I have had a few requests to add recipes on a more regular basis, and to expand on the Indian recipes.

To date, I have tried to keep the recipes simple, hence the name ‘Yes You Can Unisex Recipes.’
That name, btw, has been around since before Barack Obama became famous!

So lets get technical, but don’t despair, you can do it!
Here is a recipe for a mouth-watering Chicken Nasi Briyani.

The recipe calls for Pandan leaves. I have no idea if there is an English name for it, but it is a fairly common ingredient in Malay, Thai and Indian cooking.
I have, once or twice, come across it at the Indian vegetable section at Fruit and Veg City in Access Park, but it is not freely available in South Africa.
Well-stocked Asian shops carry it in a bottled paste, and there is also an extract available.

If you can’t find it, don’t stress. Just leave it out, but at least try your utmost to get it. It opens up a whole new world.


For the chicken
1.5kg Chicken
1/4 tsp Ground turmeric
1/2 cup Sour cream
1 cup Crispy fried onions
2 tbsp Garam masala
1 X 3” cinnamon stick
1 tbsp Brown mustard seeds
3 Star aniseed
3 Cloves
2 tbsp Cumin seeds
5 Small green chilies
5 cloves Garlic
2 tsp Paprika
Salt to taste

For the rice
4 cups long-grained white rice, washed
3 Cloves
3 Cinnamon sticks
6 Bay leaves
8 Cardamom pods
1 tsp Brown mustard seeds
3 Pandan leaves
10 cups Water
1 cup Milk
1 tsp Whole saffron
1 cup Frozen green peas
1/2 cup Dark raisins (optional. I prefer to leave it out.)
2 tbsp Vegetable oil
100g Butter or Gee
Some mint leaves
Salt to taste

For Chicken
Mix the chicken pieces with buttermilk, ground turmeric and salt & let it sit for about 2 hours.
Mix crispy fried onions with garam masala and set aside.
Roast the cinnamon stick, brown mustard seeds, star anise, cloves, cumin seeds in a dry skillet. Pound them together in a mortar or mixer. Set aside.
Pound the garlic and green chilies together.
Mix marinated chicken with crispy onions mix, ground spices, paprika, garlic and green chilies. Set aside.

For the rice
Soak saffron in the warm milk and set aside.
Heat the oil in a skillet and add butter, 1 cinnamon stick and 3 bay leaves and fry until the aroma of the spices comes out. Set aside.
Boil the water in a large pan and stir in cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, 3 bay leaves, cardamoms & brown mustard seeds.
Add rice, pandan leaves to boiling water and salt to taste and cook until 2/3 done. About six minutes. (do not cover the pan while rice is cooking)
Drain the rice and discard the pandan leaves.
Place half the marinated chicken in a pot. Add a layer of rice on the chicken and sprinkle with some safron milk, fragrant butter, green peas, dark raisins & mint leaves. Repeat the layers with the same order and bake in 325 deg F oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the chicken is done.

Fit for royalty, but please, eating any briyani without dahi or raita and poppadums is like eating a sausage roll without sausage!

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