Chicken Breyani is a delicious Indian rice dish which made with of spices, moist marinated chicken and vegetables. Breyani is a much loved dish and the hard work which it takes to cook a traditional Breyani is much appreciated by all who are lucky enough to eat your master creation.
Whilst it may seem like a really difficult dish to prepare, if you follow the steps and work methodically, then it really is not that hard. The photos here are from the first one which I ever made. I learnt quite a lot and really look forward to cooking the next one. Enjoy.
I would really appreciate any advice, tips or tricks in the comments below. Much appreciated.
- 3 cups rice
- ¼ cup brown lentils
- 1 full chicken, cut into pieces and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons ginger and garlic paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 green chilli, cut lengthwise
- 1 black elachi
- 1 dried red chilli
- 1 aniseed
- 1 sprig curry leaf
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- A pinch of fennel (soomph) seeds
- A pinch of cumin (jeera) seeds
- 6-7 mint leaves
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon ghee (clarified butter)
- 2 onions (1 sliced and the other grated)
- ½ tomato, grated
- 2 sprigs spring onions
- 2 ½ tablespoons hot curry powder
- 1 heaped teaspoon of mixed cumin (jeera) and coriander (dhania) powders
- 2 teaspoons of chilli powder
- 3mls of turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 potatoes
- A few drops of yellow food colour
- Sour milk
- 50g margarine
- Fry 1 sliced onion in a pan of margarine.
- Marinate the chicken by combining together ½ a sprig each of curry leave, spring onion, sour milk, thyme, red chilli, 3 leaves of mint, curry powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander and cumin powder, ginger and garlic paste and a teaspoon of fried onions.
- Refrigerate the marinated chicken until required.
- Cook the rice in salted water until done.
- Drain out the rice by removing the excess water.
- Place ¾ of the rice in a bowl and add a few drops of yellow food colour to turn the rice a pale yellow.
- Boil the lentils in water with added salt to taste.
- In a large bowl add in peeled potatoes that have already been cut into quarters.
- Stir in a few drops of yellow food colouring and salt to taste.
- Mix well to ensure an even distribution of colour.
- In a pan deep fry the potatoes on a reduced heat until it has a crisp outer layer.
- Heat the oil in a pot.
- Add ½ of the amount of grated onion, ghee, cumin and coriander seeds, ½ a sprig each of thyme, spring onion and curry leaf.
- Also stir in the remainder of the mint leaves, cinnamon stick, elachi and bay leaf.
- Allow the ingredients to simmer in the oil.
- When the onion’s appears transparent, and turns a pale golden colour, add in the marinated chicken.
- Add salt to taste and mix well.
- The chicken should simmer for 5-8 minutes on a reduced heat until it is fried through.
- Add in the remainder of the grated onion, curry leaves and tomato.
- Allow the curry to cook out well.
- A little water can be added if the curry holds at the base of the pot.
- Once the chicken has cooked through completely, remove the curry from the stove top and garnish with coriander.
Setting of the breyani (Layering)
- In a large pot place enough yellow coloured rice to cover the base of the pot.
- Add in the entire amount of curry.
- Layer a generous quantity of chopped coriander and fried onions.
- Reserve a tablespoon of fried onions to garnish the last layer.
- Add in ½ the amount of lentils.
- Add a layer of white rice alternating with yellow rice and lentils.
- Reserve a tablespoon of rice and colour it a dark yellowish red colour (using yellow food colour).
- On the last layer, add the fried onions, chopped coriander and the yellowish red rice.
- Seal the pot with foil and cover with the lid.
- Place this pot into a larger pot of water.
- Cover and steam on moderate heat for 30-45 minutes.
Serve hot with an accompaniment of ‘raita’ (a cucumber and yoghurt based salad). Serves four-five adults.