I’ve partnered with Valley Fig Growers to bring y’all this Chicken Biryani with Figs & Walnuts! Thank you so much for supporting the brands that keep this Blog Spinning!
This Chicken Biryani is an arousingly aromatic, spice-filled, one pot rice and meat dish with a healthy-ish spin. It is light on the rice and heavy on the spices, nuts and California Figs! Pair it with a raita or salad and enjoy it with family and friends on those special occasions.
Biryani (or biriyani or briyani) is a heavily spiced rice and meat dish that is widely popular among South Asians and Persians. It is said to have been brought to Sri Lanka by South Indian traders in the early 1900s. In Sri Lankan, biryani is Buryani and is usually very much spicier than its Indian and Persian counterparts’. And, my mom made one heck of a delicious biryani!
In fact, one of the scents of my youth was my mom’s biryani. It was so insanely aromatic. The kind of aromatic that gets those salivary glands in the back of my mouth pinging painfully even now - at just the memory of it!
I guess that’s what good food does – right?
My mom’s biryani was a simple dish – just rice, chicken (or mutton in some cases), a smattering of veggies, ghee, raisins, cashews, curry leaves and spices – tons and tons of spices. Spices so well layered and intertwined, it was hard to pick one out. Back then, it used to be hard for my mind to grasp how spies like cardamom, cinnamon and cloves could work so well right alongside cumin, coriander and chili powder. Yet, they did. Only intensified when my mom used to roast them up before adding them to her biryani.
My mom often reserved this simple dish for special occasions like birthdays, or holiday get-togethers. I remember I kept wishing I would have more siblings just so there’d be more birthdays to enjoy this dish at.
Thankfully, these days, my mom whips her biryani up just because. In fact, the last time my daughter and I were over at her place, she had whipped up a tasty and aromatic biryani in her Instant Pot!
So, inspired by her recipe, I am sharing my version of Chicken Biryani with y’all today.
Biryani in 3 Easy Steps:
1. Sauté up the onions, move them to the side of the pan and sauté the chicken, garlic and ginger.
2. Add in the spices, rice and stock and let it cook.
3. 10 minutes into cooking, add in the carrots, peas, pecans and California Figs and cover and simmer until done!
Usually, a ton of rice has me feeling a bit sluggish. So, usually when I make biryani, I decreased the amount of rice used – sometimes, I even use quinoa instead. I also increase the amount of chicken and veggies. And, in this recipe here, I also added in a hefty dose of pecans and plump and juicy Sun-Maid® Growers California Figs!
The beauty of this dish is it is so easy to make, yet tastes so exquisite. The initial prep requires therapeutic dicing of onions, garlic, carrots, pecans and California Figs into neat, bite sized portions. But then, after you have layered in all the ingredients, you set this aside to cook. You can then go about conversing with friends and family that you might have called over to linger over this biryani with – until it’s time to uncover this Chicken Biryani and enjoy it!