Monday, 4 February 2013

Chicken Biryani

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Biryani is used to denote a dish where the rice is cooked separately from the thick gravy (a greatly reduced curry of meat or vegetables). The curry and the rice are then brought together and layered, resulting in a dish of the contrasting flavors of rice and intensely flavored sauce and meat or vegetables. In a properly made biryani, the final dish is dry or minimally moist, with the individual rice grains separate. You can serve it as a one dish meal along with some raita and salad. So here’s how I make it....

chicekn biyani


500 gm chicken pieces (you can use up to 1 kg of chicken, I prefer to use less)
700 gm rice (soak for 30 minutes before boiling)
1 cup yogurt
¾ cup oil
3 medium onions (thinly sliced)
3-4 medium tomatoes (finely chopped or puréed)
1&1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masla
1 tsp poppy seeds (grind it)
2-3 green cardamoms
2 big black cardamoms
1 large cinnamon stick
1 star anis flower
4-5 cloves
10 12 black pepper corns
1 large bay leaf
Salt (to taste/ I use 1&1/2 tsp)
1 ½ tsp red chili powder ( you can adjust it depending upon how spicy you want it to be)
2- 3 drops of biryani essence or kewra essence (optional)
2 green chilies (chopped)
Saffron strands or 1/4 tsp yellow food colour mixed in 2 tbsp of milk or water
Blanched and slivered almonds and raisins (optional, I like to add raisins in place of alubukhars/prunes.)
1 lemon sliced


1)  Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions till they get golden brown, take them out spread them on a kitchen paper until they get crispy, then crush them with you hands.

2)  Now turn the flame on again and add the chicken pieces  in with ginger garlic paste, poppy seeds, cumin seeds, bay leaf, green cardamoms, black cardamom, cinnamon stick and star anis, fry it well for 5-10 minutes (adding some water if needed).

3) Add in the chili powder, salt, tomatoes and fried onions fry it for 5 minutes (or until the raw smell of masala has gone and the oil separate). Then add in a cup of yogurt and ½ cup water, stir it nicely, cover the pan and let it cook on low-medium heat till the chicken gets done. Once the chiken is done, sprinkle the garam masla, stir it and turn off the flame.

4)  Mean while take another pan and bring the water to boil, add in a tbsp of salt, once the water starts to boil add in the rice and cook till rice are half done, drain and set aside.

5)  Take the pan you boiled the rice in  (large enough to hold the rice and chicken)., I prefer to grease the bottom of the pan with some oil . Spread a layer of boiled rice, add half of the cooked chicken and the gravy, a few lemon slices (also some almonds and raisins if using). Now repeat the same process the 2nd time. Finish off with the remaining rice, sprinkle some birayni essence, and swirl over the yellow food color or saffron and some chopped green chilies.

6)  Cover the pan by using by damp kitchen towel and placing it over the pan then placing a lid on top.

7) Transfer the pan to a hot tava (flat pan) to prevent the biryani from sticking to the bottom. Cook on high flame for 5 minutes, then let it cook on very low heat for 20-30 minutes

8)   To serve, gently stir the rice and dish out in to serving dish, along with some salad, and raita.

Note: You can also add some chopped fresh coriander and mint leaves in each layer to give some extra flavor to biryani. 


  1. Hi. I tried this recipe over the weekend and it turned out fabulous. The only thing I added extra was little of Shan Bombay Biryani masala.

    1. Thanks dear. yeah adding a bit of masala does help to bring out a lot of taste. happy to know it turned out good :)