Chicken Biryani with potato, dried prunes (alu bhikhara) or dried plums and lemon wedges is very unusual and different for us. In my Biryani, I have used dry fruits and nuts but never tried with potatoes and 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.
Alu bukhara (dried prune) is a fruit which is dried and used in cookings. Prunes are actually the dried version of European plums and it is a part of plum family. Dried plum fruits are known as dried plums or dried prunes. But I always get different types of alu bhukhara (dried plum or dried prune), sometimes small or big, sometimes light brown in colour or in dark colour, but both had different taste. But real alu bhukhara should be in light brown colour, which should be like fresh dried tamarind colour. Can see in my prawns biryani with dill leaves and dried prunes recipes. As the dried prunes which I have used in this chicken biryani are quite big and fleshy, as I didn’t get small dried prunes, but gave me different taste.
I used to have it when I was pregnant, because of its sweat and sour taste. If you are in Chennai (India) , 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 in uk, I have decided to make Biryani with spices in my cupboard and alu bukara for a change and also I consulted one of my friend who make biryani with alu bhukhara.
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.
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. As in this biryani potatoes, alu bhukhara(dried prunes and dried plums), chicken, lemon wedges are involved, this biryani can be called as sindhi biryani also, but soon I will post sindhi biryani too.
- Chicken (medium size pieces) - 1200 grams
- Salt - as per requirement
- Oil or ghee – 3/4 cup
- Onion (big) - 4 or 700 gms
- Cloves - 5
- Cinnamon sticks (1 inch size) - 3
- Green cardamoms – 4
- Bay leaves - 2
- Star anise – 2
- Black cardamom – 1
- Black cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Tomatoes (chopped) - 4
- Green chillies (slit) - 10
- Ginger and garlic paste - 4 tbsp
- Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
- Chilli powder – 1 tbsp
- Curd – 1 1/2 cup
- Mint leaves (roughly chopped) – 1 1/2 cups
- Coriander leaves (roughly chopped) - 1 cups
- Kewra water – 2 tbsp
- Green cardamom powder – 1 tsp
- Mace and nutmeg powder – 1/2 tsp
- Alu bhukhara (dried prunes) – 12 to 15
- Rice - 3 1/2 to 4cups or 700 gms
- Cloves - 2
- Green cardamom - 2
- Black cumin seeds (optional) - 1 tsp
- Water - as required (approx 5 to 6 cups)
- Colour – a pinch
- Curd – 2 tbsp
- Milk – 1/3 cup
- Kewra water – 2 tbsp
- Mint – 1/2 cup
- Coriander leaves – 1/2 cup
- Fried onions - 1/4 cup
- Lemon slices or wedges – 2
- Slice the onions and lemon, slit green chillies, chop tomatoes and potatoes to medium size.
- Chop coriander leaves with its stalk roughly and keep it ready.
Cooking gravy with chicken
- Take a big utensil, add oil/ghee, let it get warm, add onions and fry by closing the lid, till it is soft and brown in Colour. It will take 10-12min.
- After frying the onions well, take some 1/4th cup fried onions and keep it aside (for layering or garnishing).
- Now add whole spices ,ginger and garlic paste, stir soon for 30sec, then add chicken pieces, stir well for 3min.
- Add turmeric powder, chilli powder mix well for 2min, then add curd, tomatoes, mix well, cook for 10min and stir well.
- Add potatoes, mint, coriander leaves and green chillies, alubhukhara (dried prunes or dried plums), mix well.
- Close the lid and cook till, it becomes like a curry (15-20min), stir carefully, do not, break the chicken pieces. You can check in between and stir it. Add salt as per taste.
- When the chicken is cooked and gravy type is formed, add kewra water, green cardamom, mace and nutmeg, mix well and simmer it for 10min.
- After 10min, chicken curry starts leaving oil and the curry (gravy) should not be too thin nor thick, gravy should be adequate for the rice, while mixing.
- In mean while, cook the rice 3/4th with required amount of water (5cups to 6cups) 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.
- If you want you can add few whole spices in it also (like cloves, green cardamom, black cumin seeds) and 1tbsp oil.
- Cook the rice when you simmer the gravy or can be made in advance and kept aside.
- Now, layering is done. Take some gravy with the chicken pieces and keep aside.
Mixing gravy and rice (layering)
- Before layering, take a bowl add colour, curd, milk, kewra, a pinch of salt, mix well and keep it ready.
- Now, first layering, put some rice on chicken gravy in the vessel with few fried onions on top, then second layering, put chicken gravy which you kept aside, spread evenly, then rice again, put all other ingredients now, sprinkle green cardamom powder, mace and nutmeg powder, curd mixture, spread evenly.
- Arrange lemon wedges or slices evenly, sprinkle mint leaves, coriander leaves, and fried onions also, ghee 3tbsp , spread evenly and close the lid tightly and simmer it for 25 to 30min, or till the rice is fully cooked. 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 10 to 15min, 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), brinjal curry and chicken 65.
- You can reduce the chillies if you do not eat spicy food or your chillies are very hot.
- While cooking the rice, you can add a few drops of oil. While draining, wash it under cold water to keep the rice grains separate.
- The quantity of gravy should be such that it should be enough for the quantity of rice when you mix them.
- There is no need to add water while making gravy. When marinated chicken is added, it leaves water to form a gravy consistency.
- If you want to reduce the oil/ghee, then you can reduce it. Its your wish. But the onion has to be roasted in oil or ghee well.
- The quantity of salt needs to take into account both the gravy and rice.
- Whenever I grind 300gms ginger and 300gm garlic paste, I have grounded with whole spice. View my ginger and garlic paste recipe.
- Saffron can be used instead of colour or can just like that sprinkle on biryani. Can sprinkle few drops of lemon juice also, if you wish.
- Always whenever biryani is cooked equal amount of chicken and rice is taken, or 1kg chicken for 500gm rice or as per your requirement you can add.