Recipe video above. Curried chicken cooked in a pot buried under a mount of fragrant, fluffy rice. Biryani is a celebration of all that we love about Indian food! Make this with other proteins or vegetables - see notes. There's a load of spices in this - and it's worth it! (Plus you'll find everything at every day supermarkets).
- 750 g / 1.5 lb chicken thighs , skin on, bone in, halved along bone (Note 1)
- 2/3 cup / 150 ml yoghurt , plain
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml water
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (or other plain oil)
- 6 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cayenne (adjust spiciness to taste)
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tsp garam marsala (Note 2)
- 2 tsp coriander
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 2 tbsp paprika , sweet / ordinary (not smoked)
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
PAR BOILED RICE:
- 2 tbsp salt
- 10 cloves
- 5 dried bay leaves
- 1 star anise
- 6 green cardamon pods
- 2 1/4 cups / 450g basmati rice (Note 3)
CRISPY ONIONS (NOTE 4):
- 2 medium onions (yellow, brown) , halved and finely sliced
- 1 cup / 250 ml oil , for frying
- 1 tsp saffron threads (loosely packed) (Note 5)
- 2 tbsp warm water
- 1 cup coriander / cilantro , chopped
- 60 g / 1/4 cup ghee or unsalted butter , melted (Note 6)
- Crispy onions (above)
- Chopped coriander / cilantro
- Yoghurt (Note 7)
- Mix Marinade in a large pot (about 26cm / 11" diameter). Add chicken and coat well. Marinade 20 minutes to overnight.
PAR BOILED RICE:
- Bring 3 litres / 3 quarts water to the boil, add salt and spices.
- Add rice, bring back up to the boil then cook for 4 minutes, or until rice is just cooked still a bit firm in the middle. Rice will taste salty at this stage, disappears in next stage of cooking.
- Drain immediately. Set aside. (Note 10 re: leaving whole spices in)
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Cook onion, in batches, for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown. Don't burn - they become bitter.
- Remove onto paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining onion.
- Place in a bowl, leave for 10 minutes+.
- Place pot with chicken in it onto a stove over medium heat. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove lid. Cook for 5 minutes, turning chicken twice.
- Remove from heat.
- Turn chicken so skin side is down - it should cover most of the base of the pot.
- Scatter over half the onion then half the coriander.
- Top with all the rice. Gently pat down and flatten surface.
- Drizzle saffron across rice surface in random pattern, then drizzle over ghee.
- Place lid on. Return to stove over medium heat.
- As soon as you see steam, turn down to low then cook for 25 minutes.
- Remove from stove, rest with lid on for 10 minutes.
- Aim to serve it so you get nice patches of yellow rice, white rice, the curry stained rice + chicken (rather than all mixed up). To do this, use a large spoon and dig deep into the pot, and try to scoop up as much as you can in one scoop.
- Turn out into bowl - or onto platter. Garnish with remaining onion and coriander with yoghurt on the side (see Note 7 for Minted Yoghurt)