Dum Pukht cuisine is one of the oldest and very popular cuisine which started off in India some 200 years ago. Dum Pukht literally means choking off the steam. It allows the meat to cook on low heat so the meat cooks in its own juices. This is especially useful in cooking a biryani where the meat juices and the resulting steam cook the rice, allowing the rice to absorb the flavour and aroma of the meat. The end result is a flavourful and fragrant biryani which is incomparable to any other biryani.

Ingredients :

Chicken : 1 Kg.

Curd : 250 gm.

Chilli Powder : 1 tsp.

Turmeric Powder : 1/2 tsp.

Garam Masala Powder : 1 tsp.

Ginger Garlic Paste : 1 1/2 Tbsp.

Shahi Jeera (Black/Royal Cumin Seeds) :  1 tsp.

Onions : 5 medium-sized

Chopped Coriander Leaves : 2 Tbsp.

Long-grained Rice : 750 gm. (preferably Basmati)

Cinnamon : two 1 inch pieces

Cloves : 4 no.

Black Peppercorns : 5 nos.

Black Cardamon (Masala Ilaichi) : 1 no.

Green Cardamom : 4 nos.

Bay Leaf : 1 no.

Chopped Green Chillies : 1/2 tsp.

Lime Juice : 1 tsp.

Salt : to taste

Milk : 2 Tsp.

Saffron :  A few strands

Ghee ( Indian Clarified Butter) :  2-3 Tbsp.

Refined Flour (Maida) : 200gm

Method :

Finely slice the onions and they fry them in ghee till browned. The sliced fried  browned onions  are known as Barista which is an essential part of any Indian biryani.

Soak the rice in plenty of water. This is very important as the Basmati rice tastes better when you have soaked it for at least half an hour.

Warm the milk and add the saffron to it to infuse it with the saffron flavour.

Make a dough of the refined flour and water.

Clean, remove skin and cut the chicken into 12-14 pieces. To the chicken add the curd, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, half of the barista, half of the chopped coriander, shahi jeera and salt to taste.  Keep aside for 1/2 hour.

Meanwhile heat plenty of water at least a 4 times the amount of rice. When it starts to boil, add the cinnamon (one 1 inch piece), cloves (2 ), peppercorns (5 ), black (1/2) and green cardamom (2) and salt to taste to the water. Drain the rice.  Then add the rice to the boiling water and let it cook till half done.Then drain the rice and spread it on a plate to cool it done and stop the cooking process.

Heat the ghee in a heavy(thick) bottomed pan (Handi) and add the remaining cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and the bay leaf. Then add the marinated chicken and saute for a few minutes. Then layer it at the bottom of the pan. Then layer the rice on top of the chicken and sprinkle the remaining barista, chopped green chillies and the chopped coriander on the rice. Pour the saffron infused milk and lime juice on the rice.

Cover the mouth of the pan with the dough and press down the lid on top so it completely seals the mouth of the handi. Let it cook on low heat for about 45 minutes.

Using a knife separate the lid from the handi and remove the dough. Then mix the rice lightly with the chicken and serve with cucumber raita.