Hussein's Chicken Biryani Masala

Course : Curry
Serves: 1
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3 cups Basmati rice
4 medium chicken breasts**
1/2 large onion -- minced
2 cloves garlic -- minced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
8 ounces plain yogurt
1 dash saffron threads
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon red chile powder* -- medium heat
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon ginger, powdered
1 tablespoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
6 teaspoon cardamom seeds -- peeled
4 pieces bay leaves -- dried, crushed
1 piece tamarind pulp, marble-sized
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Preparation / Directions:

* Do not use chili powder, which contains other spices. Use a pure powdered chile from cayenne or New Mexico chiles. ** skinless and boneless and cut into 3/4" pieces Put the milk into a cup and add the saffron and stir. Set aside at least 30 minutes before using. Place all spice ingredients (including salt and tamarind pulp) in spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. Soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes and then drain and rinse until clear water comes off rice. Cook rice in large pan in 8 cups of water. Cook for 10-12 minutes. In a frying pan, heat oil or ghee and sauté the onion and garlic until golden. Add chicken and spice powder and stir-fry until chicken is done, about 6 minutes. Drain rice and place back in large pan. Add the saffron-milk mixture and mix rice until uniform color. Add the chicken, onion, garlic and spice mixture and the yogurt to the pan and mix gently until well-blended with all the rice. Place the rice into a glass baking dish and bake in a 350F oven for 40 minutes. Serve immediately as a main course or side dish.

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