Sofyani Biryani

If you love Biryanis but sometimes find them too heavy and would prefer something lighter, then this is the briyani for you… A saffron-flavoured rice delicacy, both mild and easy to digest.

Sofyani Biryani

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 kg. Chicken
  • 3 to 4 cups Basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • Salt to taste

Whole garam masala:

  • 6 green cardamoms
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 sticks cinnamon 1″ each
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A pinch mace
  • 2 tsp. Black cumin seeds
  • 2/3 cup onions
  • 4 tsp. ginger paste
  • 4 tsp. garlic paste
  • 2 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 2 cups yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. saffron
  • 2 tbs. milk
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 to 1 cup coriander leaves
  1. Clean, remove skin and cut chicken into 8 pieces (or smaller pieces if you wish).
  2. Pick, wash rice and soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Peel, wash and slice onions
  4. Clean, wash and chop mint and coriander leaves.
  5. Whisk yoghurt in a bowl and divide into two equal portions.
  6. Dissolve saffron in warm milk. Add one portion of the yoghurt and mix well.
  7. Drain, rice and replenish with fresh water, add salt and half each of the whole garam masala and black cumin, bring to a boil and cook until rice is almost done.
  8. While rice is cooking, heat ghee in a deep vessel, add the remaining whole garam masala and black cumin, saute over medium heat until cumin begins to crackle.
  9. Add onions and saute until golden brown.
  10. Then add ginger garlic paste and red chilli powder and stir for few seconds.
  11. Add chicken and mix well and fry for 2 minutes.
  12. Add the portion of the plain yoghurt, stir add a cup of water and bring to a boil then simmer until chicken is three-fourths done.
  13. Sprinkle lemon juice. Adjust seasoning.

To Assemble:

  1. In the vessel with the semi-cooked chicken, sprinkle half each of the saffron-yoghurt, mint and coriander.
  2. Then spread half the rice over the chicken.
  3. Sprinkle the remaining saffron-yoghurt, mint and coriander, spread the remaining rice.
  4. Place a moist cloth or a foil over the top, cover the lid and place on a low flame or pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes.
  5. To serve, shift the rice from one side, just enough to remove the chicken.
  6. Make a bed of chicken on a rice platter, spread the rice on top and serve.

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