Chicken Biryani with minty yogurt

Chicken Biryani with minty yogurt

Category : FOOD

Serves 4, Preparation & cooking time 40 minutes


• 1 onion, peeled

• 1 carrot

• 2 vine tomatoes

• 1 clove garlic, peeled

• 8 chicken thighs, skin removed

• Olive oil, for cooking

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 600ml/1pt boiling water

• 1 Chicken Stock Pot

• ¾ tsp turmeric

• 1 ½ tsp Sri Lankan curry powder

• 300g/11oz basmati rice

• 1 x 115g bag ready-prepared baby spinach


• 1 bunch fresh mint

• 1 x 120g pot Greek yogurt

• 1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped


Step 1. 

Pop the kettle on to boil. Halve and thinly slice the onion into half-moons. Peel and trim the carrot then halve lengthways and slice into thin half-moons about 5mm/1/4in wide. Chop the vine tomato into 1cm/1/2in chunks and then grate the garlic (or use a garlic press). Chop the chicken thighs into roughly 2cm/3/4in pieces. Remember to wash your hands, board and knife after chopping the chicken.

Step 2. 

Put a splash of olive oil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken and season it with a pinch of salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Cook until the chicken is browned, about 5-7 minutes. You may need to do this in batches – you want the chicken to brown, not stew. Meanwhile, pour the boiling water into a jug and add the chicken stockpot. Stir to dissolve.

Step 3. 

Add the onion and carrot to the saucepan along with a little more salt and black pepper. Cook over medium heat until softened – 6-7 minutes – then add the tomato, garlic, turmeric and curry powder. Cook for 1 minute more and then add the rice.

Step 4. 

To assemble the biryani, pour the chicken stock into your saucepan. Stir everything together and bring to the boil. Put a lid on the saucepan, turn the heat down slightly and cook for 10 minutes. After this time, remove the saucepan from the heat and put the baby spinach on top of the rice. Quickly pop the lid back on and leave the rice and spinach to finish cooking in their own steam for another 10 minutes.

Step 5. 

In the meantime, pick the mint leaves from their stalks and finely chop (discard the stalks). Add half the mint to a small bowl and mix in the Greek yoghurt. Roughly chop the coriander (stalks and all).

Step 6. 

Once the biryani is cooked, stir the spinach through the rice. Serve the children at this point, then mix in the coriander and remaining mint for the grown-ups. Taste and add more salt and black pepper if you feel it needs it. Serve your biryani in bowls with the minty yoghurt on top. 

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