Win $100 AmEx giftcard! (3 winners)!

CONTESTS | | December 24, 2011 at 7:30 pm


Congratulations Kathryn, Mistysunrise and John!

As being the final word of my Ragu Mom’s The Word on Dinner ambassadorship I thought it perfect to have my last party recipe to be one of my favorites. It is for a Christmas party and a briyani is normally considered a royal dish so I thought why not have that for my party dish. Oh, and I won’t miss leaving something for my readers, there’s $300 up for grabs, that’s right 3 of you will take home a $100 giftcard, see Mommy Niri has something special under your tree too.

The one thing about briyani is that it normally takes a lot of time. Sure some people just throw together rice and a curry and call it a briyani but that is really a poor excuse for a briyani. This is the dish I reserve for celebrations and one that I just can’t stop eating. In fact when I was watching my weight I used to beg my mom not to make it because I just could not stop eating. The other good thing about briyani (one of several) is that it stores well. Which means you can make it the day before and I really feel it tastes better that way since the flavors infuse better.

Since I am not about to intimidate you with the elaborate version I will describe to you the simpler version so that you can try to make it too. Also you can make any type of briyani you want chicken, fish, lamb etc all based on what you have. One of my favorites used to be lamb briyani, but when I became a vegetarian paneer (a type of homemade cheese block) briyani was my staple. A year ago in an attempt to possibly go gluten free (hoping that it may support my daughter with Autism’s diet) I re-introduced meat back into my diet. So I decided to go with a chicken briyani.

Breast chicken may work easier for most but I personally prefer a whole chicken to cut up, always funny which piece I may with. So here is a simplistic way that I cook it. I cook basmati rice (aromatic long grain rice) with a lentil (we call massoor but you can find it in any Indian spice store or Whole Foods) – this is pictured above. I cheat and use the microwave, it cooks to perfection there. In a decently heavy sized pot with canola oils I saute chopped onions, crushed garlic and slivers of ginger. To that I add spice (in powder form): cayenne pepper, cumin and coriander. If you can get garam masala from an Indian store then do, but also add whole cinnamon sticks, save yourself from using ground one, the favor is better with sticks plus they keep the flavor longer. Let that roast for just a very short while and then add a cup or two of Ragu traditional sauce. I love that the tomato flavor adds some sweetness to the spice.

The reason I am not stating quantities is that you can adjust to your personal preference. As the tomato roasts and softens add the chicken pieces.  I also add some peas as I love the mix of color. Let cook on med-low temperature until done.  When done I add fresh cilantro and then layer it with the rice. On the top I add a little bit of ghee (clarified butter), regular butter would do too. I omitted a few ingredients I woud use since I did not want it to intimidate you from trying to make it.

Want to win a $100 American Express Gift Card? There are 3 up for grabs.

To win tell me what is your best holiday dish?  Winner chose by USA  only.Please DO NOT leave your email address within the comment!!!). Contest closes 31st December 2011.

Don’t forget to visit out other fabulous giveaways on 

Disclosure: This is part of a campaign where I am an Ambassador in the Ragú® Mom’s the Word on Dinner Program. Visit to join the conversation.


  1. 201
    clynsg says:

    My best holiday dish is pumpkin pie.

  2. 202
    amy deeter says:

    pasta salad

  3. 203
    Mari says:

    I like egg nog the best.

  4. 204
    DeniseG says:

    My favorite holiday dish is snowball cookies – we only make them around Christmas

  5. 205
    katfam says:

    Everyone begs me to make cake.

  6. 206
    Diane Baum says:

    I love egg nog

  7. 207
    Kim Kelly says:

    Best holiday dish is actually cookies.. Linzer Tarts :)

  8. 208
    Kasey K says:

    Stuffing by far is my favorite :)

  9. 209
    Cathy Philipps says:

    my best holiday dish is deviled eggs!

  10. 210
    latisha depoortere says:

    My best dish is this pasta side dish I love to make for the Holidays!

  11. 211
    Pat B says:

    My best dish is my homemade cranberry sauce – a family request every year!

