A biryani consists of curried meat, poultry, fish or vegetables combined with basmati rice to make a complete meal. Here chicken curry is layered with the rice and baked, then served with a fresh cucumber raita.
Source: Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader’s Digest Canada
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the chicken and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until browned all over.
Stir in the ginger, chili, cardamom, cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and peppercorns. Cook for 1 minute, stirring all the time to ensure the spices do not burn.
Add the tomatoes, the stock and sultanas. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC). Place the rice in a saucepan, add 2 1/3 cups water and the turmeric, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer very gently for about 7 minutes or until the rice is almost tender. Drain off any excess water.
Layer the chicken curry and rice in a casserole dish. Cover and cook in the oven for 25 minutes, checking after 20 minutes and adding a little more stock if needed (there should be enough liquid for the rice to complete cooking).
Meanwhile, make the cucumber raita. Stir together the yogurt, cucumber and mint. Season with pepper.
When the chicken biryani is ready, stir it well, then scatter the toasted almonds on top. Serve with the cucumber raita.
Per serving: 611 calories, 36 g protein, 24 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 128 mg cholesterol, 63 g total carbohydrate, 20 g sugars, 5 g fibre, 368 mg sodium
Eaten without the skin, chicken is low in fat and the fat it does contain is mostly unsaturated.