The Chicken Gravy:
- In a dutch oven or deep pan, fry the finely sliced onions in oil until reddish brown. Add cumin seeds and stir.
- Add pureed onion, ginger-garlic paste, coriander and Kashmiri chilli powders, Shan Sindhi Biryani Masala. Cook this mixture for 5-7 minutes, adding yoghurt 1 tablespoon at a time in between. Keep stirring the masala throughout.
- Add chicken and cook until the oil separates and the chicken is tender. Keep adding splashes of water to keep the gravy from burning (25-30 minutes). The gravy should be thick and shiny when the chicken is done, not watery.
- While the chicken is cooking, take around 12 glasses of water in a large pot and set it on high heat. Add salt and whole spices.
- When the water starts boiling, add rice and cook until the rice is 80% done (al dente).
- Drain the rice in a colander and discard the water and whole spices.
Assembling the chicken and rice for biryani:
- In a heavy-bottomed, deep and wide pot (it could be the same one in which you boiled the rice), spread half the rice at the bottom. Then, spread the cooked chicken in a layer above the rice and top with the remaining rice.
- Fry cashews (if using) in oil until light brown and add them to the biryani. Reserve the oil.
- Fry onions in the same oil as above until they are reddish-brown and pour immediately over the biryani.
- Pour the saffron-infused milk over the biryani.
- Sprinkle the food colour on top of the rice, if using.
- Cover the pot with a lid and set it on the lowest heat possible for 15-20 minutes.
- Take off the lid and with the help of a wide spoon, gently mix the rice and meat together. Your chicken biryani is ready to be served now!