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One of the most well-known and beloved biryani in the wonderful world of biryani, Hyderabadi biryani is highly aromatic, fragrant with rich, warming spices — a mark of the Mughal influence — and flavored with garam masala, powdered red chillies, lots of saffron, and fried onions.
This version is made using the pukka method where the meat and rice are cooked separately and then layered and cooked together. While the classic versions of this regional biryani are usually made with mutton, our version is made with chicken thighs that get marinated with our house Biryani Masala, Byadgi chillies, cilantro, a touch of mint, and yogurt. The chicken is slowly cooked until tender and then par cooked basmati rice is layered on top along with saffron-infused milk and fried onions.
Hot tip: If you don't want to stand over a hot stove frying onions, you can fry your onions in the microwave (yes, the microwave!) using this hack from America's Test Kitchen. Or, you can buy store-bought fried onions (we won't judge).
Cooking for a larger crowd? This recipe can easily be doubled! When preparing this larger size, you are going to want to 1) Use a larger pot 2) Do two layers when you get to the assembly point: Remove half the cooked chicken and gravy, then top with half the rice, layer the remaining half of the chicken, and top with the last half of the rice, finishing with the saffron water, fried onions, and chopped cilantro. 3) Increase the bake time to 30 to 35 minutes.