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Biryani with chicken

September 28, 2011

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Serves 6

To accompany the flavorful rice, Iraqi native Suhad Murad bakes chicken pieces marinated in yogurt and ketchup.


1/3 cup Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 chicken thighs

1. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, ketchup, and pepper. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or more.

2. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

3. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Roast for 45 minutes or until cooked through.


2 cups basmati rice
8 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon pepper
5 cups water
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup peas, rinsed with cold water
2 cups angel hair or vermicelli pasta, broken into 1 to 1 1/2-inch lengths

1. Rinse the rice in a strainer under cold water, then let soak in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes.

2. In a large flameproof casserole over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes or until it softens. Stir in the curry powder, salt, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, and pepper.

3. Add 4 cups of the water and bring to a boil. Stir in rice and let the water return to boil. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 12 minutes or until rice is cooked.

4. In a skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes or until golden. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the almonds to a plate. Add the raisins to the pan and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer to the plate with the almonds. Add the peas and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer them to the plate with the almond mixture.

5. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Add the pasta pieces and cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden. Add the remaining 1 cup water (watch for sizzling) and simmer for 3 minutes or until the pasta is cooked and most of the water is absorbed.

6. Return almond mixture to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.

7. Spoon the rice onto a platter and cover with the almond mixture and chicken. Adapted from Suhad Murad