Chicken Breyani


For the chicken:

3 whole green cardamom (elachi) pods

2 cinnamon sticks

2 bay leaves

½ tsp black peppercorns

3 cloves

Vegetable oil

1½ kg Woolworths chicken thighs and drumstick pieces, skinned

2 sprigs curry leaves

1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste

2 tablespoons Woolworths Breyani spice mix

4 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp dhania (coriander) powder

1 tsp jeera (cumin) powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

6 green chillies, ground

400 g Woolworths roma tomatoes, pureed

1½ cups Woolworths full cream yoghurt

1 tbsp lemon juice

100 g Woolworths salted butter, cubed

1 cup water

200 g Woolworths crispy onion sprinkle

400 g Woolworths canned lentils

For the rice:

3 cups basmati rice

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp salt

4½ cups water

For the potatoes:

6 Woolworths everyday potatoes

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp vegetable oil


Add the whole spices (cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, peppercorns, and cloves) to a pan and lightly roast, stirring and tossing frequently over medium heat, until they begin to smell toasty and fragrant. Transfer them to a bowl and allow them to cool before grinding them in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.

Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl, and add the ground whole spices, 100g of the crispy onion sprinkle, curry leaves, ginger, and garlic paste, chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, green chillies, yoghurt, pureed tomatoes, and lemon juice. Mix well and allow to marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.

Rinse the rice in a fine-mesh sieve until the water runs clear. (This may take up to a minute.) Rinsing rice before you cook it is key – it washes away the starchy powder that would otherwise make the grains of rice clump and stick together.

Combine rice, cinnamon sticks, turmeric powder, salt, and water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes – the rice must still have a hard centre when rolled between your fingers. Strain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Peel potatoes, cube them, and toss them in turmeric powder and vegetable oil. Place on a baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and place back in the oven to allow the potatoes to brown.

Place the marinated chicken pieces in a large casserole. Add a layer of lentils over the meat, then place the roasted potatoes over the lentils. Cover with rice. Add the rest of the crispy onion sprinkle and dot with cubes of butter. Gently pour 1 cup of water over the rice, cover the dish with foil or a lid, and bake in the oven at 180°C for 1-1½ hours. Serve with raita, carrot salad, and pickled red onion. Enjoy!

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