Biryani is synonymous with the word comfort meal for Indians. Various types of biryanis - involving different ingredients - are relished by people across the country. While biryani from the Andhra cuisine is a bit spicy, the one you commonly find on road sides in Delhi is medium spicy. Chicken, mutton, prawn, fish are the common meats that are found in non-vegetarian biryani. Vegetarian biryani has an assortment of vegetables like carrot, peas, potatoes, cauliflower and onions. There is an egg biryani that’s enjoyed by eggetarians too. The spat between non-vegetarians and vegetarians over vegetarian biryani and pulav being the same / different thing is a debate that everyone’s heard of while enjoying a plate of this delicacy with their friends. However, what very few have heard of is the bhindi biryani. 

The bhindi biryani recently became the talk of the town after actress Bhumi Pednekar shared a photo of the dish to her Instagram story, tagging Chef Akshay Arora. In the photo one could see fried okra, caramelised onions and coriander mixed with basmati rice. Bhumi had written ‘100’ in an emoticon, signalling that she really enjoyed the biryani.  This unique biryani is an uncommon one and could stir up quite a debate between biryani loyalists. 

Bhindi Biryani. Credit: Bhumi Pednekar's Instagram.

 

If Bhumi’s bhindi biryani has left you unsure about whether you would want to give it a try or not, here’s a simple and delicious recipe of the good old chicken biryani by Chef Kunal Kapur: 

Ingredients:

For Biryani Masala

  1. Cardamom – 10nos
  2. Cloves – 7-8nos
  3. Black cardamom – 1no
  4. Mace (Javitri) – 4 blades
  5. Nutmeg (jaiphal) – ¼ piece
  6. Cinnamon (1’stick) – 3nos
  7. Shahi Jeera (caraway) – 2tsp
  8. Saunf – 1tbsp

For Marinating Chicken:

  1. Chicken (on bone) – 1kg
  2. Salt – to taste
  3. Ginger Garlic paste – 3tbsp
  4. Turmeric – 1 tsp
  5. Chilli powder – 1tbsp tsp
  6. Biryani Masala (prepared above) – 1tbsp
  7. Mint leaves – ½ cup
  8. Coriander chopped – handful
  9. Green chilli chopped – 2nos
  10. Kewra Water – 2tbsp
  11. Curd – 1½ cup

For Biryani

  1. Ghee/Oil – ¼ cup
  2. Bayleaf – 1 no
  3. Onion sliced – 2cups

For Rice

  1. Basmati rice – 2cups
  2. Water – 3cups (approx)
  3. Salt – to taste

Method: 

For rice 

  1. Wash and soak the rice in water for at least 30mins. Drain the water and keep aside.

For biryani masala: 

  1. Dry roast all the spices in a pan for 2 mins and remove from heat. Cool off a bit and add them to the mixer grinder. Grind them into a powder and store this powder in an airtight container.

For marinating chicken: 

  1. Marinate the chicken with salt, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, chilli powder, biryani masala, mint leaves, coriander chopped, green chillies, kewra water and curd. Mix the chicken and keep aside.

For biryani: 

Heat ghee in a large pressure cooker and add a bayleaf. Add sliced onions and cook them till they brown. At this stage add the marinated chicken and cook the chicken on high flame. Cook the chicken till it is ¾th cooked.

Now add 3 cups of water to the chicken and bring it to a boil. Add soaked and drained rice and gently stir the pressure cooker. Taste the dish to check for salt. It needs to be quite salty because while cooking rice will absorb the excess salt and the final seasoning of the dish will be perfect.

Once you add water make sure the level of water and rice is the same. Bring it to a boil and then close the pressure cooker and cook the biryani on high heat till you get the first whistle. Now lower the heat and when you get the second whistle turn off the heat. Let the pressure cooker sit for 5 mins and then carefully remove the lid.

Scoop out the biryani using a think metal spoon. Because the biryani is cooked in a pressure cooker it is possible that the rice is sticky and has lots of moisture. But do not worry because as soon as you dish it on to a platter within few mins the excess moisture will dry up.

Garnish the chicken biryani with fresh mint leaves and serve.

Credit: Pexels.