This is our take on the Mauritian style chicken biryani. The Mauritian version contains potatoes and has very distinct flavours. It is milder than an Indian or Middle Eastern biryani and is usually served with a side of cucumber salad or pickles.
Mauritian style chicken biryani | Briani poulet
Biryani spice mix (you can also use ready made biryani spice mix)
- 1 tsp coriander powder coriandre
- 1 tsp cumin powder ti lani en poudre
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder cannelle en poudre
- ½ tsp turmeric powder safran en poudre
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp black ground pepper
- ¼ tsp cloves powder girofle en poudre
- ¼ tsp cardamon powder elaichi en poudre
- 1½ tbsp Biryani spice mix
- 400 g chicken piece of your choice
- 425 g basmati rice
- 2 large potatoes peeled and portioned
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt or natural yoghurt
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- chopped coriander for garnish
- chopped mint leaves for garnish
- fried onion (pre-made) for garnish
- saffron or yellow food colouring
To make the Biryani spice mix
- Mix all ingredients together and set aside.
- * If you are using ready made Biryani spice mix, please skip this part.
- In a large bowl, marinate the chicken pieces with the Biryani spice mix, yoghurt and 1tsp of salt. Cover and let marinate for at least 1 hour in the fridge (marinate overnight for best result)
- Deep fry or shallow fry the diced potatoes until golden brown, season with salt and set aside.
- In a large cooking pot set on medium-low heat, add 1tbsp of ghee and a dash of vegetable oil. When hot enough (slightly smoking), add the sliced onions and let cook until slightly coloured (about 2 minutes)
- Then gently add the marinated chicken pieces and sear on both sides (about 1 minute on each sides) until slightly coloured.
- Add the ginger and garlic paste, then gently mix everything together.
- Add the fried potatoes and pour 750ml of water. Season with a pinch of salt and let it simmer.
- At the same time, in another large cooking pot, pour about 2L of water, season with a good amount of salt (the water should taste salty) then bring to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the basmati rice, stirring from time to time so as it does not stick together.
- When the rice is cooked at 50% (about 3 minutes), using a mesh strainer to drain the excess water, transfer half of the rice onto the cooking chicken and potatoes (1st rice layer). Gently spread an even layer of rice, making sure not to press the rice.
- Then sprinkle some chopped coriander, mint leaves and fried onion on top of the 1st layer of rice.
- After the 1st layer, transfer the remaining basmati rice (about 80% cooked) to make the 2nd layer then repeat the same process just like for the 1st layer. Finally, add some ghee and food colouring on top. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat then 20 minutes on low heat until the rice is cooked through and most of the water evaporated.
- When the biryani is cooked, check seasoning and adjust. Serve with your favourite salad and pickles.
- * watch the video recipe below for illustration
- You can substitute the chicken by meat, fish or even vegetables and make it vegetarian.
- Make sure to use high quality Basmati rice for best result.
- Making sure not to press the cooked basmati rice will make the biryani fluffy and lighter.
- You can also use your rice cooker to make this recipe!