What you need:
Chicken 1 Kg
Basmati Rice 1 Kg
Onions 7 medium ones or 5 large ones
Ginger - Garlic paste 2 tablespoons each
Green chilli - 4-5
Tomato - 3
Yogurt - 1 cup
Lemon juice - juice of one lemon
Red chilli powder - 2 teaspoons
Chicken Masala - 3 teaspoons
Tej Patta - 2-3
Cardamom - 4-5
Black pepper - 1 teaspoon
Cloves - 4-5
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Salt (obviously !!)
Mix together the curds, the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of ginger paste, 1 teaspoon of garlic paste, turmeric 1/2 teaspoon, chicken masala, red chilli powder, salt.
Meanwhile wash and drain the chicken pieces; poke them with a fork.
Dip each piece in the marinade and place in a bowl; after completing all pieces, pour the remaining marinade over the chicken.
Leave this in the fridge over night for best results or atleast for a couple of hours.
The next day, you will need to do the following...
Soak the rice in water for 20-30 mins, then in a deep and thick bottom pan pour some oil or ghee, and add the Tej Patta, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper - let this fry till the spices release their aroma. Be careful not to burn them. Then add in the rice (after draining the water); saute the rice for a couple of minutes, coating the rice with the oil/ghee and spices.
Add salt to taste; then add water (I usually add twice the number of cups as that of the rice, so for every 1 cup of rice I add 2 cups of water) in this case we have to cook the rice till 3/4th done, and also drain the excess water; so use all reasoning to add as per ur 'Andaaz'.
Other things that you will need:
Cut about 4 of the large onions into thin slices; add a bit of salt to them and leave aside for 1/2 an hour. After that drain off all the water, and sprinkle the onions with corn-flour. In a pan/kadhai heat oil, and deep fry the coated onions, trying not to form clumps. Fry till golden brown. Drain them on some kitchen paper.
Mint & Coriander:
Wash and cut mint leaves and fresh coriander. Leave aside. This should be done at the last minute just before you actually assemble the biryani.
Heat oil in a large pan, add in the chicken pieces and fry them till they turn golden.
Once they leave the side of the pan (they are not sticking any more), put on the lid and let the chicken cook in it's own juices. Remember you will have some excess marinade left in your bowl; do not throw it, we are going to use it up.
In a pan heat some oil, add onion; once onions are golden add ginger garlic paste, then add tomatoes (coarsely shopped), green chilli, then add in the excess marinade from the chicken cooking step. Cook this till the tomatoes are soft and the marinade is cooked down. Add fresh coriander.
Let this cool, then using a hand mixer make it into a medium coarse gravy.
Take a deep and thick bottom pan, cut a piece of butter paper of the size of the pan's bottom. Put this paper in the pan, this is a self discovered trick which avoids the biryani from sticking to the bottom of the pan !!
You can totally avoid this step if butter paper is not in the house. BTW butter paper is available where you get your baking supplies or even near the aluminum foil racks.
The first layer is a thick layer of rice, top it up with fried onion, the gravy, and then chicken pieces, on top of this add the mint-coriander leaves, then add some ghee along the edges of the pan and also in the center.
Repeat this layering process till you are finished with all your chicken & Rice.
The topmost layer should be rice - gravy.
Let this sit on the stove for a good 30 minutes or more, on a low flame, shut the lid tightly over this layered biryani. If you are worried of some steam leakages, make a dough of simple wheat flour and seal the lid along the outer edges. If you want to keep it warm, just place a 'tava' below the pan, and leave the gas on low flame.
Serve the Biryani with:
Cucumber slices that have been chilled in the fridge.
My way of making Onion Salad:
Thinly slice 2-3 medium onions, sprinkle salt, red chilli powder, a bit of black pepper and juice of one lemon. Mix well and keep in fridge.
When it's time to serve this, the onions will have turned soft, sweet and the entire combination works very well with any non-veg dish.