Biryani is a traditional Mughal dish with fragranced rice and spicy meat that is now often eaten as a meal in itself. But historically of course for the Mughal kings it would have been accompanied with Raita, several meat curries and then followed by a traditional sweetmeat. It does take some time to prepare but is well worth the effort.
- 300g basmati rice
- 1 cup yoghurt
- 25g butter
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cardamom pod
- 2 large black cardamoms
- 4 cloves
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- small cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 4 skinless chicken breast, cut into large chunks
- 4 tbsp curry paste
- 85g raisin
- 850ml chicken stock
- chopped coriander and toasted flaked almonds for garnish
- Marinate the meat, overnight or at least for 2 hours before cooking, in the yoghurt, curry paste, cloves, black and green cardamoms, cinnamon powder.
- Heat butter in a saucepan and cook the onions with the bay leaf for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle in the turmeric, then add chicken and cook until aromatic.
- Soak the rice in warm water for around 20 minutes then wash in cold until the water runs clear.
- Stir the rice into the pan with the raisins, then pour over the stock. Place a tight-fitting lid on the pan and bring to a hard boil, then lower the heat to a minimum and cook the rice for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave for 10 minutes. Put a layer of rice and then layer of chicken and so on until the mixture has finished and put into the oven at 160oc heat for around 15 minutes. Just before serving use a metal spoon to mix the rice and chicken slightly so that they intermingle.