Aromatic Chicken, Vegetables & Rice Recipe (Biriyani)


This spicy, hearty and zesty dish is a melting pot of flavors of Indo-Persian origin. The meat caters to the protein value, the vegetables to the vitamins and minerals, the spices add a ton of antioxidants and medicinal value to the food, and the grains contributing to healthy carbs/energy. This combination makes it the perfect one-pot wholesome meal.

The traditional name is Biriyani, and is the favored dish for most celebrations because of the rich taste and flavor of the food. Because of its richness, it is paired with a more subtle side like yogurt salad (yogurt with onions, tomatoes, chopped cilantro).

Making Biriyani in MEC is so much healthier and also easier as a. only 1/6 of the oil is needed, b. no need to marinate the chicken for a long hours, c. no need to cook rice in a different pot/pan. Rice will cook beautifully in the same pot, without getting mushy. d. and the recipe overall takes less time to cook! And of course the fundamental benefits of cooking in MEC: your food is not contaminated with toxins, and nutrients are not damaged so the food is nutritionally dense.

Serves – 5, Cooking Time: 40 mins


Marinate chicken for about 30 minutes: 1 1/2 lbs. chicken, 2 TBSP of MEC yogurt, 1 tsp. turmeric, 1/2 tsp red chili powder, 1/2 tsp salt. You can use either bone in or boneless chicken. We prefer bone in chicken.
3 medium-sized onions, sliced
1 medium-sized potato, chopped to approximately 1″ size
1 medium-sized tomato (optional), chopped
1 medium-sized cauliflower, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup peas (optional)
2 cups of rice – wash and drain the rice and set aside.
2.5 cups of water
Salt to taste, oil – 2 tsp

2 bay leaves, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 tsp cumin seeds-crushed slightly, 3 cloves of cardamom, 1/2 cup fresh washed mint leaves, chopped finely (if using dried mint leaves use 1/3 cup), 2 chopped 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves (cilantro), chopped finely, 1 TBSP coriander powder, 1 red chili, or 2, or 3 (mild, medium, or spicy), 1″ ginger – crushed, 3-4 cloves of garlic – crushed.

How to cook Aromatic Biriyani

Start stove on low heat then add 2 tsp oil to well seasoned MEC pot, add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves. Stir, cover, and cook on low for 3-5 minutes covered. Add onions, ginger, garlic, – stir, cover and cook for 5 mins. Add chicken, chili, stir, increase heat to medium low and cover and cook for 10 minutes. Then add potatoes, mint and coriander, stir and cover and cook for 6-8 minutes. If adding other veggies – add now stir, cook for 5 more minutes, add rice (washed and drained). Stir thoroughly with spices in the pot. Cover and cook for 2-3 mins. Add water (see notes for water to rice ratio), add salt, stir and cover and cook for 15 more minutes, or till rice is done.

Vegetarian version:

Instead of the chicken choose: Carrots, string beans, snow peas, peas, potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, 2-3 cups of 4 different veggies.

Recipe Notes:

  • Because the pot will already have some water/liquids from the chicken and the steam from vegetables, the water added later with the rice will be less. Gauge the water in the pot before adding more water with the rice. For this recipe, there should be about 1 to 1.5 cups of water so you would add 2.5 cups more to make 4 cups of water for 2 cups of rice.
  • No need to marinate vegetables for vegetable Biriyani.