I have had a fascination with India and Nepal for my entire life – mostly because my sister is from Kathmandu (for those of you trying to connect the dots, we were both adopted.) My family ordered Indian take-out just as frequently as we ordered Chinese or pizza; it was a staple in our home, so naturally, when I found out this week’s challenge was Indian food, I was pumped to make my all time favorite Indian foods: chicken birayni and naan.
If you’ve never experienced the amazingness that is Indian food, chicken biryani is a great place to start.
As with most Indian food, lots of fresh spices and vegetables are required. You might want to pick up some cardamom and saffron for an extra authentic taste of India. I was fresh out of basmanti rice, though I made due with some aborio rice and washed as much starch off as I could. Once the rice is washed, add it to a sauce pan with twice as much water and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of saffron to the water and a teaspoon of salt. Cover and reduce the heat to a low simmer, and do not remove the lid for 20 minutes.
Start by cubing up your chicken (or protein of choice) and browning in a skillet with a touch of olive oil. Once the chicken has cooked through, remove it from the skillet and set aside. In the same skillet, add another dash of olive oil, followed by the onions, tomatoes, banana peppers, and garlic. Saute until the onions are softened and caramelized.
Coat the onions with the curry, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom pods, and chile peppers. Whisk in the yogurt.
Toss in the chicken and golden raisins. Then stir everything together!
When the rice is done cooking, fold it into the biryani.
Continue to cook the biryani for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the rice has started to crisp on the bottom of the pan. Serve alongside a heaping plate of naan, pudina chutney, and momos for an absolutely amazing Indian meal!
Easy Chicken Biryani
- 2 chicken breasts cut into cubes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup onion sliced
- ½ cup serrano pepper chopped
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cardamom pods seeds removed
- ½ teaspoon ginger minced
- 8 oz plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup cashews crushed
- ¼ cup cilantro for topping
- Begin by washing the rice until the water runs clear. Combine 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water. Add a pinch of saffron threads to the water along with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring the water to a rolling boil and cover. Do not remove the lid for 20 minutes.
- Chop the chicken into cubes. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat and add the cubed chicken. Cook until browned and no longer pink on the inside. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, followed by the sliced red and white onions, tomatoes, peppers, and garlic. Saute until the onions are caramelized.
- Add the curry power, cinnamon, chile peppers, and fresh ginger. Pour in the Greek yogurt and reduce the heat to medium. Stir well until the yogurt has mixed with the spices and onions.
- Place the chicken back into the pan with the biryani sauce and stir in the golden raisins. When the rice is done cooking, fluff with a fork and transfer to the skillet with the chicken biryani.
- Cook until the rice is just beginning to brown on the bottom, taking care to stir every so often to avoid burning.
- When the rice has absorbed some of the yogurt, remove from heat, and serve right away alongside naan and momos, and enjoy!