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Chicken Biryani


This is an East African style Biryani, the chicken curry and rice are separated.

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  • Chicken Masala -
  • 4 chicken legs on the bone cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 inches ginger; grated
  • 6 cloves garlic; minced
  • 5 chillies minced
  • 1/2 tspn saffron
  • 4 large tomatoes (blanched, peeled and liquidised)
  • 1 large can of tomato paste (puree)
  • 12 small potatoes (extra oil to fry)
  • 2 tablespn oil
  • 2 sticks cinamon,
  • 4 pods cardomom,
  • 5 cloves; 1/2 spn cumin seeds
  • 8 medium onions sliced into thin rings
  • 3 Onions chopped
  • 2 tspn coriander/cumin powder
  • 1/2 tspn tumeric
  • 1 tspn garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • Rice -
  • 3 cups basmati rice; washed well; and soaked in water for 30 mins
  • 1 tbspn oil
  • 1 tspn cumin
  • 1/2 tspn saffron soaked in a little warm water
  • salt to taste


Servings 6
Level of difficulty Average
Preparation time 3mins
Cooking time 4mins
Cost Average budget


Step 1

Cook the chicken in yogurt, garlic, ginger, green chillies until chicken is cooked.

Step 2

Deep fry the potatoes these don't have to be cooked through, as long as the surface is sealed. Deep fry onion rings until golden brown (these will take longer)

Step 3

Heat the oil in a pan, add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves; cumin seeds, cook for about 3 minutes, the cloves and cardamom should have puffed up

Step 4

Add the chopped onions and fry until they are a rich golden brown, this is the most important for biryani masala. You can buy prefried onions instead.

Step 5

Add the tomatoes, and the tomato paste cook for about 5 minutes, add the tumeric, cumin/coriander powders.

Step 6

Add the cooked chicken and the potatoes, mix, making sure that chicken and potatoes are coated with the tomato/onion sauce. Cook for 30 minutes.

Step 7

Meanwhile cook the rice, add 1 and ½ cups of water per cup of rice for 15 minutes,

Step 8

Now take a large pan or bowl spray with oil and layer with onion rings, potatoes and chicken and at the top. Add the rice at the top

Step 9

Heat some oil in a frying pan, add the cumin. pour the oil and cumin mixture on the rice
Pour the saffron and water mixture on the rice.

If too spicy have with yoghurt will cool the spicy flavour.

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