nasi ayam ala briyani


“But I’m starving,” said the wife while we’re stuck in a traffic jam on Kerinchi Link and the fuel indicator wouldn’t rise to the occasion.

“but what if the car stalls 200 meters from home?” said I.

There are 3 gas stations along the 2km stretch between here and the house, so why can’t we fuel up first?

“But I’m starving.” said the wife.

By the time we reached home it was indeed late and Margaux was starving as well.

Okay, 30 minutes, I told myself, you have 30 minutes to prepare a dinner for the 3 of us, you hear?

So, the usual “one-pot solution” came to mind and we have chicken, and we have rice, so naturally it’s gonna be chicken rice, right?

But chicken rice of what kind?

We all love the Hakka style chicken rice but that requires a copious amount of grated ginger and Margaux doesn’t like to have ginger in her mouth; but she could handle crushed ginger coz she could remove them from her plate.

And so I started crushing garlic and ginger, with their skin on, and browning them in the deep cast-iron pot, with some sea salt, on very low fire.

While the garlic and ginger were browning in the pot, I started washing the basmathi rice and an idea came to mind: bryani!

Margaux’s first encounter with bryani was at Auzani’s sister’s wedding banquet and she couldn’t stop eating it, and I have “tapao” bryani for her a couple of time since then.

But bryani is a time-consuming meal to make, and I have 30 minutes.

And so I started boiling the rice in a pot of salted water, and when the rice was half-cooked, I removed it from the stove and drained the water.

I then mixed the chicken with the now browned garlic and ginger, spread them to cover the bottom of the cast-iron pot, and then added the half-boiled rice to completely cover the chicken.

Fearing the rice might lack flavour, I added a huge chunk of butter at the top of the pile, and sprinkled some sea salt on it.

And then another idea came to mind: eggs!

And so that’s how the 3 eggs landed in the pot as well.


I knew it back then that it will take more than 30 minutes to cook that meal, and I was secretly hoping that they wouldn’t mind waiting if I keep them entertained. But I was no entertainer.


Margaux loved the meal, but wifey and I knew that we should’ve let it cook for another 10 minutes to be perfect.

But we were starving.


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