Chicken Breyani


Chicken Breyani

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Chicken breyani ready to eat


  • 4 chicken breasts, or the equivalent in left-over cooked chicken
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 4cm piece of ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3T olive oil
  • 2t ground cumin
  • 2t ground coriander
  • 2t ground cinnamon
  • 1t ground turmeric
  • ½t ground cloves
  • 1t ground allspice
  • 2T mild curry powder
  • 3 lime leaves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2c basmati or plain white rice, uncooked
  • Chicken or vegetable stock powder or cubes for 1½ – 2l of stock
  • 1½ – 2l boiling water

Optional extras to serve

  • Chutney
  • Tzatziki, or a simple mix of cucumber cubes, yoghurt and chopped fresh mint
  • Poppadoms


If you are using raw chicken breasts, put those on to cook first. The simplest way is to put them in a saucepan, cover them with water and add a couple of teaspoons of chicken or veggie stock powder. When they are cooked through i.e. no longer pink inside, remove them from the water (you can save the water to use as part of the stock if you like). Then cut them up into bite-sized chunks. If you already have left-over chicken on hand, then just cut that up and set aside.

Peel the onion, garlic and ginger, and chop them all up fairly small. Heat the olive oil in a large pot and then gently cook the onion, garlic and ginger until the onion starts to look translucent but not brown – probably about 5 minutes.

While that is cooking, measure out all your spices into a bowl. Then peel and chop up the potatoes into fairly small cubes.

When the onion, garlic and ginger mix is ready, add the chicken, spices and potato to the pot. Give it all a good stir so that the spices coat everything. Then pour in the rice and stir again so everything is nicely mixed.

Mix the stock powder with boiling water to dissolve it. Add the dissolved stock to the pot, top up with water to make up to 1½ litres and stir well.

Bring to the boil then simmer for 30 – 40 minutes until the rice is cooked, stirring about every 10 minutes so it doesn’t stick on the bottom. You may need to add some more stock or hot water if it starts to dry out too much before the rice is cooked.

It’s ready when the rice is tender and everything else is still moist. Taste at this point to check if you need to add any salt.

Serve as is, or if you want to get a bit fancy, with chutney and tzatziki (or just a quick mix of chopped cucumber, yoghurt and mint) on the side, and some poppadoms for crunch.


© Alexandra Lawrence and Inspired Nourishment, 2014


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