Karry Hosford
6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

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.

How to Make It

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Ratings & Reviews


November 14, 2015
I made this recipe for my family today and it was liked a lot. I ll definitely add to my list of best recipes. Next time i ll either increase the amount of ingredients or reduce the amount of rice as i had extra rice left. I ll also increase the amount of spices in order to spice it up a little bit more and add more yogurt. Thanks for posting this recipe.

New to Indian Food

May 23, 2015
I spotted this dish while looking for something to spice up dinner time. I always check out the lower scored reviews for criticisms and nearly chose something more familiar to me, but went ahead to the grocery store to stock up. I followed several suggestions: more yogurt, reduced cardamom and ginger (ground), omitted the raisins, and kept the rice separate from the rest of the dish to allow for personal mixing preference. I will absolutely make this excellent dish again! Loved it!

Albalark's Review

August 31, 2014
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!

rutty326's Review

May 15, 2014

devoncarter's Review

January 30, 2014

jodioschmidt's Review

February 27, 2013
great flavors and makes a lot. May not be authentic but still a great dish

lrichards42's Review

February 26, 2013
I would have to say that the cardamom killed it for me. I should have listened to my nose when smelling this foreign (to me) spice. It overpowered the entire dish, but maybe it's due to the fact that I simply don't like the flavor. I also thought it was a little dry and noticed as I was pouring in the rice that I had better leave some out, and by some, I mean a solid 2 cups. The ginger might also be a little on the heavy side. If I were to make this again I would probably skip the cardamom altogether, use 1/2 tsp of ginger, and intervene in whatever way possible to make it less dry (like more yogurt or less rice). I wasn't sure about the raisins, but they ended up being a pleasant surprise.

OhLynne9's Review

February 07, 2013
This is a great recipe! That being said, the family thought it would benefit from cooking only 1 cup of rice w/2 cups water, and keeping all else the same. For leftovers, along with the cashews we also added some spicy peanuts we had on hand for a nice little kick. Delish!

bjane1's Review

September 10, 2012
I was searching for a last minute recipe to use up chicken thighs and came across this tasty dish. I didn't have yogurt or cashews, so substituted nonfat sour cream and toasted slivered almonds. Served it over brown rice. Delicious week night dinner.

hopebarrgirl's Review

July 29, 2012
LOVE this recipe. I double the yogurt to give it more of a sauce consistency and I also do not blend the rice in. I know that's not true Biriyani, but we like it that way!