Thursday, 29 April 2010

Chicken Biryani

Last year, while being unemployed, I got a little bit obsessed with the website I could spend hours browsing through all the recipes and I even forced my friends to share in my excitement.

What I like about is that almost all the recipes come with an instruction video on how to prepared the dish. It's fabulous and so easy to follow.

Ok, this post isn't about why is such a wonderful website, I just felt I needed to give homage where homage was due.

I came across this recipe for Chicken Biryani the other day over at.... you know where. I was a little bit unsure about it, seeing how it contains a daunting 29 ingredients!!! But I remember my boyfriend having Lamb Biryani (he loved it) on our 4 year anniversary some 20 days ago, and decided I'd give it a go.

It turned out great, although the recipe said to keep it in a 120 C oven for an hour. I tried it, it was only lukewarm, I upped the oven to 200 C and it only took 10 min to get the dish nice and hot. Also, next time I'll add in some more spices to give it that extra kick.

PS. Sorry guys, I'm usually not one for copying recipes from someone else's site and posting them here, but I couldn't be stuffed to re-write the entire recipe....


Chicken Biryani
Serves 4
Adapted from

4 small chicken breast
1 ½ cup Basmati Rice
6 cups water
1 cup Yogurt
1 medium potato
1 ½ tbsp oil
1- 1 ½ tbsp Clarified Butter (Ghee)
1-2 tbsp grated garlic
1-2 tbsp grated ginger
Green Chili – to taste
5 cm Cinnamon stick
2 Bay leaves
1 Black Cardamom
3 pieces Mace (optional)
2-4 green cardamoms pods
4 Cloves
Whole Peppercorns – to taste
1 tbsp Golden Raisins
1 tbsp Cashews (heaped)
Salt – to taste
1 tbsp Black Cumin
1 tbsp Cumin Powder
1 tbsp Coriander Powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Saffron (Kesar)
2 handfuls chopped Mint Leaves
1/4 cup chopped Cilantro/Coriander
½+ ½ cup Fried Onions (divided)

1. Wash and soak the Rice for a minimum 1/2 hour.
2. In a pan, bring 8 cups of water to boil.
3. Once boiling, add Green Cardamoms (2), Bay Leaves (1), Salt and Oil (1tsp).
4. Add in the washed Rice to boiling water.
5. Once the Water starts boiling again, time and cook for 5 minutes (the Rice needs to be 3/4 way done).
6. Drain the water from the Rice and keep aside.
7. In a separate bowl, mix Saffron and Water (1tbsp), keep aside and allow it to soak.
8. Heat a pan on medium heat, add in the Oil and the Clarified Butter.
9. Once hot, add in the Cashews and Golden Raisins, fry for a couple of minutes till the cashews get a light golden colour.
10.Remove from the Pan. Make sure you drain all the Oil. Keep aside.
11.Add in the balance of whole spices – Cinnamon Stick, Mace, Bay Leaf, Black & Green Cardamom, Peppercorns & Cloves.
12.Fry for under a minute.
13.Add in Black Cumin (use regular Cumin if Black is not available).
14.Allow them to sizzle.
15.Add in Ginger & Garlic, fry for another minute. Keep stirring.
16.Add in the washed, cleaned pieces of Chicken. Mix well.
17.Once the Chicken looks sealed, add in the following while stirring constantly – Yogurt, Fried Onion (1/2 cup), Cilantro (save some for garnish), Mint, Green Chili, Potatoes and the dry spices – Coriander, Cumin, Turmeric, Red Chili & Salt.
18.Mix very well. Cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes (the chicken should be 3/4 of the way done).
19.Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (aprox 121 degrees C).
20.Coat an oven-proof dish with a little oil.
21.Start by layering the Chicken at the bottom of the dish along with a few pieces of Potatoes (saving the gravy for top layer).
22.Fluff up the Rice and add a layer of it on top of the Chicken with half of the Rice.
23.Layer the balance of the potatoes and all the gravy on the rice layer.
24.Next spread the balance of the Rice.
25.Layer the Cashews, Raisins, Fried Onions, Cilantro and Saffron.
26.Drizzle a little bit of Oil.
27.Cover with an air-tight lid or a foil and bake for 1 hour or till the potatoes are cooked.
28.Once out of the oven, take a ladle and mix it gently but well.
29.Allow it to sit for 5 minutes and serve with Cilantro and Mint Raita

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