Chicken biryani is one of those Indian dishes everyone probably has probably heard of, if not eaten. It is a layered rice dish of chicken and rice with spices. Although there is usually no vegetables in traditional biryani, I love adding the extra good stuffs. I also don’t cook this dish the “traditional” way, because it just takes way too much time to do that, and there is a lot of room for error. I make mine in three steps: cooking the rice till almost done, cooking the chicken till almost done, and then finishing both off in the oven. If you follow this method, you will have perfectly cooked biryani in half the time that tastes just as great as the long method. When serving biryani of any kind, you must serve it along with raita. Well, you don’t have to, but you should. I like to make my own biryani masala by grinding up particular spices, but you can use a biryani spice mix from a box with no problem. This recipe makes a lot of food, so it would be perfect for a family meal or a potluck.
- 3-4 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2-3 carrots, diced
- 1-2 cups mushrooms chopped
- 1 cup cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 chopped green chilis
- 3 cups basmati rice, uncooked
- 2 tsp kala jeera
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1/4 -1/3 cup biryani masala
- 2.5 handfuls of mint, chopped
- 2.5 handfuls cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup fried onions
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- oil for cooking
- a large pot with a right lid that can be put in the oven
Soak rice in water for half an hour. Then boil rice for 5-7 minutes, or until almost done. Drain and set aside.
Add oil to a large oven-proof pan. Once hot, add kala jeera. Let them sizzle for a few seconds, then add the onions. Saute till translucent and add ginger garlic paste. Saute till raw smell goes away. Add the vegetables and cook till fork tender, but still firm. Add the chicken and cook till around 50% done. Add the biryani masala, .5 handfuls of both cilantro and mint, and the yogurt. Stir.
Remove half of the vegetables from the pan and add half of the remaining mint and cilantro, then half of the fried onions. On top of that, add half of the rice on top of the vegetables. On top of that rice, add the rest of the vegetables. Add the rest of the fried onions along with the rest of the mint and cilantro. Add the remaining rice.
Serve with raita