Chicken Biryani Recipe- Cooked Calcutta Style

#1 Jul 24th, 2012, 17:14
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#1
Biryani.
The epitome of Indian cuisine.Much has been said and written about it - its history, legacy, types et al, but the point I am trying to make is - nothing on earth can beat a well cooked Dum Biryani. The choice is bound to vary, person to person, Biryani remains a cut above the rest.

Biryani has undergone several changes in the course of history and across India biryani is made in some unique methods - some use curry leaves, others use kewra water,some use coriander leaves etc. Thereby the names - Lucknowi Biryani, Calcutta styled Biryani, Hyderabadi Biryani, Dhaba - styled biryani etc. But broadly speaking biryani can be made by two methods:Pukki Biryani and Kacchi Biryani - the internet is abundant with information regarding it, so I wont elaborate much.

I have been making Pukki Biryani for more than 2 years now. And with time somehow managed to perfect the Calcutta style of biryani that distinguishes itself with the use of eggs and potato.
And now that the summer is gone, and the monsoon weather being relatively cool,I have started to spend time in the kitchen once again on weekends.Last Sunday morning, after a good night sleep, I was feeling quite relaxed and cool and thought about trying Biryani.

Most of the ingredients were at hand. All I had to do was buy some chicken and good quality Basmati rice. Remember, use the finest quality rice available in the market and cook at ease. Biryani is not something that is done in no time - it requires patience; its not a complicated dish but there are three phases involved:
1 - Preparation
2 - Cooking the chicken and parboiling the rice
3 - Mixing the chicken and rice to make the perfect biryani.

The recipe,ingredients and the quantities are meant for 5 people.

Phase I - The Preparation:

Ingredients:
1.Rice - 500 gm
2.Chicken - 1 kg
3.Onion - 200 gm.Made into a fine paste
4.Ginger - One 1 inch stick. Crushed.
5.Garlic - One 1 inch stick. Crushed.
6.Vegetable Oil - 2 tsp.
7.Salt, to taste.
8.Cumin powder
9.Kashmiri Mirch Powder
10.Coriander Powder
11.Tumeric Powder

Procedure
1.Soak the rice in water for 30-40 mins.
2.Prepare the chicken marinade by mixing above ingredients - 2 to 11. Keep aside for 2 hrs.

Phase II - Cooking the rice
Ingredients:
1.Biryani Spices: Jaiphal-1 pc,Joitri-1 pc,Sa jeera-2 pcs, Sa morich - 4-5,Kali mirch -8-10,Chota elaichi - 4 pcs, Black cardamon - 2-3 pcs, Cinnamon stick - Two 1 inch sticks
2.Ghee - 3-4 tsps

Procedure:
1. In a deep heavy bottomed kadai, pour water to 80% of the level and heat it until it boils.
2. Once boiling - add the biryani spices,salt and ghee. Then add the rice
3. Parboil the rice i.e. to say, 60-70% boiling and drain aside the water.
The parboiled-scented rice is ready. Keep aside.


Phase III - Cooking the chicken
Ingredients: 1 medium sized onion, garam masala powder - 1 tsp, Curd - 100 gms, whisked.
1. Prepare a chicken curry with a thick gravy. The usual chicken curry preparation will be just fine.Separate the chicken from the gravy and keep it aside.

Phase IV - Layering and the "Dum".Here comes the Biryani.
Ingredients:
1. Kewra Water - 1 drop
2. Rose Water - 1 drop
3. Meetha Itra - 1 drop
4. Ghee - 4 tsp. Melted.
5. Saffron strands soaked in hot milk.
6. Boiled Egg - Depends on the number of pieces.
7. Boiled Large Slice of Potato.
8. Chicken Pieces
9. Chicken Gravy
10.Parboiled Rice.

Procedure:
1. Coat a flat bottomed deep pan with some melted ghee.
2. Put a layer of chicken first
3. Then put a layer of rice. Add some saffron milk.potato slices and boiled egg.
4. Repeat the layering until the rice,chicken,eggs and potato is exhausted.
5. Now, add the ingredients - 1 -4.
6. Seal the pan with a cover and some atta.
7. Set the oven on Low(SIM) and place a thick plate on the oven. The Biryani pan will be put on top of the plate so that it does not face the direct heat.
8. Leave it aside for 30 mins for best results.

Serving: Keep the biryani sealed until the plates have been laid out to serve. This ensures that the flavours remain intact.

Note: There are several ways by which you can customize the biryani. Using brown fried onions, dry fruits not only enhance the flavour but give the biryani a rich look. But the philosohy of cooking should remain the same as mentioned above, else it might become a pulao.

Thats all for this week.Thanks for reading!
Attached Images
Chicken Biryani VII.jpg 
#2 Jul 24th, 2012, 17:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sayakchakraborty View Post Biryani.
The epitome of Indian cuisine.Much has been said and written about it - its history, legacy, types et al, but the point I am trying to make is - nothing on earth can beat a well cooked Dum Biryani. The choice is bound to vary, person to person, Biryani remains a cut above the rest.
Sayak da, that was an awesome writeup ! You writing style is engaging.

