Chicken Biryani (homestyle) with Cucumber Mint Raita

Biryani is a traditional Indian dish made with a number of spices(whole and ground, rice, chicken or meat and vegetables. Sort of like a jambalaya or a paella but very different in the type of spices and flavor.
This is a homemade recipe from Lulu Auntie who is a family friend and I just love it. We made it the other day and enjoyed it for days so I thought it would definitely be worth uploading. The cucumber raita (salad) is a perfect accompaniment.
Chicken (2 - 3 chicken breast chopped ~2lbs)
Onion 2 medium or 1 large chopped lengthwise, fine
Whole spices fried to flavor oil:
Cinnamon sticks 2
Cloves 6
Cardamom 6
Masala (mix of dry ground spices):
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Turmeric 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Additional Ingredients:
2-3 cups basmati rice
Mint leaves (handful chopped)
Cilantro (handful chopped)
Green chilli 2-3 slit lengthwise but left whole
ginger garlic paste 1 tablespoon each
Yogurt 2 cups
Saffron (optional,gives a good color)

1) Sautee a whole lot of onions in olive oil and make sure they are golden brown before you set aside. While doing this make some half-boil rice (1 cup basmati rice usually = 1.5 cups water). Typically the rice takes 20 mins but in this case stop after 10 mins because we will be cooking it later in the oven.
3) In oil heat whole spices till they release their fragrance. Add the garlic and ginder paste.
4) Add the greens (green chilli, chopped cilantro and mint)
5) Add the masalas or dry ground spices. A bit of red chilli powder can also be added as optional.
6) Fry chicken and let turn a bit brown before adding the yogurt. Let thicken into a korma. Add 1/3 of the onions. Set the rest aside for layering in biryani.
7) In a glass baking dish, layer rice (1/3) followed by half the korma followed by the onions (1/3). Add second layer of rice (1/3), rest of korma, rest of the onions. Make holes and pour ghee or butter. Mix a pinch of saffron+warm milk and pour on rice for the beautiful coloring.  Bake for 30 mins at 350.

Cucumber Mint Raita:
Grate cucumber and squeeze out water. Mix with yogurt, salt and a pich of cumin (be careful not to overpower with cumin here). Add a tsp of chopped cilantro and mint. Grated carrot can also be used. Refrigerate if possible before serving.
The result is a wholesome rice and meat dish for a group of 4-6 people. The coolness of the raita helps compliment the spices. Mmmm, delicious.


Popular Posts