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Chicken Biryani


2 pounds chicken breasts, cubed and marinated tandoori style 

3 cups soaked rice (basmati)
1 medium onion, sliced

2 bay leaves (tej patta)
7 cloves (laung)
3 star anise (chakra phool)
2 cinnamon sticks (dalchini)
7 black peppercorns (kali mirch)
4 cardamom pods (choti elaichi)
2 sprigs mace (javitri)

2 green chillies (hari mirch)
1 clove garlic

3 tablespoons milk
1 pinch of saffron (optional)
a handful of chopped coriander


Marinate the chicken, tandoori style. (Recipe here: USE MY TANDOORI CHICKEN RECIPE). Set marinated chicken aside for at least 30 minutes (or even overnight).

Wash and soak the rice in a medium bowl, and set aside for 20 minutes. 

While the chicken is marinating, slice the onions very thin. Heat 3 tablespoons oil and fry the sliced onions in batches, on medium-high heat. Stir the onions continuously for browning, otherwise onions will burn. Once golden brown, drain them on a paper towel to remove excess oil, and set aside. They will become crispy once cooled. 

Cook the chicken. Take a deep pan, and heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the marinated chicken and the marinade. Cook till the chicken is cooked and the gravy (masala) is not watery, on medium-high heat. 

In a separate large pan, place 1 tablespoon oil. Place the chopped garlic, sliced green chilli, and all of the whole spices and cook for 2 minutes. Fill pan with water and bring to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Add soaked rice to the spiced boiling water and cook for 5-10 minutes, until rice is three fourth cooked. (To check if the rice is parboiled: take a few grains of rice using a clean spoon, and break the grain. If it breaks into 3 parts easily, your rice is done) Strain the rice from the excess water, keeping the whole spices, and set aside. 

In a small bowl, stir the hot milk and crushed saffron. 

To layer the biryani, take the heavy bottom rice cooker pot. Place half of the chicken on the bottom. Put a layer of the rice with the spices, followed by a layer of the fried onions. Repeat with the other half of the chicken, rice, and onions. Lastly, pour the saffron milk on top and the chopped coriander. Close the rice cooker lid, and the cooker will change to warm when the biryani is cooked. Serve with yogurt (dahi) and enjoy!