Karachi style Deghi Chicken Biryani or Al Rehman Biryani is hugely popular and loved Biryani in Karachi. It is a flavorful, traditional Pakistani Chicken Biryani recipe with simple, easy-to-follow instructions and enriches mouthwatering, authentic deghi taste and aroma.
Table of Content:
- What is Al Rehman Biryani
- How to make Chicken Biryani-3 Steps
- Ingredients you need
- Karahi style chicken biryani Recipe
- How to do biryani plating
- What to serve with biryani
- How to freeze and reheat
- Recipe Card
- Pro Tips
What Is Al Rehman Biryani or Karachi style Deghi Biryani?
Pakistani chicken biryani is a global dish that most foreigners try because they have heard a lot about its deliciousness and as it has a distinct aroma that tempts them to eat. Karachi seems to be the most popular station for biryani cravers. Biryani is actually a necessity for Karachiites.
Al Rehman Biryani is among the world’s most popular trending and searched dishes. It’s simple, quick, and delicious. It has its main branch in ‘Kharadar’ area, Karachi. The brains behind this successful venture is Chef Shahid Jutt. It has the special Deghi flavor to it.
Today I’m going to share a simpler version of his recipe and with all of the variations and substitutions that I made!
How to make Chicken Biryani- 3 Main Steps:
This is a step-by-step recipe for authentic Pakistani or Karachi style Chicken Biryani which is both, delicious and simple to prepare. And also, you don’t need a ton of hard-to-find spices.
Three main Steps of making Pakistani Chicken Biryani;
- Making Biryani Masala
- Parboiling( partial boiling) of Rice
- Layering and steaming/dum
Ingredients you need to make this Karachi Chicken Biryani:
Karachi chicken biryani is intense in spice (and taste!) and is usually prepared with homemade biryani masala or with ready-made biryani mix. A variety of spices and herbs come together to give it the special, spicy deghi flavor. After much recipe testing, I now could confidently post this much-loved and frequently requested recipe. Let’s have a look at a few notes on ingredients;
In biryani use of oil is recommended instead of ghee. You can use any cooking oil or a mix of oil and ghee in 1:1. Also very less oil is used here in start of this recipe but more oil will be added in the final dum/steam step.
Ginger garlic paste:
Freshly made ginger garlic is best to remove the raw smell of meat and flavors up the food. You can also use store bought as well.
Medium cut chicken with bone is preferred (about 8 pieces of 1 kg chicken), clean and without skin.
In Biryani, a pretty good amount of whole spices are added, I have mentioned the quantity in the recipe, but you can omit or add them according to your availability.
You can use either spices from your pantry like red chili powder, turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt, or simply use ready-made ‘Shan’ spice mix. Your Biryani will taste amazing with either of the options. I have used Shan Biryani mix.
Chefs usually add Chinese Salt in their foods, but I used Maggi Chicken cube because of the unavailability in my area. You can also add chicken powder.
I used Long grain Basmati Rice here, but you can also use Sella rice as they both works well. Only the soaking time is different as sella rice is to be soaked for 3 hours whereas basmati rice only needs half an hour. You can read more details related rice here.
For the layering of Biryani few vegetables are added. Like sliced tomatoes, chopped coriander and mint leaves and stem off green chilies.
Definitely, homemade crispy fried onions brings out the best flavor but still whenever in hurry go with the store bought fried onions.
For an amazing tangy and sweet flavor dried plums ( aloo Bukhara) are added, if it’s not available you can skip it.
Karachi style deghi Chicken Biryani Recipe:
Karachi style deghi Chicken Biryani has a rich flavor, a grand tradition, and is usually the star of the show at wedding dinners, Eids, or family gatherings. Chicken Biryani is one of the most commonly asked lunches at my house, religiously at Fridays.
Let’s move towards the recipe and starts with easy step by step process.
Step 1 : Making of Biryani Masala:
Start your biryani process by making the biryani masala/curry/korma. First wash your chicken properly and set aside in a strainer. On high flame, In a large pot add oil, ginger garlic paste, chicken. then add shan Bombay biryani mix , kashmiri red chili powder and chicken cube.
Mix for a minute or two. Now add Whole spices like Cloves, Green Cardamon, Cinnamon sticks and Whole Black Pepper or you can omit or add them according to your availability.
If your family prefer Biryani with potatoes then add potatoes now (cut into chunks), mix well and add two cups of water and cook covered for 10-15 minutes on low-medium flame or until the potatoes are near to cooked (70% cooked). Then turn off the flame.
Step 2: Parboiling ( partial boiling) of the Rice:
Meanwhile the chicken is cooking, In another large pot add water and bring it to boil.
Once the water boils up, add salt, rice (pre-soaked for 30 minutes) and oil. Cook the rice for 6 minutes or until it gets half cooked (par boiled), it should have a bite. Then strain the rice.
Don’t let the rice cool off once they are boiled and strained. Use them immediately for steaming (DUM) , make sure your chicken curry is ready before the rice boiling step. Otherwise the rice would begin to curl .
Step 3: Layering and Steaming/Dum:
Meanwhile the rice are being boiled, in a bowl add chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves, fried onions, dried plums, stem-off green chilies and thinly sliced tomatoes and toss them all together very well.
Now comes the layering part. Add a layer of all the mixed/tossed ingredients on top of the chicken and increase flame to high. Sprinkle food color (I use Orange-Red), whole spice powder (garam masala), kewra water and biryani essence (optional) on top.
Now put the final layer of the par-boiled rice. Add half cup of oil on top. Cover the lid and cook on high flame for 5 minutes.
Then remove the lid and cook for 5 more minutes on the same high flame. Now turn the flame to lowest and cover the lid properly with foil or cloth for steam (dum) for 5 – 10 minutes.
