Chicken Biriyani

Biriyani is a very popular dish in India. It can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian and is usually very labor intensive. Over the years, I’ve found a way to make this dish in a pressure cooker which cuts the prep time down by an hour and the cooking time down by another hour!  I will post more involved recipes for the same dish and variations soon.

Some tips
Use Basmati rice
Chicken cooks fast, use bone-in chicken
Red meats such as lamb and beef will have to be marinated overnight (see marinade recipe below)

1 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

1 cup basmati rice (washed and drained)
2 cups cut up chicken or any other meat except pork (does not work for some reason)
1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk
1 onion chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
3 cloves
1 large star anise
1 inch cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods (coarsely crushed)
4 green chilies or 2 dried red chilies
1 tomato
5 pods of black pepper
1/4 tsp fennel seed
Chopped cilantro
pinch saffron
1 tbsp ghee


Fry all the dry ingredients in the dry pan on very low heat for 2-3 minutes. Do not let them burn!. Add 1/4 cup of canola oil to the pan and continue to fry the spices along with the onion, ginger garlic until the onion is soft. Wash and dry the meat (Chicken).  Drain marinade from other meats and set aside.  Add chopped tomato to the pan. Cook for a few minutes, until the tomato is mush. Add the chicken, salt and mix. Turn chicken a few times in the pot to make sure it isn’t sticking to the bottom. Add the liquid ingredients. Add rice. Check the salt. Raise the heat to medium.Cover pressure cooker, place the weight  and continue to cook for one release of steam. Remove from stove and let it sit until completely cool. Remove the lid and add a pinch of saffron to the top and 1 tbsp ghee, chopped cilantro for garnish. At this point, leave the pan uncovered for 10 minutes. Serve with Raitha, a yogurt salad.


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