I have made this recipe several times and with many different substitutions, and it comes out marvelous every time. My favorite spice house (begins with "P" - not sure if I'm allowed to say :-) ) has wonderful Indian spices and I have found that using half sweet curry and half Garam Masala made it taste more like it does in my favorite restaurant. I also use cardamom pods in the rice along with a couple of cloves and a small stick of "true" (Ceylon) cinnamon, and omit the cardamom from the spice mix with the meat. I up the meat to 1 1/4 lbs so that I get a better balance of rice to meat. I also use no-fat greek yogurt, and as long as it is mixed in when the heat is low, there's no curdling. The leftovers reheat beautifully, which is great since it makes 6 very generous servings. It's a wonderful dish for company, too. One of my all-time Cooking Light faves!
Biriyani is a baked Indian dish of spiced rice combined with chicken, seafood, or other meats. This version omits the baking step while maintaining the authentic flavors. Whole-milk yogurt keeps its creamy texture when cooked; don't substitute low-fat yogurt, which will curdle.
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- Calories: 435
- Calories from fat: 26%
- Fat: 12.7g
- Saturated fat: 3.2g
- Monounsaturated fat: 5.1g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 3.2g
- Protein: 22.8g
- Carbohydrate: 59.2g
- Fiber: 1.9g
- Cholesterol: 68mg
- Iron: 2.3mg
- Sodium: 942mg
- Calcium: 84mg
- 3 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice
- 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced
- 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted cashews
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- Bring water, 1 teaspoon salt, and saffron to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add rice and cinnamon stick to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Discard cinnamon stick.
- Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan; cover and keep warm. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt to pan.
- Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add curry and the next 5 ingredients (curry through serrano chiles); cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add yogurt, stirring with a whisk; cook 3 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Add chicken and raisins; cook 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Add rice; stir well to combine. Sprinkle evenly with cashews and cilantro.
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