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Chicken and Vegetable Biryani

Hands-on time 25 mins
Total time 1 hr, 15 mins

Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

Biryani is an Indian rice casserole, often baked and typically made with white basmati rice. Here, I keep it all stovetop and use brown basmati. The yogurt and butter stirred in at the end add richness and a hint of tanginess.


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup uncooked brown basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower florets
  • 2/3 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Nutrition Information

  • calories 432
  • fat 15.4 g
  • satfat 3.9 g
  • monofat 5.7 g
  • polyfat 2.7
  • protein 31 g
  • carbohydrate 46 g
  • fiber 6 g
  • sugars 7 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g
  • cholesterol 117 mg
  • iron 3 mg
  • sodium 660 mg
  • calcium 74 mg

How to Make It

  1. Heat a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook chicken 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove from pan.
  2. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, ginger, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, pepper, and cardamom; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add rice; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add 1 1/2 cups water, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until rice is almost tender. Add additional 2 tablespoons water, if needed. Stir in chicken, cauliflower, and 3/4 teaspoon salt; cover and cook 10 minutes. Stir in peas, yogurt, and butter; cover and cook 10 minutes or until rice is tender.

Cook's Notes

Executive Editor at Cooking Light, Ann Pittman, explores whole grain's all-around awesomeness in her new book, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice. This complete guide to healthy, hearty, and incredibly versatile whole grains includes something for everyone and offers innovative new techniques to ensure the most flavorful results. From simple, delicious sides to satisfying mains and sublime desserts, this James Beard Award-winning author educates, inspires and does not disappoint. Discover a whole new way of looking at whole grains, how they are prepared, and how they can be incorporated into a healthy diet at every meal.

Also appeared in: Oxmoor House, March, 2016, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice;