Chicken Biriyani with Mushroom and Asparagus

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Recipe by Route 79


A "biriyani" dish is rice with a mixture of whatever takes your fancy. In this case it's Chicken - and tonight I decided to use asparagus and mushroom as the main accompaniments!

I really enjoy cooking this type of dish on a Saturday evening - as it is very convenient - and allows the person eating it to do so whilst sitting on the sofa in your living room and watching your favourite TV show or a film.


Here is a picture of the ingredients I used tonight - but feel free to vary them according to what you have in your fridge - and even substituting the chicken for some more vegetables if you are a veggie! It really doesn't matter what you use - as long as you like the combination of ingredients!


And here is a picture of all the ingredients - chopped and prepared - and ready to go!

  • 1 medium onion - chopped coarsely
  • 1 cup of basmati rice - washed until there is no starch left
  • 1 medium green pepper - again: chopped coarsely
  • 1 packet of button mushrooms - chopped into quarters
  • 1 bunch of asparagus - chopped coarsely - but separate the stems from the tips (as the tips are very tender)
  • 1 tomato - deseeded and chopped finely
  • 1 300g packet of chicken mini-fillets - chopped into coarse chunks (they cook real quick - so no need to chop too finely) [also - any cut of chicken will do fine - thigh is preferable - but i didn't have time to go to the High Street meat shop today - so i got a packet from the supermarket instead.)
  • 1 generous chunk of frozen garlic pulp from your freezer
  • 1 generous chunk of ginger pulp from your freezer (both of the above thawed by zapping for 20 seconds on full power in your microwave)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of haldi (turmeric)
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 2 bay leaves (not shown in picture!)
  • 1 pinch of whole cumin seed (not visible in picture)


First of all - get a large frying pan/wok/karahi (make sure it has a lid that you can see through)- heat up a couple of tablespoons of your usual vegetable oil in it - I use cholesterol-free sunflower oil

Heat some oil in the karahi
Add some cumin seed to hot oil

When the oil is hot - add the pinch of cumin seeds and watch it splutter - stir it around a bit.

Then add the chopped onion and chopped green pepper into the pan - mixing it all about - and frying until the onion is soft and translucent - and the pepper is starting to char a little.

Add the peppers and onions and stir fry on hot flame
Fry until onions browned

Then add the chopped chicken pieces - and stir it around on high heat. and then immediately add the pulped garlic and ginger - keep it stirring on fierce flame.

Add chopped chicken
Then add garlic& ginger

After a few mins - throw in the chopped asparagus stems and Mushrooms - and after about a minute throw in all the ground spices as per the measures given above. Keep on stir-frying until the mushrooms are reduced and the chicken is well cooked.

Add asparagus stems abd mushrooms
Add ground spices

When the chicken is cooked - which should only take about 5 mins - add the washed rice to the pot - and stir it all about - again: on high heat.

Stir-fry untill chicken cooked
Add the washed rice

When the rice has been coated in all the juices of the pan - add just less than twice the amount of water as there was rice - and then immediately stir in the tender asparagus tips and chopped tomato pieces. Make sure the flame is on max - as you want to make the water boil violently.

Add the water
Add asparagus and tomato

Put the lid to the pan on top - and let it boil for about 1 minute - and then immediately reduce the flame to lowest possible - and set the timer on your cooker for 15 mins. keep the lid on - and DO NOT TAKE THE LID OFF AT ALL for 15 mins! (Otherwise you will ruin it!)

Bring to boil on fierce flame
Let it steam for 15 mins

After 15 mins or so - switch off the flame - and then take the lid off - and fold the rice over a couple of times - and put the lid back on - and leave it to rest for about 15 more minutes. After that it will be ready to eat!

Serve it up with a side-salad of onion, cucumber and tomato - dressed in salad vinegar - and enjoy!

Recipe by Route 79

From London: By a British, European, 2nd-Generation Indian. Probably confused - but proud to be them all! Half of my journey to and from work is a 20-30 minute bus ride: London Bus Route 79 - between Alperton in West London and Kingsbury in North West London. I very frequently get pissed-off and frustrated waiting around in the DARK, WET and COLD - waiting for the 79 to turn up. But I have to be eternally grateful for the quality thinking time I get to myself.