Chicken Biryani is a great one pot dish this recipe is for chicken but you can use lamb or beef this is an authentic Indian recipe but you can substitute all the spices with curry paste (4 to 5 tablespoons)


1kg chicken breast or thigh fillerts cut into 2″ pieces Chicken Biryani
4 large onions thinly sliced
2 tsps garlic paste
2 tsps ginger paste
1/2 cup almonds
6 tbsps sunflower oil
1″ stick of cinnamon
5 cloves
3 pods cardamom
8 peppercorns
2 tsps coriander powder
1 1/2 tsps cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 cup yoghurt
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup chicken/ beef stock
2 tbsps finely chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsps finely chopped mint leaves
Salt to taste
For the rice: 2 cups Basmati rice
Hot water
Salt to taste
3 drops each of orange and green food coloring (optional)


Place the almonds in a bowl of hot water (enough to cover them) and set aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes skin the almonds by pressing each one between your thumb and forefinger.

Pre-heat the oven set at 350 F/ 180 C/ Gas mark 4

In a food processor mix together the garlic and ginger pastes, the peeled almonds and grind to a smooth paste

Wash the rice in a sieve and add enough water to fully cover the rice – at least 4″ over the surface of the rice. Add salt to taste. Set the rice up to boil. Cook till almost done. Strain through a sieve and set aside

Heat 3 tbsps of the oil in a pan and fry 2 of the onions till caramalized – golden brown. Drain and keep aside on paper towels for later use

Heat 3 tbsps of oil in another pan and add the whole spices – cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns. Fry till the spices turn a shade darker

Add the remainder of the remainder of the onions until translucent then add the ginger-garlic-almond paste and fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add all the spice powders – coriander, cumin and garam masala and mix together well

Fry till the oil begins to separate from the masala and then add the chicken. Keep frying till the meat is fully sealed on all sides

Now mix in the  the yoghurt, lime juice, stock, coriander and mint leaves and salt to taste

Cover the pan and cook until the chicken is tender

If you are using the food coloring, divide the rice into 3 equal portions and put into separate dishes. Add the orange food coloring to one portion of the rice and the green food coloring to another portion of the rice. Leave the third portion white. With each portion, mix the rice till all the grains are well colored. Keep aside for 10 minutes after which you can mix all 3 portions of rice together in a bowl for use in the next step.

Grease a deep baking dish and evenly layer the cooked rice, meat (and its gravy) in it to form at least 2 sets of layers (rice-meat-rice-meat-rice). Garnish with the previously caramalised onions. Cover the dish tightly with kitchen foil at least two layers with shiny side down.

Bake in  the pre-heated oven set at 350 F/ 180 C/ Gas mark 4 for 20 minutes.

Turn off the oven and let the dish sit in the oven till you are ready to eat

Dig in with a spoon so you get to taste all the layers

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{November 25, 2011} {Tags: , , , }