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Go_slows blog for recipes and general cooking stuff

The rice recipes

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The following 2 recipes have been modified, improved and generally messed about with over time to get them to a point where I am happy with them. Being able to do a biriyani in the oven is excellent since this can be left to its own devices whilst you work on other dishes.

Heres something to keep you going, I like this recipe since the cup size for it does not matter as long as you use the same cup (mug) size for all the ingredients.

Pulao Rice

This makes a nice addition to curries rather then just plain rice. Timing is the key to this dish, espacially cooking the dish covered, dont be tempted to have a peek since this will release the steam that is helping to cook the rice.

The nice thing about this dish is that measurement is in cups, as long as you use the same sized cup/mug its all good.

1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
4 cardamom pods
4 cloves
1 cup carrots chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1 cup of rice
cup frozen peas
cup frozen sweetcorn
500ml water
tsp ground cumin

1. Fry Cumin seeds in oil for 2 minutes
2. Add 2 dried bay leaves, 4 cardamom pods and 4 cloves. Stir for 2 minutes
3. Add onions and cook until the onions are brown (as in glazed brown, almost caramalised)
4. Add carrot, stir in and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes
5. Add rice, mix in well ensuring that the rice is nicely coated
6. Add peas, sweetcorn, water and ground tumeric
7. Cook covered allowing it to simmer for 15minutes on a low heat until all the water is gone.
8. Stand covered for 10 minutes and then fluff up rice

Chicken biriyani

This is a real comfort food, the chicken can be substituted for fish or lamb as need be since this is cooked prior to adding to the dish. If you wanted to use just vegetables then treat the cooking of them as if it as if it were a stir fry.

Feeds 6-8 people.

1 kg. chicken cut into bite size pieces, washed and drained (do not use poor quality chicken for this dish)
750 gm.-1 kg. basmati rice
6 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 inch piece ginger, chopped or grated finely
4 large cardamoms*
6 green cardamoms*
2 inch piece of cinnamon*
4 bay leaves*
8-10 black pepper corns*
6-8 cloves*
2-3 green chillies- slit length wise, adjust amount to your taste
2- 2 1/2 tsp. salt, adjust to taste
1/2 tsp. chilli powder, adjust amount to your taste
2 tbs. yoghurt, whisked to make a smooth mix
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
1 small bunch of mint leaves, chopped
1 lime or 1/2 lemon, cut into small pieces
A few strands of saffron soaked in a tablespoon of warm water
1/2 tsp. salt for boiling rice
4-5 tbs. oil or ghee

1. Peel, and slice onions thinly, I cut the onion in half and just do thin slices from that.
2. Peel, and grate ginger, chop garlic finely.
3. Measure all whole spices. Crack brown and green cardamoms a little, by hitting them with a rolling pin. Keep all spices together, aside.
4. Heat oil/ghee in a large pan and fry onions, until quite dark brown. Take out & keep aside.
5. In the same oil (if there is too little left, add another tablespoon. or two), add cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon, black peppers, bay leaves (all whole spices), ginger and garlic and fry for a minute or two.
6. Add chicken pieces, salt, chilli powder. Stir fry until chicken is nicely browned on all sides.
7. Add yoghurt, tomatoes, coriander and mint leaves (save a few leaves for boiling rice) , sliced green chillies, pieces of lime and 2/3rd of fried onions, keeping 1/3rd onions aside for garnishing later. Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is nearly done and only a little gravy is left.
8. While chicken is cooking, boil 2 1/2 litre water for rice, with a few mint & coriander leaves & salt.
9. Add rice and boil briskly, with lid off, until 2/3rd done (2 grains felt, when rice is pressed and squashed between two fingers).
10. Drain the water off in a colander. You can run a little cold water over it, to stop the rice from cooking further while resting. Leave in the colander for a few minute, for all the water to drain out.
11. Grease a large oven proof dish or a pan and spread 1/3rd of the rice in a layer at the base of the pan. Sprinkle half of the saffron on rice.
12. Now layer with 1/2 of the chicken.
13. Next, layer with half of remaining rice. Sprinkle remaining saffron on top.
14. Now spread remaining chicken as a layer.
15. Finish with the remaining rice layered on top.
16. Sprinkle fried onions on top. (I spread some of the fried onions on each layer of rice, its up to you).
17. Dot with a little ghee or butter and cover the pan with a tight lid, the tight lid is important since you want this to cook in its own juices/steam.
18. Put it in a preheated (important) medium hot oven, 170-180 C, on the centre shelf, for 19 minutes or so, until the rice is fully done. It can be cooked directly on the hob, on a low flame, with the lid tightly closed if you want, this will take 20-30 minutes.
20. Serve hot.

Whilst it is in the oven its important to leave it cooking for at minimum 15 minutes before you check on it, if you check too often you release the moisture in the pot and you end up with a very dry undercooked dish.

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Curry Recipes


  1. Little Vix Pink's Avatar
    Hi go_slow,

    I'm going to attempt the chicken biryani tonight! If I make a ton of it, can the rest be frozen okay?

    Ta very much!



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