Chicken Biryani- sans some spices - Indulging in Guilty Pleasures...
I have this great recipe for Chicken Biryani that I made with my beloved roommate last year and our good friend Mischa. That time we had most of the spices, but I have to say I was missing a few this time: cardamom, mint, and I took a short cut and covered for those with garam masala. But you'll notice that the biryani isn't it's normal yellow color and that's because it's lacking saffron.
It's still delicious though!

Read more for the full recipe and step by step photos!

Ingredients (the whole recipe feeds 8 to 10 people, no seriously)

Step 1
1 lb basmati rice (wash and let drain for at least 30 minutes)
Step 2
4 tbsp vegetable oil
4 small potatoes, peeled and halved
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
2 medium tomatoes, peeled & chopped
2 tbsp plain yogurt
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 2" piece of cinnamon stick
3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken pieces cut into chunks (I usually use chicken breast, but this time we used chicken thigh meat and it was so tender and flavorful! Try it out!)
Step 3 (see third picture)

  • In a large skillet, pour 2 tbsp veggie oil or ghee and fry potatoes until brown. Drain and set aside.
  • Add remaining 2 tbsp oil to skillet and fry onion, garlic, and ginger until onion is soft and golden.
  • Add chili, pepper, turmeric, cumin, salt, and tomatoes. Fry, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.
  • Add yogurt, mint, cardamom, and cinnamon stick. Cover and cook over low, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes are cooked to a pulp. (You may need water to stop the mixture from drying & sticking to the pan)

  • When the mixture is thick and smooth, add chicken and stir well to coat. Cover and cook over low heat 35 - 45 minutes.
  • There should only be a little thick gravy left when the chicken is finished cooking.
Ingredients for Step 3
2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
1 pinch powdered saffron
5 pods cardamom
3 whole cloves
1 1" piece cinnamon stick
4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 tsp salt

  • In a large (very large) skillet, heat oil and fry onions until golden.
  • Add saffron, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, ginger, and rice. Stir continuously.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium size saucepan, heat chicken stock and salt. When hot, pour over rice and stir well.
  • Add chicken mixture and potatoes to the rice and gently mix.
  • Bring to the boil. Cover pan tightly, turn heat to very low, and steam 20 minutes (or more, until rice is tender). DO NOT LIFT LID OR STIR WHILE STEAMING!
Enjoy by itself or with yummy Indian breads like paratha or nan. I would have made some but we had no whole wheat flour, which is sort of a key ingredient = ).

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