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When I first heard a description of how an Indian biryani is made, it sounded very much like how you would make a Spanish paella.

Though after making biryani myself a few times now, I must admit that the cooking process is far different from that of a paella. With its nuanced flavours and careful preparation, the biryani is perhaps one of India’s most talked about dishes.

You can vary the ingredients of a biryani by using chicken, beef, lamb and even prawn, fish or eggs. While it can take a long time to cook a biryani, with this recipe, I’ll show you how to take a shortcut by doing the rice in the micro-wave. If you prepare this dish a day in advance all the different flavours have time to come together for a really well-rounded taste!



300 g      Basmati rice
1 tsp       Jeera (whole)
3              Cardamom pods
2              Cloves
1 tsp        Salt


500 g      Chicken breasts cut into cubes
2               Red onions finely chopped
3 tbsp     Ghee
25g          Ginger finely grated
16 g         Garlic (finely chopped)
1 tsp        Red chilli powder
1 tsp        Haldi (curcuma)
1 tsp        Garam masala
1 tsp        Jeera powder
1 tsp        Coriander powder
2               Tomatoes finely chopped
2               Green chillies slit
1 tbsp     Mint leaves
1 tbps      Coriander leaves
180 g       Yogurt


4                Onions finely chopped
3 tbsp      Coriander leaves


Instructions for the rice:

1. Wash the rice and let it soak in a microwaveable bowl for half an hour
2. Drain the water and add 525 ml of fresh clean water
3. Add the jeera, the cardamom pods, the cloves and the salt, stir well and put it into the microwave for 18 minutes at 800W

 Instructions for the curry:

1. Heat the ghee in a Dutch oven, add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry until golden-brown
2. Add the chilli powder, haldi, garam masala and coriander powder. Sautee for 3-4 minutes and add the chicken cubes. Let it cook for 7-8 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, green chillies, mint and coriander leaves. Stir well and let simmer for another 10 minutes on low heat
4. Add the yogurt, stir well and add salt to taste. Let simmer for another 10 minutes

 Putting the biryani together:

1. Remove the curry from the heat
2. Lay the cooked rice on top of the curry
3. In a little bit of oil or ghee, roast the onions until golden brown
4. Add the roasted onions and the coriander leaves on the biryani
5. Cover the Dutch oven and keep it warm on a low heat for another 10 minutes or until ready to eat


2 Commentaires

  1. John Harwell

    One trick for keeping fresh ginger and grating it finely is to freeze it! I always have ginger in the freezer for this exact reason.

  2. TheRandinChef

    Man after my own heart, John! It’s also a good way of keeping the quantities clear. I’d love to hear from you if you try this recipe.


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