Wash the rice and soak it in water for 40-45 minutes.
Heat 10-12 cups of water in a large pot.
Take a cloth and add cumin seeds, black cardamom, green cardamom, javitri, cloves, cumin seeds, black peppercorn, cinnamon and bay leaf and make a potli.
Add potli masala, ginger garlic paste, green chili paste, kewra essence and salt in the pot and bring the water to a boil.
Drain the rice and add it to the boiling water.
For the Chicken
Mix chicken with shahi jeera, ghee, ginger paste, garlic paste, garam masala powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, vegetable oil, green chilli and lemon juice and marinate for 10-12 hours.
Add curd, mint, coriander and golden fried onion in the marinated chicken and mix well.
For Assembling the Biryani
Transfer the chicken along with the marinade in a heavy bottom pan.
Once the rice gets 80% cooked, take it out using a sieve and spread it evenly over the chicken.
Sprinkle ½ cup milk, saffron soaked in water, golden brown onion and ghee on top.
Cover the pan tightly with a lid.
Place the pan on a very slow heat for 35-40 minutes.
Remove the lid and mix the biryani gently.
Rice – Use best quality rice to make biryani. Long grain basmati rice which is atleast 2 years old is considered best to make a good biryani. Be very attentive while cooking the rice. Do not stir the rice much while cooking otherwise it will break the grains.
Marination – The chicken must be marinated before hand. Since we are not cooking it separately, marinating it beforehand will make it tender and easy to cook.
Cooking – Use a heavy bottom pan to assemble the biryani. The biryani needs to be cooked for 35-40 minutes on low heat and if the pan is not heavy, it might burn.
Choose a pan with a tight fitting lid. This biryani cooks on dum or steam and we want to retain as much steam that is formed inside. Traditionally, a sealing of dough used to be put around the pan and the lid but I don’t think that it is required if the lid fits tightly.
Potli Masala – The traditional potli masala used to make biryani recipe has many unusual ingredients, but since it is not easy to source them, I have a mix that is easy to find and not compromise on taste.
Birista – Making Birista or crispy fried onions at home is the best way to go. I always make a large batch and freeze it for later use. You can check the recipe to make golden fried onion or Birista here.