1 tsp of green cardamom powder or 5 green cardamom pods
½ tsp of allspice
½ tsp of cinnamon powder
½ lime for garnish
Vegetables of your choice (optional)
Fresh cilantro (coriander) for garnish
Fresh mint for garnish
Flaked almonds or cashews for garnish
¼ slice of fresh tomato for garnish
Dollop of natural yoghurt (optional)
This savoury, versatile, rice dish bursting with flavor. Enjoy with chicken, lamb or vegetables.
We will be making this chicken biryani in 3 different parts. We will start by making the marinade for the chicken.
Firstly, bloom a pinch of saffron (grind in a mortar and pestle and add a drop of hot water and let it sit for a few minutes). Then, in a bowl, add 2 tbsp of sour cream, pinch of sea salt, 1 tsp of black pepper, 2 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of paprika, 1 tsp of cayenne pepper and juice from ¼ of a lemon. Add your bloomed saffron to the marinade.
Cut the boneless chicken breasts into cubes, and mix together with the marinade. Let it marinate whilst you make the rice.
Take 2 cups of white basmati rice, and add around 4-5 cups of water to the pot. Bring it to the boil, then let it simmer until the rice is around 80% cooked. We only want to parboil the rice. The rice may look cooked but it should still be a little hard on the inside.
Once it’s cooked to around 80%, strain it and leave it to the side. We will be cooking it off later.
Preheat your oven to 390°F (200°C) at this point, so it will be hot when we want to cook our chicken.
Next up is the “gravy”. Most Indian dishes include a gravy that have certain ingredients in common. They are a mix of these spices blended into a paste and can be tweaked to create different Indian dishes.
To begin making the gravy, heat around 1 tsp of butter on low heat in a pan.
Dice 2 white onions, 2 or 3 peppers, 2 green chillies and add to the pan to fry. Then, add 1 tsp of minced garlic (or 3 diced garlic cloves) and 1 tsp of lime pickle (lime pickle can be store-bought and can be found in the section of pre-made Indian sauces or chutney) to the pan.
At this point, you can add any other vegetables you want to the pan such as peas, mushrooms, mixed vegetables, it’s completely up to you and your preference.
Whilst you are cooking the base of the gravy, in a mortar and pestle add 1 pinch of saffron, a pinch of sea salt, 1 tsp of black pepper, 1 tbsp of cumin, 1 tbsp of coriander powder, 1 tbsp of garam masala, 1 tsp of red chilli powder, 5 green cardamom pods or 1 tsp of green cardamom powder, ½ tsp of allspice, ½ tsp of cinnamon and grind together. Once grinded, add it to the gravy base. Add juice from 1/2 a lemon to the pan after adding the spices.
Add some water to the gravy so that it doesn’t dry out and cook on low heat. You want all the flavours to blend together. The more you cook the spices, the more flavourful your dish will be once it’s all combined.
Whilst you are cooking the gravy, lay your marinated chicken on some parchment paper and place in the preheated oven and cook for around 20 minutes until the chicken has fully cooked. When the chicken is done, you can take your gravy off the heat.
Next, take a large pot and add your pre-cooked rice, add your cooked chicken then add your gravy. Fold together gently until everything is combined.
Take 1 cup of water and add it to the pot. Put the pot on a low heat and continue to cook the biryani until the rice is 100% cooked. This should take around 10 minutes.
Keep an eye on the dish as you don’t want the rice at the bottom to burn. There should be no water in the base of the pot when it is finished.
When it’s done, plate it up and garnish with some fresh chopped cilantro, mint, green chillies, toasted flaked almonds or toasted cashews. Add a 1/4 slice of fresh tomato, a wedge of lime or lemon or a dollop of natural yoghurt.