In 2003 we travelled to Kolkata and stayed around Park street area. That's where we tasted the 'Kolkata style biryani'. The zardaloo ie. sweet potato usage was an incredible experience.

If i remember correctly, the shop was located on Mirza Ghalib Street.

Scientifically, that is good starch with a low glycemic index. So,its good for health.

Overall, the Kolkata style biryani is much leaner and has very little oil/ghee. The roasted onions give it a distint taste.

Post Biryani, some Mishti Dohi will be yummy to eat.

Aabar Dekha Hobe.

Moderator Note:

Please provide a translation when using regional language. Thank you.
with warm regards
Saifi Khan.
#3 Jul 24th, 2012, 17:36
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#3
Wonderful Mouth watering recipe Thanks for sharing the recipe for such a delicacy
#4 Jul 24th, 2012, 17:40
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#4
This recipe looks great. For those of us who haven't had the benefit of a Kolkata upbringing could you elaborate a little bit?

Quote:
Phase III - Cooking the chicken
Ingredients: 1 medium sized onion, garam masala powder - 1 tsp, Curd - 100 gms, whisked.
1. Prepare a chicken curry with a thick gravy. The usual chicken curry preparation will be just fine.Separate the chicken from the gravy and keep it aside.
What is the usual method of preparing chicken curry? Thanks.
#5 Jul 24th, 2012, 17:42
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#5
Thanks for your kind comments!
#6 Jul 24th, 2012, 17:48
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#6
Thanks for sharing the recipe, sayakchakraborty! The photo is great - this looks so delicious!
#7 Jul 24th, 2012, 18:04
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#7

The Chicken Curry used in the Biryani

Dear Dave,
I am keeping the Chicken Curry recipe short and simple:

Ingredients:
  1. Chicken - 1 kg.Large cuts. Skinless.
  2. Onion - 250 gm. Half of it sliced and the remaining half made into a fine paste
  3. Ginger - A 1 inch slice. Paste.
  4. Garlic - 3-4 cloves. Paste.
  5. Cumin Powder(Jeera) - 1.5 tsp
  6. Coriander Powder(Dhaniya) - 2.5 tsp
  7. Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder(these are not that hot!) - 1 tsp. Used basically for the colour of the curry
  8. Turmeric Powder - 2 tsp.
  9. Salt - To taste.
  10. Vegetable Oil - 2 tb sp

Marinade:
Mix all the ingredients as mentioned above excepting the sliced onions and keep aside for 2 hrs.

Note:
]The marination time varies from person to person. I always love marination on the higher side.

Cooking:
Cooking Time:40-50 mins.
  1. Bay Leaf - 2 nos.
  2. Green Cardamon - 3-4 nos.
  3. Clove - 4-
  4. Cinnamon stick - One 1 inch stick
  5. Sliced onions - which were cut during the preparation phase.
  6. Vegetable Oil - 3-4 tbsp.
  7. Curd - 100 gms. Whisked.


Procedure:
1 - Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan
2 - Add the bay leaf along with the spices
3 - Once the spices start to crackle and a strong aroma evolves, add the onion slices. Some(less than 1/2 tsp) amount of sugar may be added for caramelization.
4 - The onion slices will gradually start to turn brown - and then add the entire portion of the chicken marinade.
5 - Turn the heat to high and stir continuously.
6 - Slowly, the colour of the mixture will turn to dark brown.
7 - When oil starts to separate from the mixture, the spices will start to release their flavours.
8 - Add salt and mix it well.Scrape the bottom of the pan, so that no curry ingredients stick to the surface.
9 - Lower down the heat now. Add 150 ml of warm water and cover pan with a lid.
10 - Let it cook for 20 mins. At the end of which, the chicken will turn soft and well boiled. I have always preferred super soft meat pieces.
11 - Remove the lid, add the whisked curd and stir up the ingredients so that it is uniform all through out.
12 - Give it 2 mins - more time will cause the curd to split - and shut down the oven.

Thats all it takes to create a "normal" chicken curry!
Last edited by sayakchakraborty; Jul 24th, 2012 at 18:05.. Reason: Formatting.
#8 Jul 24th, 2012, 18:09
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#8
Thanks for posting. We're definitely going to try this recipe. We will let you know how we get on.
#9 Jul 24th, 2012, 18:14
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#9
Yeah!
Will look forward to to your feedback!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave W View Post Thanks for posting. We're definitely going to try this recipe. We will let you know how we get on.
#10 Jul 24th, 2012, 19:54
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#10
Just impressed....Your mentioned recepie is the easiest one till now I have read .....I have tried Biryani few times ..those instructions were complicated...
Anyway I will advise my husband to get some inspiration from you ;-).

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