Friday, March 26, 2010

Nasi Biryani

I have cooked nasi biryani many times and somehow, this chinese lady is not getting it right.  My nasi biryani did not have the indian or malay umph and more often than not, the rice was not totally cooked through according the method provided in most recipes, and i have to resolve by using the microwave to finish the cooking.  But, nowadays, cooking nasi biryani is no more a problem, thanks to Vivien Tan, one of my readers who have become a dear friend, send me a few packets of 'SHAN"  brand for  biryani .  I followed the instructions on the back of the packet and my biryani rice have always been cooked through and the nasi was spicy, with all the umphs.  I find the taste to be slightly too salty so i reduced the amount of salt recommended to 1 tablespoon, when i was cooking the rice.  Thank you Vivien for sending me the Shan premixed, they are available now here in our indian stores.


1 1/2 lbs chicken pieces
1 1/3 lb basmati rice - soaked for 30 minutes and drained
1 tbsp tamarind pulp - soaked in 1 cup water for 30 minutes, Then press and sieve the juice.
2 - 3 medium onion - sliced(about 1/2 lb)
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 cup cooking oil
1 packet 'Shan' Malay Chicken Biryani
Fried shallots
Toasted cashew nuts
Cilantro for garnishing


Marinate chicken pieces with ginger, garlic and 2 tbsp of Shan Malay Chicken Biryani mix for 1 hour.

Heat oil and brown the marinated chicken pieces. Remove and set aside.

Sweat the chopped onions, then add in browned chicken pieces,  the rest of the Shan Malay Chicken Biryani mix, tamarind juice and 1 cup water.  Continue to cook and stir until sauce is thickened. Set aside.

Boil 10 cups of water with 1 tbsp salt and add in the soaked rice.  Boil until the rice is three-quarter tender.  Drain the liquid.

Assembling the Biryani:

Spread the cooked chicken pieces and the drained rice in layers into the rice cooker.

Top with raisins, then cover and press the cook function and cook until rice is cooked through.

Slightly mix the rice and chicken pieces and garnish with cashew nuts and fried shallots before serving.



Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

Thanks for all the beautiful cakes, kuihs and dishes you have cooked and posted for all of us to enjoy! Have always relied on your blog for reference whenever a conundrum crops up in a particular dish I am cooking for the first time. Thank you for helping me solve the problem most times.

Have never successfully cooked nasi briyani b4 and am very curious about this foolproof ¨Shan ¨ brand for briyani. Do you think it is possible to show us what the packet looks like . I live in Melbourne, Australia and am not too sure if this Shna brand is being distributed here.

Happy cooking and best regards,

Judy Lim

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

never try nasi briyani rice at home before, must try one day.Thanks for sharing.

MaryMoh said...

Heard so much about briyani, ate before back home but haven't tried it. Time to learn. Looks too good here. Thanks for sharing, Lily.

Unknown said...


here is the link

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link Lily.

Anonymous said...


Hi. I am the reader who asked u about nasi biryani in your golden rice thread. Thanks for posting it up!

Somehow I manage to overcome the uncook rice problem. Instead of using rice cooker which always switch to keep-warm mode although the rice is only half cooked, I cook the rice on stoove, old school method. The disadvange is that I constantly have to watch over the pot do that the rice don't get burnt. Also I use ordinary short grain rice since it is the only rice I had.

Thanks again!!


MissX said...

Hi Judy,

I live in Melbs too!

There are lots of Indian shops stocking Shan spice mixes.

In the city you might have problems finding any, but in suburbs such as Footscray (Outside the train station) and most other suburbs you can find at least one Indian grocer out of the many mushrooming around Melbourne.

Instead of Shan I prefer Laziza but it seems they don't really stock it as much any more.

Go with Sindhi or Bombay Biryani as they are the most flavoursome.

Some tips is to use Basmati rice (and only that!) as they have a special aroma which adds to the richness of the biryani and does not become soggy from cooking.

When layering the rice make sure your rice is around 1/2 - 3/4 cooked or your rice will end up overcooked when being cooked after the layering process!

A good biryani is when the rice does not clump or stick together and are separate grains.

Best to cook the rice using the stove top method.
Wash your rice, fill with water (3/4 of the pot - any size) and boil on high heat for around 10 min. To test the rice's readiness pop out a grain and have a nibble - it should be slightly hard.

Strain all the water, set aside for around 3 - 5 min and you are ready to layer the biryani.

That's the ideal time to layer the biryani as after layering it, it will finish cooking in the pot with the mix.

Good luck! :)

Unknown said...

miss x

thank you so much for these tips on how to cook biryani.

Judy, i hope you will read this thread

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