Thursday 20 August 2020

Chicken Biryani

Murghi no Palau |
Chicken Biryani

This is perfect for a quick weekend fix. Despite my constant ranting about how only "bone-in" meats and fish give the dish its rich flavour, I do have to stray from the path every now and then and give in to my strong and sincere belief! So here's one for all you boneless fans to savour.

In this recipe I am going to share a recipe I make in the oven, but you can use the stove-top just as easily. You will need a wide, deep pan to make it work best. 

The rice is cooked from "raw", so that helps one fewer pot to wash. 

Make it your own. Add your favourite spices to it if you feel like it. Just enjoy what you cook.

Serves 6 

Preheat the oven to 200 °C | 400 °F
33cm x 22cm | 13x9in roasting pan/dish or 33cm x 15cm | 13x6in round pan
parchment paper
Foil to seal

1 teaspoon oil

1 tsp fresh garlic-crushed

1 tsp fresh ginger-crushed

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

3/4 tsp coriander powder

3/4 tsp garam masalo

1 tsp cumin powder

2 tsp red chilli powder 

1 green chilli-finely chopped

500 g/ 1.1 lb chicken thighs-skinless, boneless, cubed

1 tbsp tomato paste 

1 cup crushed fried onion

500 g/ 1.1 lb potatoes-peeled and cubed


1 cup yogurt that has been lightly seasoned with salt and sugar
1/4 tsp crushed saffron

2 cups washed rice 
4 cups of boiling water 

1 1/2 tsp salt
1 bay leaf, dried

2 whole green cardamom pods

Heat a tsp of oil and add the spices. Stir and cook for a minute until aromatic. Add the chicken and brown it all over for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, onions, and potatoes. Stir well and cover the lid to steam for seven minutes. This step will heat everything through and "start" the cooking process. The potatoes must be almost done if you like them to be soft.

Overturn this into your prepared dish, evenly pour the yoghurt all over it, spoon the raw rice over that, and finally place the bay leaf and cardamom. Pour the boiling hot salted water into the dish and place a wet piece of parchment paper across the dish on top, touching the water. To seal the dish, place 5 pieces of foil one at a time, overlapping each other to ensure no steam can escape.

Place your dish in a hot water bath in the oven and cook for 40 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave it for another 20 minutes. Serve.

To cook it on the stove-top

Continue by adding the yoghurt, rice, cardamom, and bay leaf. Pour the hot salted water into the pan, bring this to a boil, and keep cooking until you can see the top of the rice and the water has almost evaporated. Place a piece of wet parchment on top, pushing it down to touch the rice. Cover the pan tightly to make sure no steam escapes. Lower the heat and cook for 30 minutes. Turn the stove off. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes and serve. 




Wash the rice until the water runs clear. If necessary, repeat ten times. This washes away the starch, allowing your rice to be kholo dano (each grain is separate).

This recipe is improved by salting the rice and chicken separately.

To ensure even cooking, the chicken and potatoes should be roughly the same size.

Page xx contains my garam masalo recipe.

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

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