Daikon Chicken “Biryani”

Daikon Chicken “Biryani”

Before you get to this recipe, let me preface – I was never trained in...

Daikon Chicken “Biryani”

Before you get to this recipe, let me preface – I was never trained in the art of Indian cooking. However, Indian cooking is so full of spices, that as long as you understand how the spices mix together and complement each other, you can squeeze by.

I’ve always loved Indian food – I also like very spicy food, so I’ve always found that there’s something I can order at an Indian restaurant to satisfy my “spicy” tooth.

My love and appreciation for this type of cuisine started when I studied abroad in London.

Before living in London, I had never tasted Indian food. Coming from an Italian American background, most meals were, well, Italian or at least Italian “themed.”

Immediately when I tried my first dish (tandoori chicken), I was hooked. There’s this little Indian spot in Hoboken, NJ where I first lived when I graduated college called “Karma Kafe,” which I’d order takeout from one too many times. Chickpeas in chana masala were my jam back then!

Daikon Chicken “Biryani”

Then, I moved to Jersey City, which usually is noted for having the top largest Indian populations in the country! Lucky me, because there’s no shortage of incredible, authentic Indian cuisine.

Having said that, since Lu and I moved into this apartment, we’ve never had Indian together. The other night, we tried it out at a local Chinese/Indian fusion restaurant and we were totally disappointed – it was way too spicy and over seasoned. I will admit, the garlic naan was incredible.

Daikon Chicken “Biryani”

However, like whenever you eat a plate of rice, you feel immediately bloated and uncomfortable afterwards. We honestly had a hard time going to bed, our tummies were so full – we’re used to eating light spiralized meals, so I think we may have shocked our bodies.

This was on Sunday, so I was determined to make something Indian-inspired for the blog this week, hence, this chicken biryani made using daikon rice instead of basmati rice. I read a bit about Indian food beforehand through some BBC websites and used my own taste buds to come up with a recipe as close to the real deal as possible.

Daikon Chicken “Biryani”

The daikon rice is light and fluffy, like a thin basmati would be, which is ideal for this flavorful biryani. The colors even look the same! The golden raisins are the kicker – some biryanis I’ve had with them, some without, but for me, they were crucial – they add a little bit of sweetness and a chewy texture that’s divine and a nice break from the spice overload.

This dish reheats very well, so if you’re a fan of biryani like me, double this recipe and save leftovers for the work week – your coworkers will be amazed when you don’t need a nap afterwards!

What are your favorite Indian dishes?

Nutritional Information & Recipe


Daikon Chicken “Biryani”

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 3


  • 2 daikon radishes peeled, Blade C
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 shallots chopped
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno seeded and minced (use the full jalapeno if you like spicy)
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 2 chicken breasts thinly sliced into strips
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves


  • Place your daikon radish noodles into a food processor and pulse until rice-like bits. Place in a bowl near a sink. Place another bowl next to the bowl of rice. Take large handfuls of the rice and squeeze out the excess water into the sink and then place in the empty bowl. Repeat this until you've squeezed out the excess moisture in all of the rice. Set aside.
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Once oil heats, add in the shallots, onions, garlic, chili, ginger and cook for 3-5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  • Add in the chicken, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add in the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric and nutmeg, stir to combine and then add in the yogurt and raisins. Cover the pan, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to let the flavors develop. Then, add in the daikon rice, cilantro and mint and stir and cook another 1-2 minutes or until rice heats through.
  • Serve immediately.
with love, Ali

leave a comment

Recipe Rating


  • You refer to chili and chili powder in the instructions, but I font see that on the list of ingredients.
    • Sorry, I ended up using jalapeno instead of chili powder for the spice. I updated the recipe! Thanks for catching that.
  • Sounds great. I've made similar dishes to this also, but I used sweet potato rice and preferred that. I personally wouldn't add cinnamon or nutmeg as it's not really used in authentic Indian cooking much, despite what some online recipies say! I would also however, add a can of plum tomatoes, squashed up as you cook them, (or a can of chopped if your lazy)' and definitely more chilli pepper ( that's just me though liking hot food), you also don't need to use the yoghurt, particularly with adding tomatoes, but you can if you wish. I would also definitely not use shallots in Indian cooking, but use 2 medium to large red onions instead, as red onions are indigenous to India. I would let them cook off for at least 10 minutes before adding the spices. White onions will do if you can't get red. I'm not Asian, just thought how to cook many moons ago by one. X
    • Great tips! However, this recipe does already call for red onions! Also, I love the fragrance shallots add and the yogurt is for a creamier effect- all personal touches!
  • I can't wait to try this one! Yesterday by coincidence I picked up golden raisins and Greek yogurt at the groc store, just wish I had the daikon radishes b/c we'd be eating this tonight! I've made dozens of your recipes (keep them in a separate folder from the ones I haven't gotten to yet) and always put the date and a comment in the upper rt corner of the paper - there isn't one that has a negative comment! ~ ruth
  • This looks absolutely amazing! Indian is definitely my go-to ethnic cuisine. I honestly could eat it every day and not get sick of it…but I’m sure my pants would start feeling sliiiiightly tighter. I’d love to see a butter chicken recipe!
  • This looks amazing! I'm going to have to try it with tofu :) If I can't find daikon what do you recommend in its place? Sweet potato?
    • hi Anna - I wasn't going to keep 'lack of a daikon radish' keep me from trying this TODAY so I used what I have on hand: butternut squash! I'm sure the sweet potato rice would be delicious too. Since it makes 3 servings I decided to make it early in the day and have a little for lunch, the rest for supper for my husband and I. It turned out great - I know it's the most un-authentic version of this recipe (my jalapeno was squishy, so I substituted with 1/4 tsp crushed red peppers, the mint in the fridge had dried up, but oh well...), but I'll be making it again and again! ~ruth
      • Great, thanks for the advice! That's what I love about indian cooking - you can really tailor it to whatever you have on hand :) I've never seen daikon radishes in the store (I've also never looked) so thank you for the advice in case I can't find them! I LOVE butternut squash so I'll go with that as a back up
  • This sounds and look delicious and so flavorful! Indian is the one type of food I'm not that familiar with but I've been dying to try it.
  • I find that daikon radishes vary a lot in sizes. From almost butternut squash size to Carrott sized. Would you give an idea of the size of the 3 daikons that should be used?
    • I've only seen daikon radishes at my local oriental market and they usually come pretty big. I kept mine relatively small & thin - easier to spiralize in my opinion. I bought two and didn't even use all of the "rice". I like my indian dishes a bit saucy though. :)
  • I made a vegetarian version of this and it was delicious! I used a block of lite firm tofu in place of the chicken but followed everything else. I did end up adding about 2/3 cup of tomato sauce, which gave it more of a curry dish consistency (instead of a biryani consistency). It was delicious! The daikon radishes I found seemed a bit small. I used 3 that were about 7" long and 1.5" in diameter.
  • How about the weight to help us determine how much Daikon to use? Just some idea of measurement would be helpful. Or maybe how many cups of "rice" goes in the recipe? Thanks tons. I am enjoying your recipes so much. I am new to your site and have only made a few but hope to make lots of them!!! I pre ordered your cookbook!
  • wow! great recipe. one of my favorites Going to give this a go. Thanks for sharing this. Simon
  • Made this tonight and it's delicious! Had to make a special trip to Whole Foods to find Daikon but it was worth it. The "rice" is a great texture and adds some bite. I happen to have a biryani mix I bought in India laying around so I'm not sure how the spices would come together, but this is delicious and you get a lot of quantity for the calories!