19 September, 2016
Chicken biryani is one of my favourite Asian-inspired dishes. Biryani, also spelt biriyani or biriani, is so popular all over the world, and, in spite of the fact that there are so many variations of this dish, one thing is sure: you can never go wrong with biryani, no matter how you cook it.
Whether you go for a strong-flavoured or a mild version, be it chicken, mutton, lamb and so on, you know you have hit the jackpot; one delicious meal for you to enjoy. The main ingredients are rice, meat and seasoning, and here it is entirely up to you how little or how much you use. Quantity wise, it depends on how many people you cook it for, l usually cook enough for 2 people, so feel free to double or triple up the amounts used if you make it for more.
I’m not quite a huge fan of super strong seasoning, so my version is pretty mild, l also avoided chilli, pregnancy and too spicy food don’t seem to go hand in hand, at least in my case. I am also a bit paranoid when it comes to chicken, l tend to cook it for a lot longer than required, just in case, l’d rather not worry about uncooked meat. It is probably worth mentioning that this chicken biryani is my take on this classic dish, and will never claim as it being original. But, you know what, it is absolutely fantastic and l’m sure you’ll love it.
- 2 chicken breasts
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 large onion
- 1 small red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2cm fresh ginger root
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground mild curry powder
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup basmati rice
- chopped coriander to garnish
- 1 or 2 drops of yellow food colouring
- Soak the rice in plenty of cold water for at least 1 hour.
- Dice the chicken breasts and tranfer to a large bowl.
- Add the yogurt, ground black pepper, curry powder, ground cumin and mix well so that the chicken is well coated.
- Cut the onion, garlic cloves and ginger, then heat up the oil in a pan and fry them until golden.
- Chop the tomatoes and add them to the pan, they should be cooked for 3-4 minutes until mushy.
- In goes the chicken, stiring well. Leave to cook for 5 minutes, then add 1/2 cup of water. Bay leaves and salt can be added too.
- Cover with a lid and leave it to cook until the liquid is absorbed.
- Meanwhile, wash the rice until the water runs clear, then add more cold water to a pan and bring to a boil.
- At this stage the rice should be about 70/80 % cooked.
- Drain the water and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
- In an oven-proof dish that has a lid, arrange one layer of rice, one layer of the cooked chicken and again one layer of rice.
- Add one tbsp of milk, one tbsp of water and the food colouring to a cup, then drizzle some over the rice.
- Cook in the oven with the lid on for about 20-30 minutes, the rice will become fluffy and fully cooked.
- Carefully remove from the oven, and use a fork to gently mix the chicken and rice.
- In a small pan, fry the red onion that had been cut in strips until golden brown, and mix it with the chicken and rice.
- Garnish with chopped coriander.