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Vellore Style Chicken Biriyani

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“My Mum's recipe for biriyani. I usually cook this upto the stage where the chicken is partially cooked, the day before we have visitors. A few hours before serving I add the rice and water, cook it and pop it into the oven so that I can serve it freshly cooked. This recipe freezes well, reheat it in a covered non stick pan rather than the microwave for a fresh taste.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix the chicken with salt, ginger, garlic paste, turmeric powder, chillie powder. Cover and keep in the fridge.
  2. Measure 3 C basmati rice. Wash and soak in 1 C lukewarm water.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a big pan.Add the sliced onions and fry until dark golden brown. This will take at least 10 minutes.
  4. Add cinnamon, cloves and cashewnuts. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile mix the ginger and garlic paste with ground cardamom.
  6. Add this to the pan and fry well.
  7. Add the bay leaves if using.
  8. Add the mint and coriander leaves and fry for a few minutes.
  9. Add the chillie and coriander powders and fry well.
  10. Add the tomatoes and cook until the oil rises to the top.
  11. Add the chicken pieces and fry for 5 minutes, then cover and cook for 7-8 minutes. Stir well and add the salt.
  12. Add 3 1/2 C water (double the amount of rice minus 1C yoghurt, 1C in the rice already,1/2 C from the chicken).
  13. Bring to the boil. Pour the yoghurt in while mixing well.
  14. Add the rice and cook on low heat until the water is at the level of the rice.
  15. Cover tightly with foil and put into an oven at 170* for 15 minutes. Turn off and do not touch until serving- upto 5 hours later.

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