala murg biryani

Hara masala murg biryani is flavoured with herbs and spices. I prefer making my biryani spicy and I add more masala according to my taste. Hara masala murg biryani (green masala chicken biryani) is different from other kinds of biryani as the chicken is marinated with a green paste made with mint leaves, coriander leaves and green chillies. The method I followed for this recipe is pakki biryani (meat is pre-cooked, rice is layered on top and cooked).

There are so many variations in biryani. This time I thought of making biryani with a change in the marinade. The green chillies I used are not very hot, so I have added more but you can reduce according to your liking.

Ingredients

  • Chicken - 750 gms
  • For marinade (paste)

  • Green chillies – 10
  • Mint leaves - 1 cup or handful (15 to 20 gms)
  • Coriander leaves – 1 cup or handful (15 to 20 gms)
  • Ginger and garlic paste (home made) – 3 tbsp
  • Salt - as required
  • Gravy

  • Oil or ghee - 3/4 cup
  • Bay leaves – 3
  • Cloves - 7
  • Cinnamon stick - 3 (2 inch size)
  • Green cardamom – 5
  • Onion (sliced) – 450 gms
  • Tomatoes (big, roughly chopped) – 2
  • Curd – 1 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder (freshly ground) – 2 tbsp
  • For rice

  • Rice – 500 gms
  • Water - 2 litres or as required
  • Salt - as required
  • Layering

  • Mint (chopped) – few
  • Coriander leaves (chopped) – few
  • Biryani masala (home made, optional) – 1 tsp
  • Lemon juice – 2 lemons or 4 tbsp
  • Oil/ghee - 3 tbsp

Method

  • Slice the onions.
  • Chop the tomatoes roughly or you can just crush with hand directly into the curry when making the curry.
  • Chop mint and coriander leaves (with its stalk). Keep 1/3rd of it separate for the layering/garnishing later.
  • Making the green paste

  • Grind the mint leaves, coriander leaves, salt and green chillies to a paste and mix it with ginger and garlic paste. Keep it ready.
  • Marination

  • Mix chicken, green paste and salt in a wide bowl.
  • Refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight.
  • Cooking chicken gravy

  • Take a big utensil add oil, when it gets hot add bay leaf and the all whole spices, then add onions and fry till it is soft and brown, it will take 15 - 20 mins. You can close the lid and cook it.
  • When the onions are cooked to golden brown, add marinated chicken and left over marinade also, mix well and cook for 3 to 4 mins, roast it with the onions.
  • Add curd, mix it, then add the coriander powder and the chopped tomatoes, mix well. Close the lid and cook until it becomes like a curry, it will take 20 to 25min. Stir carefully making sure you do not break the chicken pieces. You can check in between and stir it. Add salt as per taste. You can see that gravy colour is not reddish in colour but pale green colour.
  • When the chicken is cooked, add salt, mix well, cook for 5 mins and then simmer further for about 10 minutes and now you can see oil forming on the top. It should not be too thin or too thick. The gravy should be adequate for the rice, while mixing.
  • Cooking rice

  • Soak the rice in water for about 1/2 hr.
  • When the water starts boiling, add rice and salt. Boil for about 6 to 7 mins only. The rice has to be cooked about 80%. Rinse under cold tap water to stop further cooking.
  • While boiling, do not stir very often as the grains may break. The grains after cooking will be longer, but still raw.
  • Mixing gravy and rice (layering/dum stage)

  • When steam starts to come from the chicken (chicken is heated up nicely), add the rice, which is half cooked. Spread evenly on the heated marinated chicken.
  • Add biryani masala, mint, coriander leaves lemon juice and oil. Instead of oil, you can add a few drops of ghee on rice, evenly.
  • Dum

  • Heat the vessel in which you have layered the biryani for 5 mins or until you see a little steam escaping from the sides. Alternatively just keep your hand near the rice to check whether it is getting hot or not.
  • If you are able to see some steam, from that point onwards cook for about 4 mins on medium heat with the lid quickly closed with aluminium foil (to seal the steam from escaping). Simmer for about 15-20 mins.
  • The sign of whether the biryani is cooked and ready is when you can smell its aroma from the nearby rooms.
  • Switch off and let it rest for 15 mins. Do not open the lid immediately because the steam inside the vessel will continue to cook the biryani.
  • When the biryani is cooked, you need to be careful while serving. Take the biryani out with a wide spoon or a saucer slowly from one side to prevent the rice grains from breaking.
  • Serve it with raitha or mirchi ka saalan (chilli curry) or brinjal curry (chutney) or with chicken 65 as a side dish.

Notes

  • You can reduce the chillies if you do not eat spicy food or your chillies are very hot.
  • Rice should only be 3/4th cooked, the grain might have become longer than its usual size, but when pressed with fingers you should feel that is not fully cooked. While cooking the rice you can add few drops of oil or vinegar also. While draining, wash it under cold water to keep the rice grain separate.
  • Biryani masala - you can buy ready made or just powder 1 star nice, green cardamom 2, cloves 3 and dagad phool(optional) 3 tsp. 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, no need to add water. 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. 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.
  • Mix colour with 2 tbsp of water or with milk and put on rice. Saffron can be used instead of colour. You can even just sprinkle the colour on biryani.
  • For making any biryani, you can maintain from 2:1 to 1:1 chicken to rice ratio. For example, you can use 500 gms to 1 kg of chicken for 500 gms of rice. Obviously, you need to adjust the spices appropriately.
  • Biryani vessel can be sealed with the lid by using a wheat dough and then dum can be given on a low flame.

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