© Lee Harvey 2020


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4 chicken portions (on or off the bone)
2 cloves of garlic
200g natural yogurt
2 thinly sliced brown onions OR 60g packet pre-cooked crispy fried onions
350g basmati rice
400ml water
60g butter (salted or unsalted)
200ml milk
50g raisins
15g toasted almonds

0.5 tsp rose petal masala
0.5 tsp tumeric
0.5 tsp cinanamon
0.5 tsp chilli powder (more or less depending on your taste)
0.5 tsp ground cumin
0.25 tsp nutmeg
0.25 tsp ground cardamon
0.25 tsp black pepper

0.5 tsp ground cardamon
Pinch of saffron threads

Green cardamon (4 or 5)
Black cadamom (1)
Cinnamon stick (c. 5cm)
Cloves (2)
Mace (2 smallpieces)
Bay leaves (2)


1. Heat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4
2. Mix the yogurt with the marinade spices and chopped garlic.
3. Brown the outside of the chicken in a little oil (olive, sunflour) for a few minutes, do not attempt to cook through (Optional). Leave to cool.
4. Add the rice spices to the milk and leave to infuse.
5. If not using preprepared crispy onion, fry the thinly sliced onion in oil until they are crispy, remove from pan and drain on kitchen paper towel to remove excess oil. Skip stage 5 if you have preprepared crispy onion.
6. Spread the chicken on the bottom of the oven proof pan, cover with the marinade.
7. Use half the butter to fry the whole spices in a largish heavy bottomed pan for one minute.
8. Stir in the basmati rice to the frying whole spice, ensuring the rice is all coated.
8. Pour in the 400ml of water and bring to the boil.Turn down the heat a little and cook the rice uncovered until all the water has been absorbed, about 5–6 minutes.
10. Remove the whole spice from the rice.
11. Sprinkle the raisins and half the crispy fried onions on top of the marinading chicken, then spread the par-boiled rice over the top. Then pour the spiced milk on top ensuring that all the saffron threads go in the pot.
12. Dice the remaining butter and dot over the top of the milk soaked rice.
13. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook in the oven for 1 hour.
14. Check the biryani is ready by testing the meat to see if it is cooked and try some rice from the bottom to see if it is soft. The rice on the top will remain a little crispy.
15. If ready, sprinkle the remaining crispy onions on top and then the toasted almonds. Take to the table and serve.



Time: 20 mins preparation (including some frying) and 1 hour oven cooking

Requires: frying pan and oven cook in oven proof casserole pan with tight fitting lid

Serves: four