This chicken biryani is a one pot rice casserole that is is brimming with fresh flavors. It is quick and can be easily made in a thick pot with lid, like a dutch oven, or a pressure cooker. My choice of protein for this dish is chicken as the flavors blend really well. This is a mildly spiced dish that is perfect for family meals.
The meat and spices are layered in the bottom and given a few minutes of head start in cooking . The layer of rice is added on top and slow cooked. Biryanis prepared this way are called “kacchi” or referring to the lack of precooking the meat. Since we are using small pieces of boneless chicken it get cooked in the same time as the rice. A thick bottomed pot with a lid like a dutch oven, is perfect for this dish. Use a pressure cooker to save on time even more.
Biryani spices vary from cook to cook and no one seems to agree on one spice mix. I always use bay leaves , cinnamon sticks , cloves , cardamon (both black and green) and fennel. Other popular spices to use are star anise, mace and poppy seeds. A variety of nuts and fruits are used as flavor enhancers as well. This is a quick kid friendly biryani recipe with mild flavors.
The whole spices are fried in hot oil for a couple minutes until the spicy aromas fill the air. To this add the sliced onions and stir fry till the onions turn golden. The golden , caramelized onions has the most flavor, but if time is at premium at least wait till the raw smell of the onions to disappear.
Add the green paste to the onions and cook for a few minutes. Wait for the raw smell of the ginger and garlic should disappear and the color of the paste to change a little. To this paste add the marinated chicken. Stir the chicken so that the paste coats all sides of the chicken. Cook undisturbed for a minute.
Spread the rice evenly on top of the chicken. Add the water and place the lid on. If you were using a pressure cooker, place the lid on and follow the instructions for cooking rice. If using a a thick bottomed pan , as in the picture, wait for the steam to come out and lower the heat to minimum. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat , but do not open the lid for another 10 minutes.
Fry the cashew nuts and raisins in 2 tablespoon of oil. Open the lid and sprinkle half the nuts and raisins on top . Gently fluff and mix the rice . This is the time to taste for and adjust salt if needed.
Serve with raita , papad , pickles or your favorite spicy curry .
Here is a the recipe for flavorful Green Chicken Biryani .
Green Chicken Biryani
- 2 C Basmati Rice
- 1 Onion Medium
- 2 - 3 Bay leaf
- 4 Cloves
- 1 4 Inch Cinnamon Stick
- 4 Green Cardamom
- 1 Black Cardamom
- 1/2 Tsp Fennel
- 1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- 1 1/2 C Water
- 1 lb Chicken Boneless
- 1 Pinch Turmeric
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp Yogurt/Coconut Cream
For Green Paste
- 1 Bunch Cilantro/Coriander Leaves
- 1 Bunch Mint
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Inch Fresh Ginger
- 2 Green Chilies To Taste
- 2 Tbsp Cashew nuts
- 1 Tsp Salt To taste
- 2 Tbsp Cashew Nuts
- 2 Tbsp Raisins
Prep the Chicken
- Clean and cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Mix the yogurt or coconut cream with a pinch of salt and turmeric and rub all over the chicken pieces. Set aside.
Clean the rice
- Wash the rice in plenty of water and set aside to drain in a colander .
Make the Green Paste
- Clean and pat dry the leaves. Remove the woody stems and chop into large chunks. Cut the tomato cross wise and squeeze out the seeds . Chop it into quarters. Peel the the ginger and garlic. Place all the ingredients for the paste into a blender and pulse until a smooth paste is formed. If needed add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to ease the process. Set the paste aside.
- Slice the onion into thin strips. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a thick bottomed pan. When the oil is hot add the whole spices. Once the spices give off aroma add the sliced onions. Stir often and cook until the onions are golden brown. Add the green paste and stir fry for a minute. Add the chicken to this mix . Stir and cook for a minute. Spread the rice evenly on top. Slowly pour in the 1 and 1/2 cups of water.
- If using pressure cooker place the lid and cook according to the instructions or till one whistle. Let it cool before opening .
- If using a dutch oven or other thick bottomed pan, cover with a lid and cook on medium till steam starts to escape through the lid. Reduce the heat to the lowest and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off and wait for at least 10 minutes before opening the lid.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a small pan and fry the cashew nuts and raisins.
- Open the pot sprinkle half the raisins and cashew nuts on top and gently mix the rice . Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the remaining nuts and raisins.
- Serve with tomato or mix vegetable raita and papad.