How to Make a Spicy Degi Biryani?


When you think of a lavish feast, you get different mouth-watering foods in mind. Out of those, you will never forget the all-seasons delicious feast – degi biryani. The spicy dish occupies a special place on every dining table and in hotel menus.   The intricate rice dish is made from long flavourful basmati rice and succulent pieces of chicken. Some people like mutton or beef too. When these ingredients along with crunchy vegetables are cooked in a pool of aromatic spices, the dish from the Mughal era has all the power to amp up any lunch or dinner table feast.

Usually, there are two types of biryani dishes:

Raw biryani – This biryani is made with raw meat and parboiled rice. Then they are cooked together.

Cooked biryani – Parboiled rice and cooked meat are steamed together in this type of biryani.

Cooked biryani is, however, most common and available in various regional styles including Sindhi biryani, Karachi biryani, Lahori biryani, etc. A hot pot containing spicy biryani followed by a separate bowl of gravy and onion rings makes it a heavenly dish. From ever-popular simple chicken biryani to chicken qorma biryani, mutton keema biryani, and beef biryani, there’s a variety of biryani available in the global gastronomical business.

In this article, we will give you an insight into yet another mouth-watering dish among biryani recipes, and popularly known as Degi biryani. Just like other recipes for biryani dishes, this biryani recipe is mainly led by the addition of an array of various aromatic and piquant spices.

One might wonder why degi biryani recipes could be different from other biryani recipes? Well, its unique cooking proposition is that the chefs include chili pickles in between the rice in the preparation. This biryani is favorite among all types of food lovers, especially those who wish to make wholesome spicy food to cater to family guests at home. There is no need to go to the market to buy degi biryani. Household ladies can cook it easily at home with all the ingredients available to them.

The average preparation type for degi biryani is observed to be 25 minutes along with an additional 20 minutes of cooking time. Thus, within 45 minutes, with medium-level expertise, one can easily cook this dish for a small family.

Ingredients of Degi Biryani

For cooking rice

  • 500 gm rice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • I tbsp. ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 nutmeg
  • 1 one-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 – 3 cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 3 – 4 cloves

To Make Biryani Base

  • 700 gm chicken
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • ½ tbsp. nutmeg powder
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 8 – 10 cashew and raisins
  • 2 – 3 cardamom
  • 2 medium fried onions
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 250 ml hung curd
  • 4 green chillies
  • 2 tbsp green chilli and pickle
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • Salt to taste

How to Make Degi Biryani?

Cooking Rice

Rinse and soak the rice in water for about 30 minutes. After that, add all the above-mentioned ingredients under the head “For cooking rice” and let the ingredients boil well until you feel that 80% of rice is cooked. Then you drain the rice and keep them aside. Remember that the distinctive feature of a good biryani is its generous amount of whole spices. While eating biryani, you may discard them, but they make the flavor of biryani.

Making Biryani Base

To give biryani a flavor, heat ghee in a large pot and put all the whole spices again followed by ginger garlic paste, and green chilies. Stir them while frying them in ghee for about 5-6 minutes. Then add dum biryani powder. If that is not available, use any good company biryani powder and stir the masala again for 5 minutes. Now, add pre-cut pieces of a whole chicken and mix them well with the masala in the pot. Keep on checking and once you find that chicken gets tender, add yogurt to marinate the chicken more and tender and mix everything again. Now pour the cooked rice on top of the chicken gravy and mix chili pickle deep in between the rice. You need to cover the pan with aluminum foil and cook everything for 6-7 minutes.

Layer half of the rice and all of the cooked chicken, bring everything over “dum” – final steam. Then layer the remaining rice on the top. Add ghee generously on top and cover the food for 10 minutes. Garnish with thinly sliced fried onions, mint leaves, and coriander leaves to enjoy biryani.

Remember one thing! The more you are good at preparing biryani masala and marinate the chicken, the better would it be in making a perfect base for biryani. Always cook chicken curry over low heat and prepare rice well. Pakistani biryani is often made with biryani masala, a medley of spices available as wholesome in the market.

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