CHICKEN TIKKA BIRYANI: BIRYANI AND CHICKEN TIKKA FUSIONIf there's one dish guaranteed to be on the menu of almost every Indian restaurant, it has to be Chicken Tikka Biryani. This article describes everything about lip-smacking chicken tikka biryani that is also tastier, fresher, healthier, and cheaper than anything you can take out!
For the Chicken Marinade
- 2 pounds - Skinless boneless chicken thighs (If you’re grilling the chicken, leave the thighs whole. Else, cut into 2-inch pieces)
- ¼ cup - Plain whole-milk yogurt (Greek-style, if possible)
- 2 tbsp - Oil
- 2 tbsp - Finely minced garlic paste (2 cloves)
- 2 tbsp - Lemon juice
- ½ tsp - Table salt (Or 1 teaspoon Kosher salt)
For the Fried Onions
- ½ cup - Oil
- 2 Cups - Thinly, evenly sliced onion
For the biryani sauce
- 2 tbsp - Ghee or oil (you can use the leftover oil from frying the onions)
- 1-½ cup - Finely minced onions
- ½ tsp - Sea or table salt (Or 1 teaspoon Kosher salt)
- 1 tbsp - Ginger paste
- 1 tsp - Finely minced green chili (Optional. You can add more to taste)
- 1 tbsp - Ground coriander (or Alcoeats Coriander Powder)
- 1-½ tsp - Ground cumin (or Alcoeats Cumin Powder)
- 1 tsp - Alcoeats Kashmiri red chili powder, or ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne (More/less as per taste).
- 1/2 tsp - Paprika
- ½ tsp - Smoked paprika (or additional ½ teaspoon of regular paprika)
- 1-½ cups - Tomato sauce or purée (Or freshly chopped tomatoes)
- ¼ cup - Water
- 2 tbsp - Butter
- ¼ to ½ cup - Heavy cream
- ¼ cup - Chopped cilantro (½ cup more for layering)
Ingredients for biryani rice
- 6 cups - Water
- 2 cups - Aged basmati rice
- 1 - Cinnamon stick
- 8 - Whole cloves
- 4 - Whole green cardamom
- 1 tbsp - Sea or table salt
For Layering your Biryani
- 3 tbsp - Chopped mint
- 3 tbsp - Chopped cilantro
- 2 tsp - Ghee (Or melted butter)
- Fried onions (listed above)
- Ground spices: Coriander, cumin, Alcoeats Kashmiri chili powder (or cayenne), and paprika
- Whole spices for additional flavor: Cinnamon stick, cloves, and cardamom
- Aromatics: The usual triumvirate of ginger, garlic, and onion is an absolute must.
- Fresh herbs: The combination of mint and cilantro add a unique freshness and aroma that takes your chicken biryani to a different level altogether.
- Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes work the best. Avoid diced tomatoes. You can also use canned tomato sauce that’s found in local supermarkets.
- Chicken: The best cut of chicken is the thigh. In this recipe, you will want skinless and boneless chicken. Although you can also use chicken breast, you’ll need to be extra careful so as not to overcook it.
- Rice for the biryani: Ideally, long-grain premium Basmati rice should be the first choice for biryani. As rice is the star of the show, always be sure to find a top-quality brand that you like.
- Optional ingredients: Ghee, cream or half and half, and lemon juice.
How to Make Chicken Tikka Masala Biryani
This recipe can be broken into 7 distinct stages. Let’s start now!
Marinade the chicken
Mix all the marinade ingredients (except the chicken). Trim the thighs. Now, if you’re grilling the chicken, leave them whole. Else, cut them into a few chunks depending on their size. Stir into the marinade and coat well. Cover and put it in your refrigerator. Try to marinate the chicken as long as you can, or up to 48 hours.
Fry the onions
Ideally, your fried onions should be one step away from being dark and crispy enough to move to a paper towel.
