For a seriously delicious Indian chicken and rice dish you have to try this homemade chicken biryani and spinach raita! It's an easy dish to make at home even though there are lots of ingredients. Why not make a double batch as the leftovers are great the next day too?
In my opinion, you can never have too much homemade Indian food. I normally choose to make dishes with lots of sauce, which explains why this is one of my first homemade biryanis. Whenever I'm out in a restaurant or ordering a takeaway I consider it, but somehow the lure of a saucy dish wins each time. However, this month biryani won.
The Inspiration for this Chicken biryani recipe
I was paired with Poornima from Tasty Treats for a food blogging challenge. Now, as Poornima is from India but living in the US at the moment, she has loads of delicious saucy Indian curries on her blog, as well as other dishes too, so it wasn't that I couldn't find a dish with lots of sauce. No, I just fancied an Indian rice dish a change. After all, it is the new year.
Poornima suggested serving the chicken biryani with a raita and as I had lots of spinach in the fridge I decided to make a spinach one. I haven't made many raitas before so I searched for one and settled on this one from Indian Curry Trail.
The spinach raita was easy to make and delicious alongside the biryani. The only thing I would change would be to make more of it, as it provided the perfect cool saucy accompaniment to the biryani.
Even so, I'm delighted to have discovered a new love of biryani and raita and am already excited about trying out some more new raita recipes.
How can you adapt this Homemade Chicken Biryani Recipe?
You can vary the heat in the biryani by adding more or less chilli peppers. It also depends on how hot they are. The chillies I used turned out to be hotter than I expected so this was a pretty fiery biryani! However, different chillies would make a huge difference.
You could omit the cayenne pepper in the biryani to tone down the heat a little or increase it if you like!
If you want to make this dish little healthier then add some vegetables too. Carrots and cauliflower are a delicious addition but any veggies would work! Just add them at the same time as the chicken.
What can you do with the leftover chicken biryani?
Store any leftover biryani in the fridge for up to three days. Put it in an airtight container in the fridge as soon as it has cooled. Reheat it thoroughly before eating. I usually reheat in the microwave and stir half way through.
Recipe for Chicken Biryani and Spinach Raita
Chicken Biryani and Spinach Raita
Ingredients for the Marinade
- 2 tbsp yogurt
- ½ lemon juiced
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- Pinch salt
- 200 g chicken diced
Ingredients for the Biryani
- 1 tbsp oil
- 100 g basmati rice
- 5 peppercorns
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 star anise
- 2 bay leaves
- 200 ml water
Ingredients for step 3
- 1 tbsp oil
- ½ onion finely diced
- 2 chilli peppers finely sliced
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Pinch salt
Ingredients for the Spinach Raita
- 2 handfuls spinach
- 3 tbsp yogurt
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp chilli powder
- Pinch salt
- Prepare the marinade for the chicken. Mix all the marinade ingredients into the yogurt and then add the chicken. Coat well and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Wash the rice.
- Put a little oil in a pan. Add the whole spices (peppercorns, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, star anise and bay leaves). Fry for about 20 seconds then add the rice.
- Fry for another minute until any water left with the rice has evaporated. Then add the 200ml of water. Take off the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
- Heat a little oil in another pan. Add the chopped onions and chillies. Fry until softened and slightly browned.
- Then add the ground spices and the chopped coriander leaves. Fry for a minute then add the chicken and marinade.
- Fry the chicken until it is almost fully cooked and the pan is almost dry. Then pour the water and rice into the pan with the chicken.
- Bring to the boil and then cover the pan and lower the heat. Cook over a low heat for 15 minutes then turn the heat off and leave to stand for about 10 minutes.
- Serve the Biryani with the raita on the side.
How to Make the Spinach Raita
- Make the raita while the biryani is cooking. Wash the spinach and microwave for 1 minute. Rinse in cold water and leave to drain in a colander.
- Roast the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan and leave to cool.
- When the seeds are cool crush slightly and add to a bowl with the chilli powder, salt and yogurt.
- Squeeze any extra moisture out of the spinach. Chop roughly.
- Mix the spinach in to the yogurt and serve alongside the biryani.
Are you looking for more spicy recipes?
Or if you like rice and chicken recipes then why not try:
KEEP IN TOUCH
Do let me know if you make this homemade chicken biryani and spinach raita or any of my other recipes. I love to get feedback from readers.
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