Although not originally from Malaysia, “Nasi Briyani” has however found its place in South East Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore. It is a popular dish in many casual Mamak eateries and often enjoyed with meat curries, eggs and vegetables. While the argument goes on to find the origin of nasi briyani, I choose to celebrate this dish with the various ways it is cooked in different countries.
The usage of pandan leaves to add fragrance to the rice definitely gives it a Malaysian twist. Besides that, the rice is cooked separately without any meat. In Mamak eateries, the rice is served as it is or together with any preferred side dishes. It is like a buffet of curries and delicious dishes that go perfectly well with the rice.
A basic plate of nasi briyani consists of spiced rice and meat curry of your choice. I personally prefer mutton and chicken curry. Therefore, I had chosen to prepare a video on nasi briyani with a special chicken curry. Just like many of my recipes, feel free to substitute chicken with the meat of your choice. The key is to use the same selection of spices and allow the meat to cook until it is tender.
Marinating the chicken with yoghurt helps to tenderize the meat as the lactic acid in the yoghurt breaks down the protein. Additionally, the tanginess in the Greek yoghurt definitely adds a wonderful flavour to the curry. In this recipe, I had selected Greek yoghurt as it is known to be thicker, richer in fats and more resistant to heat. You may use other types of yoghurt or even curd. The creamier it is, the more delicious it becomes!
Nasi briyani in Malaysia usually consists of evaporated milk to add creaminess to the rice. Besides making the rice creamier, it also makes it fluffier. As I did not have any in hand, I opted for full fat milk instead. It worked just as well too. If you want to use evaporated milk, add 50 ml of evaporated milk instead of the suggested 100 ml full fat milk.
Ghee also plays an important role in making a good plate of nasi briyani. In fact, I honestly think it contributed a huge difference to the flavour. However, it is often sold in big cans and normally would not be fully utilized causing a wastage. Besides, making ghee from scratch is also a hassle. Hence, a quick DIY version of ghee using butter is presented in the video.
Just a reminder, marinate the meat and prepare the ghee one day in advance to lessen the preparation time the following day.