Prepare the chicken sauce (i.e., the masala)
Starting with the onions, cook until the edges begin to turn golden, then add the ginger and garlic paste. Cook for several minutes, then add the spices. Cook for a minute and then stir in the tomato sauce and water. Finally, cook the entire mix for about 10 to 15 minutes until the sauce thickens.
How to Make Biryani Rice
In around 6 cups of boiling water, add the whole spices, salt, and rinsed rice. Simmer it uncovered on medium heat for around 8 - 10 minutes, or until the rice is well-cooked with just a tiny opaque core.
Cook the chicken
The chicken for your biryani can be either grilled, broiled, or sautéed on the stovetop. For chicken tikka biryani, ideally, the chicken should be cooked all the way through.
- If you’re Grilling: If you prefer to use the grill, cut the thighs into bite-sized chunks, and put them in the grill.
- If you’re Broiling: Heat the broiler. Now, line a baking sheet with foil and top it with a well-oiled cooling rack. Place your chicken pieces on the rack and broil for 4 minutes on either side.
- If you’re using the Stove: Add some oil to a frying pan, over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot enough, add the chicken pieces and cook on either side for around 3 to 5 minutes. Keep cooking till the chicken turns a nice brown and is cooked all the way through.
Layer the biryani
This recipe has four distinct layers i.e., 2 layers of rice and 2 layers of sauced chicken.
- Layer 1: This layer would consist of half the chicken masala with 2 tablespoons each of mint and cilantro stirred in.
- Layer 2: This layer should have half the biryani rice, garnished with a drizzle of 1 teaspoon of ghee. On top of this, sprinkle 2 tablespoons each of the mint and cilantro, and also add 1/3rd of fried onions.
- Layer 3: This layer would be the 2nd half of the chicken. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons each of mint and cilantro here too, and another 1/3rd of the fried onions.
- Layer 4: This is the top layer. Here, gently layer the 2nd half of the rice. Then drizzle the remaining 1 teaspoon of ghee, and sprinkle 2 more tablespoons each of mint and cilantro, and the final 1/3rd of the fried onions.
The last 25 minutes
- If you’re using the stove: In this final stage, cover your biryani with a tight lid and cook on a medium-high flame for around 2 minutes. Then dial down the heat to medium to low and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Finally, turn the heat off and let the biryani rest untouched and undisturbed for around 10 to 15 minutes.
- If you’re using an oven: Preheat your oven to about 350°F (i.e., 180°C) and ensure that the rack is in the middle of the oven. Now, cover the oven with a heavy lid (or top it with aluminum foil), for a tight, secure seal. Heat the chicken tikka biryani for about 20 minutes so that the rice and chicken can steam together.
FAQs on Chicken Tikka
What is the difference between chicken tikka biryani and chicken biryani?
Chicken tikka biryani is a delicious rice-based dish made out of basmati rice, boneless chicken, and several exotic and flavorful spices. Chicken Tikka Biryani is generally spicier & creamier than normal Chicken Biryani.
What is the difference between biryani and pulao?
In biryani, long-grain basmati rice is cooked separately and then layered with either mutton or chicken. But in pulao, the rice is added to the pot along with meat and sauce and everything is mixed and cooked together.
What is special about chicken tikka?
Chicken tikka masala is a rice dish that consists of marinated boneless chicken pieces that are traditionally cooked in a tandoor and then served in a spiced tomato-cream sauce.
What is the difference between tikka and tandoori?
Chicken tikka generally is made from skinless and boneless chunks of chicken usually taken from the breast, whereas tandoori chicken can be prepared with both half and full chicken. When preparing Tandoori Chicken, usually, legs, breasts, and wings are used. Tandoori chicken is not boneless.
Is chicken tikka healthy?
Like many Indian dishes that were originally low-fat, the modern recipe for chicken tikka masala is anything but healthy. An average portion of Chicken Tikka Masala has a whopping 1,249 calories and a huge 90.8 grams of fat. A lot of these calories and fat come from the ghee and heavy cream used in preparing Chicken Tikka.
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