Biriyani – The Fragrant Indian Spice-Laden Layered Rice Dish

Biriyani – The Fragrant Indian Spice-Laden Layered Rice Dish

Experience the burst of flavors with this traditional Indian dish called Biriyani. A luxurious medley of basmati rice richly infused with aromatic spices, and layered with tender marinated meat or vegetables. This dish is celebrated for its intricate process and depth of flavor, often associated with royalty and special occasions.

### Recipe for Chicken Biriyani:


– 2 cups basmati rice
– 1 lb boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
– 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 1 large onion, thinly sliced
– 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
– 2 tablespoons biriyani masala powder
– 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
– 1 teaspoon garam masala
– 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
– 1 cup plain yogurt
– 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
– 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
– 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
– 4 cups water
– Salt to taste
– Saffron strands, a pinch soaked in warm milk (optional)
– Fried onions, for garnish (optional)
– Lemon wedges and raita, to serve as sides

**Whole spices for rice:**

– 2 bay leaves
– 4 green cardamom pods
– 3 cloves
– 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick

**Whole spices for marination:**

– 2 bay leaves
– 3 green cardamom pods
– 2 cloves
– 1 star anise
– 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick


1. Rinse basmati rice until water runs clear, soak it for 30 minutes, then drain.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan. Add the ‘whole spices for rice’ and sauté until they start to sizzle.
3. Add drained rice to the pan and fry for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Add 4 cups of water and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until water is absorbed and rice is cooked but still firm. Remove from heat and keep aside.
5. In a bowl, marinate the chicken with the yogurt, biriyani masala powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, red chili powder, half of the mint and cilantro, ginger-garlic paste, and ‘whole spices for marination’. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.
6. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet or pot. Add sliced onions and cook until golden brown.
7. Add marinated chicken and cook until it’s browned and oil starts separating from the spices.
8. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they soften and blend into the mixture.
9. To layer the biriyani, remove half of the cooked chicken and set aside. Spread half of the cooked rice over the chicken in the skillet, sprinkle with remaining mint and cilantro, and add saffron milk.
10. Place the remaining chicken over the rice, and then cover with the remaining rice. Seal the skillet with a tight lid or foil.
11. Simmer on very low heat for about 20 minutes to let the flavors meld.
12. Gently fluff and mix the biriyani before serving to combine the layers of rice and chicken.
13. Garnish with fried onions if desired, and serve hot with lemon wedges and raita on the side.

Enjoy this heavenly Biriyani that is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of India.