Chicken Biryani

Savory Indian rice dish layered with chicken pieces marinated in yogurt, whole spices and fried onions. Rice and Meat are cooked separately before layering and then cooked together and served garnished with fried nuts, raisins and chopped cilantro.



Course: Main course

Cuisine: Indian

Yield-:4 servings

Cooking Time-: 30 minutes

  1. Basmati rice-2 cups
  2. Bone in skinless chicken thighs cut into medium size pieces- 1 lb
  3. Flavorless Oil- 3-4 tbsp
  4. Ghee/ Clarified butter-2 tbsp
  5. Red Onion sliced- 1
  6. Tomato chopped- 1
  7. Green chilly slit- 2
  8. Greek yogurt- 5 tbsps.
  9. Turmeric- 2 tsp
  10. Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
  11. Coriander powder-1 tbsp
  12. Kashmiri Red Chilly powder-1 1/2 tbsp
  13. Black pepper powder-1 tsp
  14. Ginger garlic paste-2 tbsp.
  15. Chopped cilantro- 1/2 cup
  16. Chopped mint- 1/4 cup
  17. Lemon juice- half lemon
  18. Saffron soaked in milk/ Yellow organic food color mixed in milk-2 tbsp
  19. Whole blend Garam Masala(1 cinnamon stick,1 bay leaf,4 cardamom pods,2-3 cloves,2-3 star anise,8 peppercorns,1 tsp cumin seeds)- 3 tbsp.
  20. Onion slices fried in oil(brown color)- 2 cups


  • Biryani Masala/Biryani spice mix– In a small skillet, on low heat dry roast 1 tsp each of cardamon pods, peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 star anises and 3-4 cloves for 3 mins. Once cooled grind them to fine powder and store in a small air-tight container.
  • Meanwhile soak the rice in water for about 30 mins.
  • Prepare the marinade for chicken with yogurt, salt, turmeric powder, chilly powder, ginger garlic paste,2 tbsp biryani masala, green chilies, lemon juice, fried onions, chopped cilantro, and mint.
  • Marinate the chicken for at least 3 hours or overnight for best results.
  • Heat some oil in a large heavy bottom stainless steel pan/ nonstick pan and saute red onion slices along with chopped tomatoes.IMG_8690
  • Caramelize the onions and cook the tomatoes well. Add the marinated chicken pieces.
  • Cook the chicken for about 20 mins on medium low heat, keep the pan covered.
  • Let the chicken gravy simmer on low heat until oil separates and meat is cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, in another stainless steel dish boil 5 cups of water with some whole spices and bay leaves.
  • Once the water boils, add the strained rice along with 2 tsp ghee,2 tsp salt and a tsp of lemon juice
  • Stir the rice. Once the rice is about 70 % cooked, drain the rice and let it cool.
  • Now layer the rice over the chicken masala in the same nonstick pan.
  • Sprinkle some chopped cilantro and drizzle saffron milk over the rice for the color. Place the boiled eggs into the rice and cover with the rice.IMG_8702
  • Layer biryani with cashews, raisins, and onions fried in ghee.(optional)
  • On a simmer, keep the pan sealed with aluminum foil and place the lid tight. Let the steam do all the magic for about 20 minutes OR you can layer the rice and chicken mixture along with chopped cilantro, nuts and fried onions in a deep rectangle glass dish and bake covered with foil for about 15 mins.
  • Remove the pan from heat/oven and serve the Biryani warm with yogurt salad and pickle.

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