Sep 6, 2013

One Pot Chicken Rice / Biryani (made of Jeerakasala / Zeera Samba Rice and Coconut Milk)

One Pot Chicken Rice / Biryani  (made of Jeerakasala rice and coconut milk)- A delicious and less spicy chicken rice !!!

Tip – Please use same measuring cup to measure rice and water.

Featured here is a One Pot Chicken Rice /  Biryani made out of Jeerakasala rice / Zeera samba rice.  Jeerakasala rice is a popular variety of aromatic rice used in Tamilnadu and Kerala. As the name suggests the grains are smaller in size like jeera ( cumin seeds ). It is very tasty and fragrant when cooked (better than basmati rice). Available at whole sale rice merchants in Chennai   (Nilgiris , more, Spencer's daily ..) and other  leading supermarkets.

Serves: 4


1 tablespoon oil / ghee

3 cloves

3 cardamom

1 bay leaf

1 stick cinnamon

2 onion, finely sliced

½ - inch ginger, chopped and crushed (do not make a paste)

8 cloves garlic, chopped and crushed (do not make a paste)

4 green chillies, chopped and crushed (do not make a paste)

½  teaspoon turmeric powder

2 tablespoon finely chopped mint and coriander leaves (do not add thick stem)

500 g chicken pieces , cut into medium size pieces (wash and clean chicken pieces. Drain out water thoroughly)

 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1 1/4 cup / 225ml coconut milk (Dilute 25 g Maggi instant coconut milk powder 225 ml water. Make a smooth solution)

2 cups (Indian standard measuring cup of 200 ml / 8 oz capacity) Jeerakasala / Zeera Samba rice (wash and clean rice just before cooking, do not soak it in water)

Extra water (maximum 2 cups)

Shallow fried onions, cashew buts and raisins

1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

Raita / pickle / boiled egg / pappadam  for serving


Heat oil in a  deep karahi / deep pan  on medium heat. Add whole spices (cloves, cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon) and fry on a low heat till fragrant.

Add sliced onions and fry till golden color.

Add  crushed ginger  and garlic and stir well for 2 – 3 minutes until the raw smell goes.

Add  crushed green chillies and fry for 2 minutes.

Add chopped mint and coriander leaves, chicken pieces, salt to taste (or 3/4 teaspoon) and 1 ¼ cup (225 ml) coconut milk. Do not add extra water. Curry should cook in coconut milk. 

 Mix all the ingredients well.  Note down the timing. Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 20 minutes until half done (In India, normal cooking time for broiler chicken is 35 - 40 minutes . Popular brands are  Suguna and Venky’s brand).

At this stage (after 20 minutes) open the lid and check the quantity of the gravy (remove chicken pieces into another bowl and strain gravy through a clean iron  sieve (please do not use plastic sieve. Gravy is very hot). It may be 1 cup. Transfer all the ingredients back to karahi  (chicken pieces and gravy). Now add 2 cups of  drained jeerakasala  rice and 2  cups of  water (1 ½ cup water required for 1 cup jeerakasala  rice. Here we're adding 2 cups of  water + 1 cup  gravy from the chicken curry = Total   3 cups liquid (water + gravy).

Cover again and cook on a medium to low heat for another 15 – 20 minutes or until done / rice cooked well and water dries up. See the photo given below.  Serve with raita / pickle / korma. This one pot chicken rice is very tasty and less spicy. Decorate with  chopped coriander leaves, shallow fried  onions, cashew nuts and raisins.

For shallow fried onion, cashew nut and raisins:


1 tablespoon ghee or oil

1 onion, thinly sliced (1 big size or 2 small size), separate each layer

2 pinches sugar

6 cashew nuts ( 12 splits)

12  raisins


 In a frying pan / karahi, heat ghee or oil on a medium heat. Add finely sliced onions and fry till light golden color. Now add 2 pinches of sugar and  fry again on a medium to low heat until golden and crisp. Carefully remove crispy onions from  the ghee and keep it  in a separate container.

Add cashew nut splits (use same oil) and fry until golden color on a medium to low heat. Remove and keep aside.

Add raisins and fry until golden color on a medium to low heat. Remove and keep aside.

For the raita:

Serves: 4


200 ml medium thick curd

1 big (1 big or 2 small size) onion, finely chopped

1 big (1 big or 2 small size) tomato, finely chopped

2 tablespoon mint and coriander leaves

½ teaspoon salt


In a bowl or serving bowl, mix medium thick yogurt / curd with above ingredients. Serve as a side dish with one pot chicken rice / biryani.

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