  12. 212
    Stephen Hand says:

    Sweet Potato Cassarole

  13. 213
    MelissaO says:

    My best holiday dish is cheddar mashed potatoes.

    wolverina401 at gmail dot com

  14. 214
    Valerie Mabrey says:

    I like making cheesy potatoes and dessert of cool whip and jello
    vmkids3 at msn dot com

  15. 215
    Mary Casper says:

    green bean caserole

  16. 216
    shel says:

    I make a mean 7-Layer Jello salad…my nephew isn’t happy unless I bring it on the holidays.

  17. 217
    Caryn S says:

    Sweet potato pecan pie

  18. 218
    melissa Resnick says:

    my turkey

  19. 219
    wcc says:

    My best holiday dish is my cornbread dressing. Thanks for the chance! :)

  20. 220
    misty says:

    My best holiday dish is yummy, comfy and easy to make sweet potato souffle!

  21. 221
    Jennifer R says:

    My best holiday dish is my beef brisket.

  22. 222
    Angela Winesburg says:

    Gotta be my pumpkin cheesecake, yum!

  23. 223
    Donna L says:

    I like the turkey!

  24. 224
    Erica C. says:

    I make tasty chocolate chip cookies and serve with egg nog :)

  25. 225
    Allison R says:

    Everyone always asks me to make Cheesy Potatoes or Mexican Layer Dip!

  26. 226
    Ashley says:

    Apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream

  27. 227
    Gena says:

    I always make goat cheese salad. It is so good! It’s goat cheese breaded and served on a spinach salad with walnuts!

  28. 228
    charline says:

    My best Hoilday dish is dressing. I make it completely from scratch very yummy

  29. 229
  30. 230
    Danielle Day says:

    Potato salad!!

  31. 231
    Lisa L says:

    My best holiday dish is Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon. Yum!

  32. 232
    Tiffany Hearn says:

    My best holiday dish is Home made Mashed potatoes! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  33. 233
    Sheila K. says:

    My best holiday dish is breakfast quiche!

  34. 234
    Janice Wright says:

    My favorite holiday dish that I prepare is my Party Potatoes, so easy, yet so good.

  35. 235
    Tracy P says:

    My best holiday dish is Pumpkin Trifle. Its made with homemade whipped cream, gingerbread and pumpkin pie mix. So yummy!

  36. 236
    Tiffany Hoyt says:

    I like to make a turkey and pumpkin pie.

  37. 237
    Barbara Bee says:

    My best is my homemade dinner rolls. Are rolls a dish? I often eat them exclusively for my breakfast, so I think they are a dish. ;-)

  38. 238
    Amanda Mclemore says:

    my best holiday dish is deviled eggs

  39. 239
    kevin glover says:

    ice box cake. equal parts ground vanilla wafers, sweetened condensed milk, chopped walnuts, and raisins. leave to set in freezer one hour. refridgerate after.

  40. 240
    Kylie C says:

    Cranberry Fudge- it’s so yummy and rich! You can only eat one piece at a time. As far as the rest of the meal goes my party dish is sushi- very adaptable for any group or celebration.

  41. 241
    trixx says:

    My best holiday dish is cheesy broccoli casserole!

  42. 242
    Craig Johnson says:

    I love making rosettes!

  43. 243
    mary gardner says:

    deviled eggs or cranberry relish

    marygardner49 at aol dot com

  44. 244
    mistysunrise says:

    My favorite dish, is this awesome snowball cake my sister makes. She is a great cook!

  45. 245
    Claire says:

    Cranberry tartlets are always a hit :)

  46. 246
    Natasha H says:

    Fresh Pumpkin pie… from a real pumpkin, not canned

  47. 247
    buttmuffin says:

    i just made a chocolate cake that was a huge hit with my family..i’m thinking that might be it right now

  48. 248
    Jill L says:

    It would be my baked potato salad.

  49. 249
    Nancy Meyer says:

    I’m really a pro at appetizers! I make a mean spinach artichoke dip, stuffed mushrooms, and potato skins.

    nancymeyer1 at

  50. 250
    Christine says:


  51. 251
    Crystal F says:

    I don’t cook for the holidays. I guess no one trusts my cooking. lol I’m always in charge of bringing the paper products. I like to make puppy chow and no bake oatmeal cookies. Thank you!

  52. 252
    Jammie says:

    My best holiday dish is pumpkin cheesecake. Yummy.

