A dish that you will definitely find listed on the menu of almost all Indian restaurants, irrespective of which part of the country you are in. Different regions use different ingredients, yet the dish we are talking about is the glorious 'Biryani' Varying in cooking styles and techniques, spices and cuts of the meat, the variety of rice grain used and not to forget the condiments that are served along with, Chicken Biryani is that ultimate comfort food all non vegetarians reach out for be a celebration or dealing with a not so good day.
Chicken Biryani as we all know is a combination of rice cooked with chicken and spices, sounds so simple, but not so. The complexity of the infusing the flavours takes some effort.
From using varieties of rice, be it the basmati, jeera samba rice or even the gobindo bhog rice, the rice grain chose is of great importance as that's what gives the biryani, its character.
Next is the meat cut chosen, whether its with chicken on the bone or boneless. If it's on the bone, meatier pieces are chosen, and not to forget how the meat on the bone actually lends more flavour to the biryani. One can choose from only leg pieces if they wish or like most people do, is uses big pieces of the entire chicken. Unusually enough, even a chicken keema biryani made of minced chicken tastes equally great.
Now that the rice grain and meat cut is chosen, the spices and ingredients used for the masala are equally important. Spices play a huge role in the flavour profile of the biryani. The most common ones used are cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, bay leaf, whole black peppercorns, stone flower, nutmeg and mace. The combination of spices change according to the region it is cooked in.
Needless to say that ginger, garlic, onions and tomatoes are a standard addition in almost all biryanis wherever you go.
While some biryanis predominantly use a green masala that includes coriander and mint leaves with green chillies for the heat, like the chicken donne biryani other chose red chillies and other spice combinations that not only lend colour but a brilliant flavour to the biryani
Th cooking technique too makes a difference ! While some cook the rice and whole spices separately and then layer the meat and rice, and finally slow cook the biryani on "dum" as we call it, others cook the rice and the meat together.
The Lucknowi make their biryanis different from the Hyderabadi's and the biryani tastes different from the one made Calcutta style to the one made down South.
So much that goes into this biryani meal that is always satisfying.
So here's a round up of all the chicken biryanis that you can chose from and cook for your family and friends this weekend !