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Delicious and Fragrant Lucknow Chicken Biryani Recipe


For Marinating the Chicken:
– 500g chicken, cut into pieces
– 1 cup yogurt (curd)
– 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
– 1 teaspoon red chili powder
– 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
– 1 teaspoon garam masala
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice
– Salt to taste

For Biryani Rice:
– 2 cups basmati rice, soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained
– 4-5 cups water
– Whole spices (2-3 bay leaves, 4-5 cloves, 4-5 green cardamoms, 1-inch cinnamon stick)

For Assembling the Biryani:
– 2 large onions, thinly sliced
– 1/4 cup milk
– A pinch of saffron strands (soaked in milk)
– 1/4 cup ghee (clarified butter) or oil
– A handful of fresh mint and cilantro leaves
– Fried onions (optional, for garnish)


1. Marinating the Chicken:
– In a large bowl, combine the chicken pieces with yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, lemon juice, and salt.
– Mix well until the chicken is coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl and let it marinate for at least 1-2 hours (overnight in the refrigerator is even better).

2. Cooking the Rice:
– In a large pot, bring 4-5 cups of water to a boil.
– Add the soaked and drained basmati rice to the boiling water along with the whole spices (bay leaves, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon stick).
– Cook the rice until it’s 70-80% cooked (the grains should still have a bite to them). Drain the water and set the partially cooked rice aside.

3. Assembling the Biryani:
– In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or a deep pan, add half of the marinated chicken in a single layer at the bottom.
– Top the chicken with half of the partially cooked rice. Spread a few mint and cilantro leaves on the rice.
– Add the remaining chicken as the second layer, followed by the rest of the rice. Spread the saffron-soaked milk, fried onions (if using), and the remaining mint and cilantro leaves over the top layer of rice.
– Drizzle ghee or oil over the rice for added richness.

4. Dum Cooking (Slow Cooking):
– Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid to seal in the steam. You can also use dough to seal the edges of the lid, ensuring no steam escapes.
– Place the pot on low heat and let the biryani cook on dum for 20-25 minutes. Alternatively, you can place a tava (griddle) under the pot and cook on low heat to prevent direct contact with the flame.



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