Chicken Dum Biryani

1 kg long grain rice
1.5 kg chicken (I usually use special legs)
5 medium size potatoes, peeled and halved
4 big onions, sliced fine and fried to a crisp brown
1 big onion, chopped fine
1 tomato, chopped fine
2 green chillies chopped fine
2 green chillies, slit
4 bay leaves
250 gms yoghurt
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 tbsp garam masala powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
Whole masala
–  4 cloves
– 5 pepper corns
– 2 green cardamoms
– 1 black cardamom
– 1” cinnamon
– 1 tsp shahi jeera
– 2 bay leaves
A handful of mint leaves, chopped fine
A handful of coriander leaves, chopped fine
a few strands of saffron
½ cup milk
¼ cup melted ghee
Oil to fry
Salt to taste

Immerse the halved potatoes in cold salted water for about ½ hour.
Wash the chicken pieces well and marinate in yoghurt, half the browned onions, ginger garlic paste, garam masala powder, turmeric powder, lemon juice and salt to taste.
Deep fry the potatoes till browning and the top layer starts to get crisp.
Add the fried potatoes into the marinade and let it stand for about an hour.
Parboil the rice with salt, slit green chillies and the whole masalas listed above.
Fry the chopped onion with the bay leaves and green chillies.
When golden brown, add the tomato and fry till oil separates.
Add the marinated chicken, after removing potatoes from the mixture and fry for about 10 mins.
Mix in the mint and coriander leaves and take off heat.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel .
Put a thin layer of rice at the bottom and arrange the chicken mixture with masala over this.
Put a second layer of rice and arrange the potatoes with half the remaining browned onions.
Put a last layer of rice and sprinkle the remaining browned onions over this.
Heat the ghee and pour over the layered rice.
Also soak the saffron in milk and pour the mix on the rice.
Close the vessel with a well fitting lid and seal with flour dough.
Heat a flat pan on the stove and move the rice vessel from direct heat to the pan on low heat.
Let it simmer for about 30-40 minutes.
Open the lid, and check from the side if the meat is cooked by poking with a fork.
If cooked sprinkle a little coriander and mint on the top and keep covered on heat for another 10 minutes.
If the meat remains to be cooked, sprinkle the coriander and mint and keep covered with the lid weighed down for another 20 minutes.

Serve hot with curd salad or raita.


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