The modern biryani developed in the royal kitchens of the
Mughal Empire (1526–1857) and is a mix of the native spicy rice dishes of India
and the Persian pilaf. It is especially popular throughout the Indian
Although this recipe uses chicken, it is equally delicious
with king prawns, and topped with warmed lobster.
300 gm basmati rice
25 gm unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely sliced
1 bay leaf
3 cardamom pods, crushed
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp turmeric
4 skinless chicken breasts,
cut into chunks
4 tbps curry paste (of
85 gm raisons
850 ml chicken stock
30 gm fresh coriander,
2 tbps toasted, flaked
almonds (prepare these in advance and set aside)
1. Soak the rice in warm water for about
10 minutes, then wash in cold water until the water runs clear.
2. Heat 25 gm unsalted butter in a sauté
pan with a dash of oil to prevent it from burning, and cook the onion with the
bay leaf, cardamom pods and cinnamon for 10 minutes over a medium heat.
3. Sprinkle the turmeric into the pan,
then add the chicken and the curry paste. Cook until aromatic.
4. Stir the rice into the pan and add the
raisins, the pour over the chicken stock.
5. Place a tight-fitting lid on the pan
and bring to a rapid boil, then turn the heat down to low, and cook the rice
for 10 minutes.
6. Turn off the heat and leave for 10
7. Stir well, and add half of the chopped
8. Serve garnished with the rest of the
coriander and the almonds.
* You can make your own curry
paste, if you wish, but there are many pre-prepared pastes available that will
save you a lot of hassle. Choose the paste to your taste – Madras, korma,
NOTE: This should serve 4,
but if there is some left over, you can keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days, and
then re-heat it thoroughly.