Today, I have another version of a traditionally complicated dish, except this one is super easy. We’re gonna make some pretty bomb chicken biryani.
You could even host a one-dish party with this and some raita. Yum!
Let me show you how it’s done.
First, let me show you what we’ll be using. Here you’ll see two boxes of Shan’s biryani masala, one for “Special Bombay Biryani” and one just regular “Biryani Masala.” One large can of crushed tomatoes (we’ll only be using half of this), some ginger/garlic paste, and some purchased fried onions. This dish comes together in no time because of these shortcuts. And honestly, because we are going to be cooking the chicken fully before we steam the chicken mix and the rice together, you’re not going to be individually tasting the ingredients. If I were making French onion soup, I wouldn’t use prepared browned onions, but because no one will be able to pick out the onions or their flavor in the mix, it doesn’t really matter.
Also I have 6 chicken breasts that I will be cutting into large chunks to keep on hand for later. You could also use 2 whole chickens cut up into 12 pieces for this recipe. I had chicken breast on hand the day I was making this so that’s what I used. The other steps would be the same.
Now, heat up 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a large nonstick wok or frying pan.
Add 3/4 cup of water and 3/4 cup of yogurt that has been whisked to this mixture, cover, and allow the chicken to fully cook in the spice mixture (masala) for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
After the chicken has cooked and the masala has thickened you can set this mixture aside. I have also made this mix in advance and refrigerated it. Heating it up and making the rice only when I want to finish the biryani. It’s a great trick for parties.
To finish off the biryani, we need rice. Soak five cups of Royal brand basmati rice (it’s the brand I prefer because it is easily available and consistent in how long the grains get) in room temperature water for 30 minutes. Be sure you have rinsed the rice thoroughly and done about 3-4 changes of the water to remove any of the extra starch!
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt the water generously. If you don’t salt the water enough your whole biryani will taste like its missing something. It should taste salty, but not overly brine-y.
Cook the rice like pasta, allowing it to boil in the water for about 10-12 minutes, or until the rice is 85% cooked. You’ll have to keep an eye on this because if it overcooks the grains will break and you’ll have five cups of mush, not rice. No bueno!
Seal off the top of the pan with some aluminum foil and allow the biryani to bake in a 300 degree oven for an hour. This will allow steam to develop and will blend the chicken masala mix with the rice.
Once the biryani is done, lightly fluff so you don’t break the rice grains and serve.
It’s really delicious.
- 4-5 regular sized chicken breasts, cut into large chunks (you could also use 2 chickens cut into 12 pieces each)
- 5 cups basmati rice, rinsed and soaked for 30 minutes
- ½ package Shan Bombay Biryani masala
- ½ package Shan Biryani masala
- 1 cup prepared fried onions
- 3 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 14 oz. petit diced tomatoes
- ¾ cup yogurt, whisked
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- red, yellow, or orange food dye powder (available at Indian grocery stores)
- heat up vegetable oil in a large, nonstick wok or skillet
- fry prepared fried onions for 3 minutes to heat up and reconstitute
- add in the ginger/garlic paste and tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes until the tomatoes slightly cook down
- add in the masala mixtures and cook for 3-5 minutes until a paste forms
- add chicken pieces and fry for 3 minutes
- add in yogurt and ¾ cup of water, cover pan with a lid, and cook for 15-20 minutes until paste chicken is cooked and the masala is thick
- set the masala mixture aside
- heat up a large pot of generously salted boiling water
- cook rice similar to the way you would cook pasta until the rice is 85% cooked
- in a large foil tray layer half of the rice mixture, the chicken masala mixture (reserving some mixture for the top), half of the cilantro, the remaining rice, the remaining masala, remaining cilantro in that order
- top off the top of the biryani with a dusting of the colored powder on top of the rice
- cover tray with aluminum foil
- bake in a 300 degree preheated oven for 1 hour
- fluff gently
- serve warm
I hope you guys try it out! I actually made this dish for some friends as their holiday gift and they loved it. It’s so easy to make and a lovely way to show someone you care.