How to plate biryani ?
Once Biryani is ready, its time for plating. Deghi Biryani is not supposed to be mixed up once ready. Instead you have to work your way from bottom of the Degh/Pot to the top. Start plating by taking out masala rice from the bottom. Then subsequently take out white rice, chicken and potato. Be gentle and try not to the break rice.
Also try to use rice serving spoon, professional skimmer spoon or a plate to mix and serve biryani
Variations of this recipe:
Here is the list of all the changes that i made to the Chef’s recipe, see the columns below for all the alterations and substitutions from the main recipe ;
In My version I use:
Long grain Basmati Rice
Shan special Bombay biryani mix
Maggie chicken Cube instead of Chinese Salt
Kewra water and Biryani essence.
Combination of red and orange food color.
Sprinkled some food color on top.
Chef Shahid Uses:
Homemade spices and salt.
Orange food color (zarday ka rung)
What to serve with Chicken Biryani?
Biryani is a complete dish that can be served with just a raita or Garlic Chutney. Chicken biryani is a meal that contains both carbohydrates and protein, so you’ll only need a vegetable salad.
How can we make Biryani in advance?
When you plan to make this Biryani for a gathering/dawat, you can do the biryani masala step in advance or a day before and refrigerate it, and then on the main day just reheat the premade biryani masala and do the rice step , layering and dum step and serve your freshly made Biryani.
How to freeze and reheat biryani?
You can easily freeze your prepared or leftover Biryani in an airtight container or zip-lock bag for up-to 2 weeks. Whenever you are ready to use just keep it at room temperature for few hours, once its thawed shift into a large pot and sprinkle some water over it and keep it on very low heat until its steaming hot.
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Karachi Style Deghi Chicken Biryani
- 1/3 cup Oil
- 2 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
- 1 kg Chicken cut in 8 pieces
- 2 cups Water
- 1/2 pkt Special Bombay Biryani (Shan Mix)
- 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 piece Chicken cube
- 5-6 Whole Cloves (loung)
- 10 pods Green Cardamon (elaichi)
- 2-3 Cinnamon sticks (daar chini)
- 1/2 tsp Whole Black Pepper (kaali mirch)
- 3 medium Potato cut in half
For the Rice
- 3 cups Long grain Basmati Rice (soaked in water for 30 minutes)
- Water for boiling
- 3 tbsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Oil
For the Layer
- 1/2 cup Coriander leaves chopped
- 1/2 cup Mint leaves chopped
- 8 Whole Green Chilies stem off
- 5 pieced Dried Plum (alo bukhara)
- 3 medium Tomatoes cut in thin slices
- 3/4 cup Fried Onion
- 1 tbsp Kewra Water
- 1 tsp Biryani essence
- 1 tsp Whole spice powder (garam masala powder)
- 1 tsp Orange Food color
- 1/2 cup Oil (for top of the rice layer)
- In a large pot add oil, ginger garlic paste saute until fragrant.
- On a medium-high flame, add chicken. then add Shan Bombay biryani mix , kashmiri red chili powder, chicken cube. Mix for a minute or two.
- Add Whole Cloves, Green Cardamon, Cinnamon sticks and Whole Black Pepper. Add potatoes (optional), mix well.
- Now add two cups of water and cook covered for 10-15 minutes on low-medium flame or until the potatoes are half-cooked. Then turn off the flame.
- In another large pot add water and bring it to boil. Once the water boils up, add salt, rice (pre-soaked) and oil.
- Cook the rice for 6 minutes or until it gets half cooked (par boiled), it should have a bite. Then strain the rice.
- Meanwhile the rice are being cooked, in a bowl add chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves, fried onions, dried plums, stem-off green chilies and thinly sliced tomatoes and toss them all together very well.
- Now comes the layering part. Add a layer of all the mixed ingredients (from step 7 above) on top of the chicken curry and increase flame to high.
- Sprinkle food color (I use Orange-Red), whole spice powder (garam masala), kewra water and biryani essence (optional) on top.
- Now put the final layer of the par-boiled rice.
- Add half cup of oil on top. Cover the lid and cook on high flame for 5 minutes.
- Then remove the lid and cook for 5 more minutes on the same high flame.
- Now turn the flame to lowest and cover the lid properly with foil or cloth for steam (dum) for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Once Biryani is ready, time for plating. Degi Biryani is not supposed to be mixed up once ready. Instead you have to work your way from bottom of the Degh/Pot to the top. Start plating by taking out Masala rice from the bottom. Then subsequently take out white rice, chicken and potato. Be gentle and try not to break rice.
- Serve hot and ENJOY!
Chef Shahid Jutt deserves credit for this recipe. To see the procedure, I viewed his YouTube tutorial video. Sharing his video below so that you can also try his authentic version of Al Rehman Biryani.
- Try to use larger pots and pans for making and steaming biryani, so that no breaking of chicken or rice occurs while plating.
- Use rice serving spoon, professional skimmer spoon or a plate to mix and serve biryani.
- If you are boiling potatoes separately, add a pinch of orange food color, to make them look more attractive. Then layer them in the chicken curry or either top them over rice layer just before the final dum/steam.
- If you are using Basmati rice, don’t full done them while boiling otherwise they will become mushy after dum/steam.
- Also don’t over cook the chicken while making the biryani masala otherwise it will break after dum/ steam.
- Make sure to tightly close the lid for dum and seal it with the foil or cloth.
- Don’t let the rice cool off once they are boiled and strained. Use them immediately for steaming (DUM) once chicken is ready .Otherwise the rice would begin to curl .
- When making this biryani for a gathering, you can do the biryani masala step a day before and the rice, the dum steps on the final day.
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