Biriyani and Chicken Chaap

Momma and me and love our share of Biriyani.  Bro loves it with a hearty helping of Rezala, Baba loves Mutton Chaap as an accompaniment. Husband also seems to be a member of the same Mughlai gang.The Kolkattan heart has these Mughlai pangs every now and then, which are shushed by the brain. Kansas City and its numerous Indian restaurants, but not a single one, which can satisfy the palate when there is a craving for Calcutta Biryani.  There is a common saying about Bongs from Kolkata. That eating out for them means either digging into 
lip smaking Biriyani or munching on Chinese. Over the years, Kolkata has been flooded with culinary variations and menus from literally all across the globe, but the Kolkttan  heart, loves to maintain its love story with Mughlai food. 

The age old debate about Biriyani continues, whenever Indians from different parts of the country get together, and Mughlai food seems to be the favored topic. Who makes the best Biriyani? Be it the extreme northern decadence, or the southern delicacy, or the Eastern Masterpice. Well, the Bengali foodie in me, always shouts the loudest for the typical Kolkattan biriyani, which I have grown up loving. Nizams, Aminia in the New Market area,no matter which part of the day it is. Arsalan, in Park Circus, for picking up biriyani after all the dirty dancing late into the night, or lunch at Shiraz, in Mallick Bazar, when the pocket money was suited for indulgence of the foodie soul during Xaverian days. Recently heard from all the chatter around the social networking sites, is that Chhote Nawab, in Beckbagan area, is the latest Mughlai hot spot. Not to forget Zeeshaan, in Park Circus, where a certain guy(now my husband) had stood me up on a promised date more than decade back. Zeeshan's Daal Gosht is a great side for the King of all entrees: Biriyani. 
It was another of those cravings, a few weekends back, when it was too late to cook up, yet the heart yearned for Biriyani. The first Indian restaurant, Flavours of India, we drove down to, was closed for a private party. But the Biriyani desire was pretty high. So the next closest Indian Joint: Masalas. What they served as mutton Biriyani was the Hyderabadi version, but yes, it was some respite to the crazy cravings of an almost neurotic foodie. The meat and the aromatic rice, was so much welcome. By the time we came back home and were resting on our favorite couches in the living room, that my biriyani loving soul was not totally satisfied. Will hubby be alritey with another Mughlai meal, this time at home. He seemed exuberant, and offered to make Chicken Chaap. The deal was done. 

I remember the first time I had tried to make Biriyani.The result was a disaster almost, as I was so confused with all the recipes I had read in Blogosphere. No offence meant to anyone.Then one of my juniors from college and my mashi gave me their recipes. Both of them make awesome biriyani. Checked notes and saw that both the recipes were almost similar. I have adapted the recipes to my tastes. I do not claim that this is exactly the Biriyani I grew up loving, but yes, it satisfies the foodie soul of mine, and is better than the stuff served at the desi joints in KC. 

Chicken Biriyani: 

Basmati rice: 1 1/2 cup
Chicken: 1 whole bird, cut and cleaned. 
Ginger paste; 2 tbsp
Garlic paste: 2 tbsp
Chopped onions: 2 big onions
Yoghurt; 1/2 cup
Whole garam masala
Garam masala powder
Biriyani powder: 2-3 tbsp
Kewra essence
Canola Oil
Tomatoes: 2 : Chopped

Wash the rice very well, and soak it in water for at least half an hour. This ensures that all the grains are uniformly cooked.
Prepare a marinade with the yoghurt, 1 tbsp of garlic paste, 1 tbsp of ginger paste, salt, garam masala powder. 
Marinate the chicken in this mixture for at least two hours. This helps tenderize the meat. So increase the marination time, if you plan to replace the chicken with mutton.
Brown the chopped onions and keep aside. 
In a pan, add hot water, salt to taste, whole garam masala, and add in the soaked rice. Cook it till its 3/4th done, and drain and keep aside. Mix some kewra essence in the cooked rice. Mix well.
In another pan, add half the browned chopped onions, the rest of the ginger garlic paste, and add the biriyani masala, to some canola oil. Cook it for a few minutes, and add in the chopped tomatoes. Cook them till the fat separates. 
Add in the marinated chicken, cover and cook till the chicken is cooked and the gravy has almost dried. 
Take a fresh pan, and line it with a layer of cooked chicken. Add in a layer of the cooked rice with the spices in it over the chicken. Put some browned onions over it, and repeat the layering with alternate layers of chicken and rice. The last layer has to be a layer of rice. Close the pan with a tight lid or aluminum foil. 
Place the pan on a tawa or gridle, and place that on heat, to ensure that the biriyani does not get direct heat. 
Slow cook it on low heat for around 20 minutes. Keep the lid sealed, till its time to eat. 

Chicken Chaap: courtesy Deb

Chicken leg quarters: 2
Poppy seed: 2tbsp
Onion paste: 1 onion
Ginger garlic paste: 2 tbsp
Black cardamom: 1
Cloves; 5-6
Pepper powder; 1 tbsp
Green chillies: 2-3
Canoila oil: for frying

Besides the chicken and the oil, mix all the other ingredients in a blender. 
Make slits across the skinned chicken leg quarters, and marinate it overnight in the mixture. If you are short of time, then just marinate it for a couple of hours. 
Heat canola oil in a heavy pan, and slow fry the chicken pieces in a way, so that half the piece is immersed in oil. Keep it on low heat. 
Once the chicken pieces are cooked through, keep them aside.Reduce the oil in the pan, and cook the marinade like a gravy. When the fat starts floating, transfer the cooked chicken pieces in the decadent gravy,and let it bubble away for around 5-10 minutes. 
Dig into chicken chaap and biriyani. Bon appetit. 


  1. From one Kansas Citian to another (well, Shawnee, anyway)

    Greetings. This is my first time on your blog, but you have a terrific one. I am always on the look out for new blogs, new ideas. I especially appreciate all the details you do, so many photos makes it seem like anyone can replicate the recipe!

    I am asking, would you please consider posting a few of your favorite recipes on

    It is a tool for bloggers to see and to be seen. Your posts would fit in perfectly.

    in addition, all photos, recipe titles as well as your blog name would link directly back to your blog. Thus giving you new attention and potentially new readers.

    Or, if you just want to take a look at a lot of fellow food bloggers all in one place. A great learning experience to get ideas about how to establish your own blogging voice!

    Please take a look. If you have any ideas or questions, please do not hesitate to write


  2. a huge thank you to both Vincent and Dave. Its a great honor that you loved my blog so much. shall do the needful as you both suggested. two new platforms to reach to so many more readers, who would not love that ! bon appetit !


  3. simple receipt, easy to get all the ingredient , look yummy
    i will try to make it someday,
    thanks for shared
    chowringhee kathi roll