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I LOVE rice. So it should not come as a surprise that Biryani, an Indian mixed rice dish made with basmati rice, is one of my absolute favorite foods!
I first discovered biryani while living in England. First bite was love at first taste! Biryani is a very special dish, and my understanding is that it is often served at weddings and celebrations in India.
I have made biryani from scratch before, grinding my own spices, etc. However this time I “cheated” and used a spice mix by Shan that I bought from my local Indian-Pakistani grocer. The spice mix includes salt, red chili, ginger, garlic, cumin, nigella, turmeric, coriander, green cardamom, and black pepper. You can also order this through Amazon by clicking here.
Biryani is one of the foods listed in the book 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die, by Mimi Sheraton. It is food #30 in my quest to try each and every one of the foods in the book. 🙂 More about this later!
What Ingredients Will You Need to Make Chicken Biryani?
You’ll be happy to know that the list of ingredients for this Chicken Biryani is a very short list! Please note that the Shan Biryani Spice Mix which I used has a recipe on the back of the box. I am basing my recipe on theirs but have made a couple of modifications. Therefore, the ingredients I used in my Chicken Biryani are: Shan Biryani Spice Mix, Chicken, Basmati rice, onions, tomatoes, cilatro, plain yogurt, and olive oil. That’s it!
With a biryani you will prepare the meat side (or veg) separately to the rice. There is a bit of curry sauce involved which you will make when preparing the meat (or veg) side. I made a chicken biryani and once both sides were done combined the chicken and curry with the perfectly fluffy and aromatic basmati rice. And the combination was pure perfection!
By the way, basmati rice is also on my 1,000 Foods to Eat Project list, based on the book 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die, by Mimi Sheraton. I’m working my way through these 1,000 Foods and posted about biryani here.
Even if this was a “cheat” biryani, I’m totally elated with it and happy to dine on the leftovers for days. YES! This is a very economical dish as you will make enough to feed an army!
I hope that you might give this a try…I believe you will love it too!
You may also enjoy these other Indian dishes!
1,000 Foods to Eat Project
Please follow along with me on this quest to try the 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die, from the book by Mimi Sheraton! Join me in this journey and discover new foods, experiences, and cuisines which I hope will add inspiration, fun, and joy to your life! For a list of the foods tried so far visit the 1,000 Foods to Eat Project page.
If you’d like to follow along and be a part of the 1,000 Foods Project, please sign up to get the latest recipes and inspiration for you to expand your food comfort zone! It’s an incredible journey, please join me by signing up here. 🙂
- 1 bx Shan Biryani Spice Mix
- 2 onions large and very thinly sliced
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2.5 lbs Chicken (meat on bones) – cut into small portions if possible buy a whole cut up chicken for use in this recipe
- 3 tomatoes medium sized diced
- 1 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 cup plain and natural yogurt
- 1 cup chicken broth
- corn starch and water to thicken if necessary
- 2 cups Basmati Rice
- 3.5 cups water to cook the basmati rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Heat 4 tbsp of olive oil in a very large skillet to medium high (one that you can cover with a lid). Fry the onions until golden brown, approximately 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the chicken and the Shan Biryani Spice Mix, and stir fry for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup natural yogurt and 1 cup chicken broth. Stir and reduce heat to medium-low, and then cover and continue to cook until the meat is tender. Because the chicken should be cut up into small portions, it should only take around 10-15 min or so for the meat to be cooked to tender. AT THIS TIME REFER TO STEP 4 SO THAT YOU CAN START PREPARING YOUR BASMATI RICE 🙂
- Return the heat to medium high, and add the tomatoes. Heat on med high for around 10 min or so. If the gravy/curry sauce seems too thin at this time, then you may add some corn starch mixed with water to thicken. Once added boil for a few minutes to thicken the sauce. Once done you can leave this covered on a very low heat setting until your basmati rice is ready.
- Meanwhile prepare your basmati rice. Heat your stove to medium and add olive oil to a medium sized saucepan. Once the oil is hot, add the rice, and stir for around 3 minutes, being sure to coat each grain of rice with the oil.
- Add the water, and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn your heat down to the low setting on your stove, cover, and cook for around 25 minutes. Check every so often to make sure the rice is still moist and not sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. After 25 minutes, remove from the heat, and allow to rest (covered) for about 10 minutes.
- Now it's time to mix! Lay your rice out and gently mix together the chicken and curry sauce with the rice. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top to garnish!