A few weeks ago I strayed from my usual order of chicken tikka tandoori at Roti Grill, and I’m so glad I decided to mix things up. Sometimes I get nervous ordering something new when I already know that I love a particular dish. I find it often results in disappointment, followed by tears or tantrums.
Anyway, this is how I discovered chicken biryani, which is apparently the most popular Indian rice dish around the globe. I can’t believe it’s taken me almost 30 years to discover this dish.
Biryani is made from par boiled basmati rice, which is then assembled with the other spices & ingredients, sealed and put on a very low heat, so that all the flavors amalgamate well for at least 45 minutes.
So last night I decided to bravely conquer the at-home version of chicken biryani. I scoured the internet for a long time before stumbling upon a recipe that didn’t look too overwhelming and looked similar to the Roti Grill version. Let me warn you, this is not a simple weeknight dinner. It didn’t take me all night, but it took over an hour, and it was definitely active cooking outside of the last 20-30 minutes.
And the ingredient list may seem overwhelming, but I bought all the spices in the Central Market bulk spice section so they cost me less than $5.
Lastly, it’s worth the effort. It was even better than I expected, and definitely better than the Roti Grill version. I’ll be making this recipe for many years to come.
If you’re interested in making chicken biryani, definitely check out this recipe from norecipes.com. It’s the exact recipe I used, except I added chicken broth at the the end to keep the rice moist. Also, I only used one serrano chile, and I think the saffron is mandatory vs. optional.
And I purchased my raita at Central Market because I thought making biryani and raita on a Monday night was too ambitious in my tired state.