I haven’t tasted this dish before but living in a multi-cultural city offers a wide variety of things, from clothes to food. Strolling around Cyprus’ capital Nicosia, me and one friend entered a restaurant after our tummy made a sound of protest, we are obviously hungry. It turned out that the restaurant offers only halal food or food that is lawful for Muslims to eat. At first we are hesitant, but new things are worth the try so we ordered Biriany, a spicy, slightly yellowed rice and chicken (or beef) cooked with a handful of spices and herbs. It’s simply titillating to the taste buds. Try to cook it at home.

Here’s the ingredients and how to cook:


1. 1 ½ Cups basmati rice

2. 1 Kg Chicken

3. 2 Medium sized onions, finely

4. 3 Medium sized tomatoes, finely sliced

5. 5 Potatoes

6. 5 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste

7. 3-4 green chilies

8. 2 tbsp. mint leaves

9. 2 tbsp. coriander leaves, roughly chopped

10. 6 tbsp. ghee

11. 2 green cardamoms

12. 3 cinnamons

13. 3 black cardamoms

14. 3 baby leaves

15. 3 cloves

16. 4-5 saffron strands

17. 3 tbsp. warm milk

18. ½ tsp turmeric powder

19. 1 tbsp. chilli and coriander powder

20. 1 ½ cups yoghurt

21. Salt as per taste

22. 4 cups water


  • First clean the chicken with fresh water.
  • Then cut into half-inch sized pieces.
  • Clean, wash and soak the rice in the water.
  • Soak the saffron in warm milk and keep aside.
  • Marinate the chicken pieces with turmeric, salt, yoghurt, 1 tbsp of ginger-garlic pastes for 4 hours in a cool place.
  • Now cook the rice in salted boiling water along with cardamoms, cinnamons, cloves and baby leaves.
  • Rice should be half cooked: retain the strained water.
  • Keep the rice warm.
  • Heat ghee in a pan or pressure cooker.
  • Add the sliced onions and green chilies.
  • Cook until golden brown, make sure to stir continuously.
  • Add the remaining ginger-garlic paste, mix well.
  • Cook until golden brown, make sure to stir continuously.
  • Add the remaining ginger-garlic paste, mix well.
  • Now add the marinated chicken pieces and cook on high flame stirring continuously for 7-8 minutes.
  • Add the coriander and chilli powder and mix thoroughly.
  • Stir in 3 cups of eater, bring to boil, reduce heat and cook covered till the chicken pieces are almost cooked.
  • Add the tomatoes and potatoes, half a tbsp of garam masala powder, half the chopped mint and coriander leaves.
  • Cook for 15 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • In case you are cooking in the pressure cooker, it normally takes 2 whistles.
  • Ensure that the cooked chicken does not have a runny gravy.
  • If it is so cook on high flame and reduce the water content.
  • Take a cooker, mix the warm rice and chicken masala, and check the salt.
  • Sprinkle the remaining mint-coriander leaves, saffron milk and 2 tbsp of ghee.
  • In the end sprinkle a glass of retained water.
  • Cover it with a moist cloth and seal it with a lid.
  • Cook it for 15-20 minutes.