Sunday, June 09, 2013

Handi Biryani

"Handi" is a type of cookware used mainly in Indian & Pakistani cuisine. Handi Biryani, Handi chicken, etc., are the very popular dishes I have heard and seen. Personally, I don't eat meat so I don't know how it will taste; but I cook meat for my beloved hubby & kids. I cook biryani in the usual way everyone does. This time I wanted to cook biryani in a different method. While browsing the internet I came across the Handi biryani recipe & decided to try. But I didn't have Handi so I used my usual biryani pot to make this beautiful Handi Biryani.
Warning: please don't get scared off the lengthy list of ingredients & methods.


One heartful of love, peaceful mind, & willingness to cook are the key ingredients which will make your biryani extra special!

Biryani Masala
Green cardamom - 5
Black Cardamom - 1
Bay leaf - 6small or 2 big
Peppercorns - 1tsp
Cinnamon sticks - 1 big piece
Star anise - 2
Cloves - 5
Mace - 1tsp
Cumin powder - 2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4tsp

To Marinate
Lime juice - 1 small 
Yogurt - 2 tbsp 
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Mint leaves - one handful
Coriander leaves - one handful
Green chillies - 3 or 4 numbers
Salt - to taste

Chicken - 600gms
Rose Essence/water - 1/2 tbsp
Kewra Essence/water - 1 /2tbsp
Fried Onion - one handful
Saffron - 1 tsp
Milk - 1 tbsp
Basmati Rice - 1 and 1/2 cup
Shahi Jeera - 1 tsp
Water - 5 cups


Chicken Marination
1. Prepare powder using the ingredients mentioned under the Biryani Masala.
2. Chop roughly coriander & mint leaves. 
3. Grind the ginger,garlic and green chillies into fine paste. 
           When all the ingredients are ready, wash and cut chicken into big chunks.
4. Take the cut chicken in a bowl; to that add biryani masala powder, chopped coriander & mint leaves, ginger-garlic paste, lime juice, yogurt, oil and salt. Mix well, cover & keep it in fridge overnight. Marinated chicken to be soaked in spices at least for 3 hours if not overnight.
5. Bring the marinated chicken to room temperature if kept in fridge before cooking biryani.

Basmati Rice cooking method
6. Wash and soak basmati rice for one hour before making biryani.
7. Soak saffron in warm milk.
8. Boil 5 cups of water add oil, salt, and shahi jeera. Check for salt and adjust as per taste.
9. Drain the excess water from the soaked rice and add it to the boiling water; cook until the rice is 65% done.
Switch off the stove & drain the water.

Biryani final stage cooking:
10. Take Handi or heavy bottomed cookware; place the marinated chicken at the bottom of the dish. 
11. Add semi cooked & drained basmati rice on top of the chicken and spread it evenly.
12. Evenly sprinkle fried onion; drizzle the saffron-milk, rose essence/water, kewra essence/water,  and ghee (if preferred) on top.
13. If you have chapathi dough, stick it on the sides of the Handi/cook pot lid to create a tight seal of the lid on the cook pot. If you don't have chapathi dough, keep a weight on top of the lid.
14. Cook the biryani on high flame/heat for 5 mins; reduce the flame/heat to very low & place the biryani pot/handi on top of a frypan. Let it cook for 30 mins. 
15. Switch off the stove, wait 10 mins for the biryani to set. Open the lid carefully, mix the biryani very carefully.
Yummy Handi Biryani is ready to eat.

It is a time consuming preparation process. Keeping things ready before starting the preparation, will reduce the hassle. You can use the store bought biryani masala but make sure you add some freshly ground masala to enhance the biryani flavour.

Hope you enjoyed the recipe. Don't for get to post your comments.

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