  53. 253
    Nicole Vosburgh says:

    My best holiday dish is Pumpkin Roll-Up! Yumm!

  54. 254
    Laura S says:

    My best holiday dish is my sweet potato casserole

  55. 255
    syndel valle says:

    My best holiday dish is deviled eggs or pumpkin pie!

  56. 256
    gina says:

    My best holiday dish is homemade flan.

  57. 257
    Patricia Treskovich says:

    best is slovish pastries filled with nuts

  58. 258
    Caitlin says:

    Mashed potatoes

  59. 259
    Daryl Downs says:

    best holiday dish is sweet potato pie

  60. 260
    Karen says:

    Toffee sugar cookies. :)

  61. 261
    Jill Myrick says:

    My best holiday dish is Sweet Potato Casserole.

  62. 262
    Derk Thomas says:

    flourless chocolate cake

  63. 263
    heather c says:

    Gingerbread pancakes!

  64. 264
    Lucy Schwartz says:

    Our favorite Holiday dish is Baked Ham made in bread dough. the ham stays so moist and tasty.

  65. 265
    Kayla says:

    I make an amazing sweet potato pie.

  66. 266
    Heidi Back says:

    Everyone always asks for my baked macaroni and cheese.
    I love how you gave your recipe. I usually look up several recipes for what I want to make just to get the idea of the how to’s and what other people use. Then I come up with my own, lol.

  67. 267
    melissa miller says:

    my favorite is greenbean casserole

  68. 268
    brittany herron says:

    I love making oreo balls and my special pasta salad =)

  69. 269
    Angela Cisco says:

    Pumpkin cream pie, you buy the precooked pumpkin pie filling, add seasoning and a tub of cool whip, mix and spread into a graham cracker crust. .

  70. 270
    joseph gersch says:

    green bean casserole

  71. 271
    richard twark says:

    I make a great chocolate yule log

  72. 272
    veronica paulk says:

    love the brown sugar glazed ham :P

  73. 273
    veronica paulk says:

    love the glazed ham :P

  74. 274
    Kathryn C. says:

    Pumpkin rolls are my specialty.

  75. 275
    Iliana Blair says:

    My best holiday dish is my sausage stuffing.

  76. 276
    Jason Vaughn says:

    My best holiday dish is hot chocolate :)

  77. 277
    Julie Laws says:

    ham and mashed potatoes thanks

  78. 278
    Sharon says:

    My best and favorite holiday dish is Pumpkin Pie!
    Thank You!

  79. 279
    Wendy S says:

    I make toffee, friends and family love it and unbeknownst to them, it’s so easy to make !

  80. 280
    Tammy says:

    The dish I like making the most is a mexican tortilla soup – the dish I like eating the most is fudge :) !!

  81. 281
    Jessica Rose says:

    Corn Souffle!

  82. 282
    steve stone says:

    pumpkin pie is my best

  83. 283
    Vicki D. says:

    My best dish is my rum cake. It’s so good. It’s the most moist cake I’ve ever eaten. Everyone always asks me to make it every year.

  84. 284
    Kerry says:

    I make an awesome sweet potato casserole!

  85. 285
    kathy pease says:

    my best holiday dish is cream puffs

    Cream Puffs

    1. In a medium saucepan combine water, butter, and salt. Bring to boiling. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir till mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition.

    2. Drop dough by 12 heaping tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet. Bake in a 400*F oven for 30-35 minutes or till golden. Cool on a wire rack.

    3. Cut tops from puffs; remove soft dough from inside. Fill with whipped cream, pudding, or ice cream. Replace tops. If desired, sift powdered sugar over tops. Makes 12 cream puffs.

    1 c water
    1/2 c butter
    1/8 tsp salt
    1 c all-purpose flour
    4 eggs
    Whipped cream, pudding, or ice cream
    Powdered sugar (optional)

  86. 286
    Stephanie A says:

    My best holiday dish is probably sweet potatoes!

  87. 287
    Brenda A says:

    I am the queen of gravy

  88. 288
    Lisa Garner says:

    My best holiday dish is homemade Parker House Rolls with Honey Butter!

