Layered Chicken Breyani
This complex layered dish featuring chicken, rice and lentils is packed with all the fragrant spices that make breyani a quintessential Cape Malay heritage dish. It takes time to make a classic breyani - this is a true labour of love that's well worth the effort.
- 1 kg chicken pieces
- 6 mint leaves
- 10 ml (2 tsp) garlic, crushed
- 10 ml (2 tsp) fresh ginger, grated
- 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
- 250 ml (1 cup) plain yoghurt
- 30 ml (2 Tbsp) Rajah Hot Curry Powder
- 5 ml (1 tsp) Robertsons Turmeric
- 1 pinch Robertsons Coriander
- 1 pinch Robertsons Cumin
- 500 ml (2 cups) uncooked white rice
- 250 ml (1 cup) black lentils
- 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable oil
- 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
- 75 g butter
- 1 Robertsons Bay Leaf
- 2 Robertsons Cinnamon Sticks
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 Knorr Chicken Stock Pot
- chopped fresh coriander, to garnish
- In a bowl combine the chicken, mint leaves, garlic, ginger, curry leaves, yoghurt, Rajah Hot Curry Powder, and the Robertsons Turmeric, Coriander and Cumin. Mix well, cover, and place in the fridge to marinate for a few hours, or overnight.
- Boil the rice until it is just cooked, then drain and set aside.
- Boil the lentils in water until tender, then drain and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a pot. Sprinkle the potatoes with a little salt, then fry in the hot oil until golden and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
- Now, in the same oil, fry the onions until well browned and set aside.
- Heat the oven to 180 °C.
- Melt the butter in a large pot and gently fry the bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods to release the flavour and aroma.
- Add the marinated chicken and the Knorr Chicken Stock Pot. Cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Remove from the heat and sprinkle with chopped coriander.
- Transfer the mixture to a large oven-proof dish. Place half the fried potatoes on top of the chicken, followed by a third of the fried onions, half the lentils, and half the rice. Repeat the onion, lentil and rice layer, and finish with a layer of fried onions.
- Cover with an oven-proof lid or tin foil and bake in the oven at 180 °C for 1 hour. Do not be tempted to stir or mix the breyani – the layers should remain intact.
- Serve hot with side dishes of your choice such as a yoghurt raita and fresh tomato, onion and chilli sambal.
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