Biryani Chicken Recipe

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Biryani Chicken Recipe

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Biryani Chicken Recipe

Dive into the aromatic world of Biryani, a majestic rice dish from the Indian subcontinent that’s a symphony of flavors. Chicken Biryani, with its tender meat, fragrant basmati rice, and a medley of spices, is a celebration on a plate. This recipe simplifies the traditional method without compromising on the authentic taste, making it accessible for home cooks. Here’s how to bring this culinary delight to your table.


For the Chicken Marinade:

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in, skinless
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • Salt, to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon

For the Biryani:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt, to taste
  • Saffron strands, a pinch (optional)
  • Warm milk, 2 tablespoons (for saffron)
  • Fried onions, for garnish


Marinate the Chicken:

  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces and ensure they’re well-coated. Marinate for at least 1 hour, or overnight in the refrigerator for best results.

Prepare the Rice:

  1. Wash the basmati rice under cold running water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes, then drain.
  2. Boil water in a large pot, add salt and the drained rice. Cook until the rice is 70% done. Drain and set aside.

Cook the Chicken:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken pieces and cook until the chicken is browned and half-cooked. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Layer the Biryani:

  1. In the same pot, add the remaining ghee. Saute cumin seeds, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaf until fragrant. Add ginger-garlic paste and green chilies, cooking until golden.
  2. Add the sliced onions, cook until they are golden brown. Mix in the chopped tomatoes, mint, and cilantro, cooking until the tomatoes are soft.
  3. Return the chicken to the pot, spreading it evenly. Layer the partially cooked rice over the chicken. Sprinkle soaked saffron strands (if using) for color and aroma.

Cook the Biryani:

  1. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Cook on a low heat for 20-25 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the chicken to cook through.
  2. Rest the biryani for 10 minutes after cooking, then fluff the rice gently to mix the layers slightly.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Garnish with fried onions, additional mint, and cilantro. Serve hot with raita (yogurt sauce), sliced cucumbers, and lemon wedges.

Tips for Perfect Biryani:

  • Marination Time: The longer you marinate the chicken, the more flavorful it will be.
  • Rice Texture: Be careful not to overcook the rice initially; it continues to cook with the chicken.
  • Layering: The layering technique is crucial for an authentic biryani. Do not mix the layers until after the cooking process is complete.


Chicken Biryani is more than just a dish; it’s a feast for the senses, offering a blend of flavors, aromas, and textures that are unmatched. This recipe brings the essence of biryani to your kitchen, promising a culinary experience that’s both rich and satisfying. Each bite is a journey through centuries of tradition, making it a perfect dish to share with loved ones.