This easy Indian chicken and rice dish (which is similar to Chicken Biryani) tends to be one of the more mild Indian dishes. For those that are cautious about curry or nervous about new spices, this is a great dish to to ease you into the full flavored meals of the East.
At it’s most basic, this is a chicken and rice dish, but it offers a pleasant change from most American chicken-and-rice meals. This recipe isn’t exactly true to what you’d eat if you were in New Delhi, but it’s easy to make and still incorporates some of the delicious flavors of it’s origin.
Typically, a dish like this has some fruit in it like raisins or something. I didn’t have plain yogurt (which you should use in a recipe like this), but I did have peach yogurt; and so I used that and was delighted to find that the fruit yogurt replaced the raisins (which I skipped). So, if all you have is fruit yogurt–use that. But if you don’t have any yogurt, it might be good to just by plain yogurt.
Rice is really important to this dish, so it’s important to get the right kind. Think of rice like bread. Not all breads are the same–and neither are rice. There’s short grain, long grain, jasmine, basmati, and a dozen or so other types of rice. Get the right kind. You wouldn’t serve a rueben sandwich on pumpkin bread, would you? It’s gotta be on rye. Same with this, you can’t make Indian dishes with short-grain rice. Get the basmati–you’ll appreciate it.
This recipe has some flexibility in it, if you want more meat, do it; if you like lots of rice, cut back. If you don’t like a lot of spices, only use a little curry. At the end of the day, you should be able to make the kind of food that you will enjoy; and this recipe is meant to be a guideline to help you get there. Experiment a little and see what turns out.
- 1 cup of Basmati Rice
- Indian Essentials Chicken Biryani Seasoning Packet
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1/2 cup White Onion
- 2 tablespoons Cilantro
- 2 tablespoons Cashews (pieces)
- 1-1.5 lbs of Chicken Thighs
- 1-2 tablespoons Curry Powder
- 2-3 tablespoons Yogurt
- 1 tablespoon Butter or Oil
- Do NOT follow the instructions on the seasoning packet. It’s not that good (in my opinion).
- Pour 1 cup of rice into your rice cooker and fill with water to the appropriate mark (following the instructions for your rice cooker). Mix the seasoning packet into the rice and water. Close the lid and let it cook.
- Turn on you skillet to a medium-low heat (cast iron) or medium heat (non-cast iron). Drop a little oil or butter into the pan and let it heat up.
- While the pan is heating, turn to your cutting board and let’s do some chopping. Start with your garlic and mince it, then chop your onion, roughly chop your cilantro, if your cashews are already broken in pieces–great, if not, chop them; lastly cut your chicken into bite size pieces.
- Your pan is plenty hot and your rice should only have about 12 minutes left to cook, it’s time to start cooking. Add the garlic to the pan and stir. As it starts to brown, add the onion.
- Once the garlic and onion have started to brown and smell really nice, add in the cilantro, cashews, and the chicken.
- If you need a little more oil or butter, add it now (but you may be okay). Add the curry powder to the skillet and stir occasionally as it cooks.
- When the chicken has cooked for 7 or so minutes and is mostly done (no longer pink in the center) reduce your heat to low and simmer until the rice is done.
- When the rice is finished, scoop into a bowl and combine with the chicken mixture from the skillet, finally top with a little bit of yogurt; and enjoy.