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Lakshna Jha’s chicken biryani with raita

Unlike most of our other recipes from South Asia, this one is authentically Indian. A keeper for four people.

For the marinated chicken:

  • 2 lb chicken cut into medium size pieces
  • 2 chopped onions
  • India_map.jpg1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smashed and minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder (optional)
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • Some cut mint leaves (optional)
  • Some cut cilantro leaves (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons chicken biryani Masala
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup oil

Mix everything together and marinate it overnight or for at least 3-4 hours

To assemble the biryani:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • about 2 cups fried onion slices
  • about 1 cup cut cilantro leaves


  1. Soak the rice in water for 1 hour, then drain it.
  2. Boil the water, then add the oil and salt.
  3. Add the rice cook it for about 3 minutes; it should be about 70% done. Drain the rice.
  4. Put the chicken in a heavy flameproof pan big enough to hold it in a single layer.
  5. Spread the rice evenly over the chicken, then top it with the onions and the onions with the cilantro.
  6. Tightly cover the pan.
  7.  Cook the biryani on high heat for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes, the uncover the pan and cook for a further 25 minutes.
  8.  Serve with Raita (see below)

Eat biryani hot and enjoy!!!


-To make the raita, combine ½ cup plain yogurt, 1/8 cup chopped cucumber, 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro, ½ teaspoon salt and 1 oz chopped onion.

-Saffron stalks dissolved in a little milk make a luxurious addition before the cilantro at Step 4.