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Friday, April 10, 2015

Kairi ( Raw Mango ) Biriyani ( Chicken Biryani flavored with green mangoes )

If I had to name of thing that makes me nostalgic about summers, it would undoubtedly be 'Mangoes'. Whether they are the tangy green ones or the ripe aromatic ones, I never fail to make them a part of the menu. While the ripe ones go straight from the fridge ( where they are kept soaking in a large bowl of water for 3-4 hours ) to the dining table, the raw ones offer a lot more versatility. And even though I add the green ones to chutney, a variety of curries, mango rice (Andhra style), rasam or enjoy the slices which sprinkled with salt and red chili powder and exposed to the sun for a few hours, I still cannot get enough.

Perhaps that is why when I made Biryani last over weekend, I wanted to flavour it with that indelible stamp of the Indian summers aka the lovely green mangoes or 'kairi' as we call them in Hindi. This is basically an Ambur style biriyani recipe and I have tweaked it a bit. Since these green mangoes are quite tangy, I made it a point to avoid adding any other sour ingredient like tomato or yogurt. The Kairi biriyani turned out to be beautiful and heavenly smelling.

Read on for the recipe -




















Preparation Time - 1 hour

Ingredients -


  • 250 gm Chicken
  • 2 large onions 
  • 1 green chilli
  • whole spices ( 3 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon stick, 2 maratti moggu, 2 Kalpasi, 1 bay leaf, 2 mace)
  • 1/3 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • a handful of mint leaves
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 4 tbsp grated green mango (Kairi)
  • oil (2 tbsp)
  • ghee (2tbsp)
  • salt to taste


To be ground into a paste -
  • 1 1/2 inch long ginger
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 2-4 green chilis


For the biriyani rice -
  • 2 cups Basmati rice 
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 2" long cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2 green cardamom (slightly split)
  • 1 mace
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Transfer the ginger, garlic and green chili into a grinder jar and grind into a paste.

Add 3/4 th of the GG paste to the cleaned chicken pieces. Add turmeric and cinnamon powder. Add salt and mix with your hands so that the masala is uniformly distributed. (Do wear gloves as the chilli paste might cause severe burning sensation on your hands)

Keep aside for 2-3 hours.

Finely chop the onions .

Cooking -

For the chicken - Heat the ghee and oil in a pressure cooker. Add the whole spices and fry for 10-15 seconds. Next, add the onions and fry till translucent.

Add half of the mint leaves and half of the coriander leaves. Fry for 2 mins.

Add the marinated chicken along with the marinade. Cook for 15 mins (covered) till 3/4 done. Add the grated green mango and fry for 5-6 mins. Remove from flame and keep aside.

For the rice - Boil 8-10 cup water in large pan. When it gets to a boil, add all the spices and salt.

Wash the Basmati rice and add to the boiling water. Boil on a medium flame for 8-9 mins.

Switch off the flame.  Add the ghee and allow to stand for 30 secs before draining off.

Final assembly - Take a thick bottomed pan. Layer the bottom with rice.

Then layer with chicken, mint leaves, coriander leaves, ghee and few dots of color. ( throw in a few thin slices of green mangoes as well for more aroma..I did just that and loved it!! )

Repeat with another layer of rice. Add more mint leaves, ghee and some more color. Cover tightly with aluminium foil. Place the pan on a tawa/skillet before placing it on a low flame. Keep it on for 15-20 mins. Remove from flame and keep aside for 10 mins before opening.

Serve hot with raita and Coke.





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