Chicken Biryani

Biryani is synonyms with Indian cuisine allover the world. Odds are, if you have eaten at a proper Indian restaurant, you would have seen Biryani on the menu. I have had it in Asia, Europe, Middle East and America. My husband has had it in the Caribbean, Africa, South America and the Pacific which pretty much covers Biryani worldwide. Combining our global recipes, this Biryani is fusion at its best.


  • Basmati rice – 1 1/2 cups washed and soaked according to brand
  • Chicken thighs – 6 skinless, bone-in and cut in half
  • Red onions – 2 thinly sliced
  • Garlic – 5 cloves minced
  • Ginger – 2 inch piece minced
  • Lemongrass – 2 inch piece bruised
  • Pandan leaves – 2 inch piece broken
  • Curry leaves – 10 leaves
  • Green chilies – 2 sliced
  • Tomatoes – 2 big puraed
  • Mint and corriender – small bunch chopped
  • Sri Lankan chicken curry powder – 1 tablespoon (recepie found here)
  • Sri Lankan raw curry powder – 1 teaspoon (recepie found here)
  • Chilli powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Corriender powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cardomom – 4 pods crushed
  • Cloves – 4 pods crushed
  • Cinnamon – 2 inch piece crushed
  • Star anise – 1 whole crushed
  • Black pepper corns – 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds – 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • Salt – 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • Vegetable oil (ghee if preffered) – 1/2 cup
  • Sour cream – 1/4 cup


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan (if you are using a rice cooker, use the inner container).
  2. Fry the onions until golden brown and crispy.
  3. Dry the onions on a paper towel and keep it aside.
  4. To the same oil, add cumin seeds, pepper corns, cinnamon, cardomom, cloves, star anise and fry until fragrant.
  5. Add the ginger, garlic and fry for about 2 minutes until they turn slightly brown.
  6. Add curry leaves, pandan, lemongrass and fry for 1 minute.
  7. Add half of the fried onions.
  8. Add chicken curry powder, raw curry powder, turmeric, chilli powder, cumin powder and fry until fragrant.
  9. Add the tomatoes and stir-fry until the oils come out.
  10. Add the chicken and salt.
  11. Mix until the chicken is evenly coated with the spice mixture.
  12. Add the sour cream and coat the chicken in it.
  13. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes.
  14. Add the rice and mix.
  15. Add 2 cups of water.
  16. Cook until the rice is tender and chicken is cooked.
  17. Take off the heat, add mint and coriander. Mix well.
  18. Sprinkle the remaining fried onions.
  19. Serve hot with boiled eggs, tangy tomato salad (recepie found here), chinese chilli paste (recepie found here) and sour cream (or Greek yogurt).
  20. As with all spicy food, biryani goes well with cold beer.

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