sofyani biryani

A mildly spiced chicken biryani - combining Dum Biryani and Yakhni pulao.


750g Chicken, diced (leg or thigh meat)
350g Basmati Rice


Whole spices
6 green cardamom
6 cloves
4 cinnamon sticks (each 1-inch long)
4 dry bay leaves
1 tsp caraway seeds

100g Oil or Ghee
2 tbsp Ginger Paste
2 tbsp Garlic Paste
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Green Chillies, crushed
200ml Natural Yogurt, beaten
2 tbsp Lime/Lemon juice
¾ tsp Salt
100g fried onions (set aside 1tbsp. to garnish)
100g fresh mint, finely chopped (set aside 1 tbsp. to garnish)
100g fresh coriander, finely chopped (set aside 1 tbsp. to garnish)
1 tsp Saffron threads


Preparing the Rice 

1.Rinse the rice 3-4 times under cold running water. Drain.

2.Replenish with about a litre of water and set aside for at least 30 mins.

3.After 30 mins, place the rice on high heat and add HALF of the whole spices to the rice along with 1 tsp salt.

4.Bring to a boil and cook the rice until ¾ done.
Drain completely and set aside.

Preparing the Saffron milk

1.Crush the saffron threads in the palm of your hand and soak in 4 tbsp warm milk. Set aside.

Cooking the chicken

1.Heat the oil/ghee in a heavy bottomed casserole pan. 

2.Add the other half of the whole spices, sauté on medium heat for 1-2 mins until fragrant.

3.Add the fried onions, ginger and garlic pastes, sauté on low – medium heat for 2-3 mins to cook.

4.Reduce the heat. Add the red chilli powder, crushed green chilli, chicken, yogurt, lime or lemon, mint and coriander.

5.Mix well and bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low heat for 15mins.

Assembling the rice

1.Spread the ¾ cooked rice over the chicken. Sprinkle with the saffron milk, mint, coriander and fried onions.

2.Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook on low heat for another 15mins.

3.Serve with raita.


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Shortlisted for the Great British Food Awards 2019
Deliciously Yorkshire Taste Awards 2019