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Chicken Biryani

Number of servings: 4

Cost per serving: R27

Meal Total: R109

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Ingredient List:

500 grams chicken, cut into cubes

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground fennel

2 teaspoons garlic, finely grated

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon yoghurt

2 cups of oil

3 large onions, thinly sliced

2 cinnamon sticks

1 star anise

2 cardamom pods

100 grams chopped tomatoes

1 cup basmati rice

3 potatoes, cut into cubes

pinch of saffron in half a cup of warm water

15 grams coriander, finely chopped


Step 1: Marinate chicken in all the ground spices. 1 teaspoon salt, yoghurt and chilli flakes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Step 2: In a large pan. add oil and place on a medium heat.

Step 3: Fry onions in batches till golden brown.  

Step 4: Once onions are fried, place them on a paper towel to get rid of the excess oil.

Step 5: In a medium sized pot, add  a handful of the fried onions, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 cardamom pod and star anise and sauté for the 30 seconds. 

Step 6: Add tomato and cook till the texture is thick and pasty.  

Step 7: Add chicken, cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.    

Step 8: Add potatoes, and 1 cup of water. Cover with a lid and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. 

Step 9: Stir frequently and check on the texture of the curry. If it's too thick while the potatoes are still hard, add another half cup of water.  

Step 10: Boil your rice with 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cardamom pod and 2 cups of water.

Step 11: Once rice is cooked, strain rice and set aside. 

Step 12: Time to start layering! Pre heat oven to 180 °C without fan.

Step 13: Use a medium sized pot or oven proof dish. 

Step 14: Add a layer of rice, followed by a layer of fried onions, throw over some saffron water, followed by a layer of chicken curry and finally coriander. Repeat this till you have a layer of rice at the top. 

Step 15: Cover with a lid or foil and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until all the water has evaporated. Serve hot!


Tip: The texture of the curry has to be more of a gravy rather than a loose, runny curry once it's cooked. So if you've added too much water, leave the lid off for the last 5 minutes while it's still cooking. This will allow the curry to slightly thicken.


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