  89. 289
    Christina Sparks says:

    green bean casserole

  90. 290
    gala says:

    roast beef with grilled veggy

  91. 291
    Katharina says:

    My favorite holiday dish is my mom’s (recipe gotten from my grandmother) stuffing. I get it for Thanksgiving and sometimes for Christmas. I’ve finally learned how to make it so that it’s pretty close to the “right” taste so I’m happy about that. :-) –Katharina

  92. 292
    john says:

    pumpkin cheesecake

  93. 293
    Julie says:

    cheesecake :)

  94. 294
    Pauline M says:

    My dish is my mashed potatoe medley. It’s actually a meal in itself and my kids love it. It’s become a holiday only treat because it takes me so much time to make it

  95. 295
    MichelleS says:

    Stuffing for sure!

  96. 296
    Ann Muth says:

    I make really good dressing, both oyster and regular bread dressing, and I also make a killer cheese ball

  97. 297
    Dani says:

    Pizza Puffs – easy to make, easy to eat and a hit with the kids.

  98. 298
    Solducky says:

    Cranberry whip!

  99. 299
    Dorothy Hubbard says:

    I make a great spinach dip.

  100. 300
    shirley pebbles says:

    My best dish is my crab dip. Everyone begs me to make it.

  101. 301
    Sherrie says:

    My best holiday dish is cornish hen and dressing.

  102. 302
    amy delong says:

    chocolate chip nut cookies

  103. 303
    Kathleen S. says:

    My best holiday dish is a dessert. I get peppermint stick Golden Spoon frozen yogurt and the night before, I pour it into an oreo cookie pie crust and top it off with crushed candy canes. Then you just pop it into the freezer for the next day. It’s SO good, but actually not so bad for you! Thanks.

  104. 304
    judy l says:

    green bean casserole

  105. 305
    julieh says:

    My best holiday dish is a christmas noel chocolate cake log.

  106. 306
    Diane R. says:

    My best is cheesecake of various types.

  107. 307
    Holly C. says:

    my best holiday dish is my ham with my mom’s receipe of homemade mustard sauce, yum!

  108. 308
    Soma says:

    Roast lamb

  109. 309
    Kamani says:


  110. 310
    Jessica Anderson says:

    Pumpkin Pie with whipped Cream

  111. 311
    Gail W says:

    Spinach casserole

  112. 312
    Kathleen Downes says:


  113. 313
    christina moore says:

    Apple pie with vanilla ice cream

  114. 314
    Shannon says:

    pumpkin pie

  115. 315
    Carol m says:

    A local dish called banana croquets….basically a homemade sweet/sour sauce that you dip bananas in and then roll in crushed peanuts.

  116. 316
    Sheryll Stacy says:

    Turkey and Dressing is my favorite.

  117. 317
    Christina Brundick says:

    I love making homemade sausage stuffing for the holidays

  118. 318
    R Hicks says:

    my best dish is probably great tasting deviled eggs.

    brich22 at earthlink dot net

  119. 319
    Sylvia says:

    I make an awesome pecan pie!

  120. 320
    nicole thoresen says:

    my favorite holiday dish is a crab dip my aunt makes, I also love eggnog cheesecake.

  121. 321
    McKim says:

    My best dish is my cherry cheesecake.

  122. 322
    elangomatt says:

    My best dish is a spinach and potato bake. It is basically just mashed potatoes with sour cream, chives, garlic, and spinach mixed in then topped with a bunch of cheddar cheese. Pretty simple but really yummy!

  123. 323
    Jennifer J says:

    sausage apple & cranberry stuffing!

  124. 324
    Lorena Keech says:

    It’s not so much a dish as a yearly gift of home made fudge.

  125. 325
    Jenny says:

    My favorite dish is my aunts jello salad with green jello cottage cheese pineapple and coolwhip… Oh so good…

  126. 326
    Charity S says:

    My best dish is my baked apples & pork chops.

  127. 327
    Sarah L says:

    My hot clam chip dip.
    Thanks for the contest.

  128. 328
    DanV says:

    My best holiday dish is veggie lasagna

  129. 329
    Priscilla says:

    My best holiday dish are my garlicky vegan mashed potatoes. They are so yummy!

  130. 330
  131. 331
    Beth Palacios says:

    Prime Rib! Yuuummmm

  132. 332
    Gianna says:

    Soft sugar cookies.