Saturday, May 8, 2010

Jewels from Avadh (Part 2) - Lucknowi Dum Pukht Biryani

Best Blogger Tips
When it comes to Biryani lovers, there are two distinct groups that one comes across, the Hyderabadi biryani and the Lucknowi biryani fans. Somewhere in between there are atleast 20-24 different types of biryani's, with their own fan following, but these 2 types rule the palate with the majority in the sub-continent.
The Lucknowi Biryani can be simply defined as a homogeneous blend of different textures, spices and aromas. The Lucknowi biryani is cooked in stock and not water. The Dum Pukht Biryani is the most popular version of the Lucknowi biryani and this is also the biryani that I prefer. For the best Lucknowi Biryani in the capital, you need to eat at the Dum Pukht restaurant at ITC Maurya Sheraton at Dhaula Kuan.
I had this request from JH (quite a long time back) to post the recipe for Lucknowi Biryani and since I was used to having the authentic one at restaurants, I didn't even realize that I had never ever made this one myself. As I got about asking for the recipe from some of the chefs I was still in touch with from my past life as a hotelier, somewhere deep within I felt if I will ever be able to do justice to the delicate balancing of the aromas. After weeks of procrastination, I finally got down to making this one, with my wife and 2 sons as the judges of whether I had passed the test. The result I must say wasn't that bad. It certainly was no match to what the Quereshi family makes, but my creation was a hit atleast in my family. Moreover, I couldn't resist going for seconds and third helpings till it got over.

Other Biryani's on this site :

Hyderabadi Biryani
Khoja Kachi Biryani
Bohri Biryani

Lucknowi Dum Pukht Biryani

Chicken, cut into small pieces - 500 gm
Rice (Basmati) - 2 Cups
Ghee - 5 Tblsp
Chicken Stock - 4 Cups
Onions, finely chopped - 1 Cup
Black Cardamom - 4
Green Cardamom - 3
Black peppercorn - 10
Cinnamon - 2"
Cloves - 8
Fennel seeds - 1 Tsp
Bay Leaf - 2
Kewra Essence - 1/2 Tsp
Gulab ittar - 1/4 Tsp
Milk - 1/4 Cup
Saffron - 4-5 strands
Salt - 1 Tsp

For Marination:
Onion, finely chopped - 1/2 Cup
Ginger, finely chopped - 2 Tblsp
Garlic, finely chopped - 2 Tblsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1 Tsp
Cinnamon Powder - 1/4 Tsp
Cloves, ground - 1/4 Tsp
Nutmeg powder - 1/4 Tsp
Lime juice - 1/4 Tsp
Yogurt - 1/2 Cup
Salt - 1/4 Tsp

For Garnish:
Onion, thinly sliced and fried in ghee till they are browned - 1 Cup
Almonds, sliced and fried - 1/4 Cup
Cashews, sliced and fried - 1/4 Cup

1. Boil the stock with the whole spices - Black cardamom, black peppercorn, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds and bay leaf. Let it rest for 20 minutes and then strain.
2. Wash 7 rinse the basmati rice twice in cold water. Soak the basmati rice in water for 30 minutes - 1 hr. Drain.
3. Meanwhile, mix all ingredients for marinade in a processor and make a smooth paste. Add in the chicken pieces and mix well to coat each chicken piece. Let it marinate for upto 5 hours.
4. Heat ghee in a large pan. Add in the rice. Cook for 5-7 minutes or till rice turns opaque white.
5. Crush & add in 2 saffron strands. Add in 4 cups of chicken stock.
6. Bring the rice to a boil, cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Switch off the flame and let the rice rest for 10-15 minutes. This will allow the rice to absorb the moisture.
7. Take another heavy bottomed pan and add ghee. Heat. Add in the chopped onions. Saute till onions turn translucent. Add in the marinated chicken and saute till chicken is done and the gravy has almost dried up.
8. Take an earthernware pot (preferably) which has a lid, to start assembling the biryani. Add in ghee and grease the earthenware pot.
9. Lay a layer of rice. Sprinkle some chicken stock. Add in some of the chicken pieces. Repeat this alternate layering of rice and chicken pieces. Finish with a layer of rice on top. Sprinkle the rest of the chicken stock.
10. Warm the milk with cardamom pods. Crush and add the saffron. Add the Kewra and Gulab ittar.
11. Sprinkle on top of the finished biryani layers.
12. Add in the garnishes.
13. Now cover with a lid and seal the vessel by applying a dough made with wheat flour or flour around the lid, all the way around.
14. Preheat an oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place the biryani in the oven. Let the biryani cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
15. Remove, break seal and serve straight from the pot.

Note: Traditionally Lucknowi biryani is served with boondi raita or Burrani raita (raita made by whisking thick yogurt with garlic juice, powdered onion seeds, shahi zeera and black salt) and papads alongwith traditional pickles.
Firni or Kheer goes very well as a dessert course after the lucknowi biryani.


Just Hooking Up said...

Thank you so much. I am very touched with the effort both in experimenting with the recipe and also documenting it in your blog. Much appreciated.

I cant wait to try this recipe and will report back to you on my results. Again, thank you very much. JH

Just Hooking Up said...

BTW, for the chicken stock did you use box stock or did you buy additional chicken for making some more stock? I have seen some recipes in which they just boil the meat after sauteing in spices to create the stock. Here, I think you are suggesting using stock separately. Will you make any changes for mutton? JH

Gaurav said...

@JH-I will recommend making stock with bones. However, commercial box stock works absolutely fine. I used the commercial one, have got myself all kinds of stocks bars from Lamb to even vegetable.

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Laundry Detergent Coupons