I have adapted this recipe from my in-law's family recipe served every eid. The recipe looks complicated, sorry if it is difficult to read...I promise you that it is extremely easy to cook, though.
This dish is simple but has several steps. The first couple of steps can be done a day ahead of serving. You can actually make the whole gravy a day ahead and add it to the rice the next day, as well.
1 chicken skinned, bone-in, and cut into small-medium pieces
1/2 cup dried channa daal (one cup cooked)
|Ingredients assembled for the gravy|
2.5 heaping table spoons garam masala
1 heaping tsp red chile powder
3-4 whole dried red chiles
15 aloo bukharay (dried plums from Indo-Pak market)
1/4 cup water
salt to taste
3 tbs oil
3 cups basmati rice
1 tbs ghee or butter
some whole garam masale: 3 bay leaves, 10 black pepper corns, 5 cloves, 5 green cardamom, 2 big black cardamom, 1-2 shards of cinnamon bark, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds
The daal: soak 1/2 cup channa daal for one hour. Boil water with daal a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then keep on a low flame for 20 minutes. Strain from water. You should have just tender whole channa daal. Keep aside.
The tali hui pyaaz: Thinly slice 3 onions and fry until light reddish brown. Strain from oil and grind (crush or put in a grinder). Mix 1/2 of the ground fried onion with 1 tsp garam masala and keep aside.
The aloo bukharay: soak in water for about 10 minutes before adding them into the gravy. Strain before you add them into the gravy.
Now to make the gravy:
|Alu bukhara soaking in water for a few minutes|
|Finished gravy ready to be layered with rice|
Dum dad dum dum dum: The rice (this works for any biryani rice and is called the "dum" method):
Soak the rice for 1/2 hour. In the mean while boil a pot of water with the whole garam masalas. Allow to boil for 10 minutes to extract the garam masala flavor. I cheat sometimes and nuke the water with the whole garam masalas in the microwave on high for 4-5 minutes to get out all that garam masala flavor. Strain the water, keep the garam masalay to the side, return the water to a pot, and allow it to return to the boil. You may add in a few of the strained garam masalay such as the bay leaves, cinnamon, and cardamom into the water for looks. Or keep it out if you want and just throw the strained garam masalay away. You should salt the water double the amount you normally would for 3 cups of boiled rice because you will par-boil the rice al dente like pasta, and throw away the water, so the rice will be bland if it doesn't absorb enough salt.
Okay, now that your garam masala seasoned water is boiling, strain the soaking rice and add it to the boiling water. Keep the colander ready in the sink. Allow the water to return to a boil and let it boil away for 3.5 minutes. Watch the beautiful basmati. kernels lengthen. Now strain the rice. Quickly add 1 tbs ghee or butter to the bottom of a deep pot. Keep the ground onion and garam masala mixture on hand. Add in the strained rice, sprinkling it with the fried onion and garam masala mixture, then a layer of rice, then more onion garam masala mixture. Turn up the flame to high and cover the pot. After two minutes of high flame, put the flame to the lowest possible point and cook the pot of rice for 20 minutes. Turn off the flame. Allow the rice to rest for about 10 minutes before you mess with it further to avoid the kernels breaking.
For a party you can put the rice in a large platter and spread the chicken gravy on top of it. Alternatively you can layer the rice and chicken gravy like a biriani (as shown in the pic). It is up to you.
I hope you enjoy!