Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani

Grand party or small family get together –  Biryani always got a limelight on the table. My biryani is also same here.
I first tasted biryani in Calcutta – the place where I was born and brought up. The best thing I like about Kolkata biryani is they serve fried potato and egg which make the birayani a full complete meal and delectable. The thing I don’t like of Kolkata biryani is – the dryness and less masaledar. After having couple of bites you will crave for something liquid. On the contrary Hyderabadi biryani has a royal blend of saffron, luscious spices and other condiments. Some of rice are coated with masala that makes the dish sinfully tasty and hot. I combine the best thing of these two biryanis and create a masterpiece from my kitchen.
My biryani is a rich-flavored biryani with right amount of spices and seasoning. The key ingredients of the biryani is long grain basmati rice and fresh chicken cut into a large pieces. The chicken is marinated for long hours to get extra juicy and tender chicken. There are different brands of basmati rice in the market but they are not all good. I used India Gate supreme quality basmati rice which is known by its aroma and length of rice.

Biryani – the name is derived from persian name berya which means fried or roasted. The origin of biryani is uncertain. The recipe has been passed on from generation to generation and has become a milestone of Indian culinary history. In North India, it is traditionally associated with the Mughlai cuisine of Delhi and the Awadhi cuisineof Lucknow; in South India, it is traditionally associated with the Hyderabadi cuisine.

I make biryani at  a decent frequency at home( 4 to 5 times in a month). I tried lot of variation and different cuisines with all types of meat, egg and veg. But I like this fusion biryani because it is wholesome, hot and spicy. I also love boondi raita which is a brilliant condiment with this dish. Experience the most delightful biryani at home and give your friends a royal feast.


For rice:

  • 1 Kg Basmati Rice
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • Shahi jeera 1 tsp
  • 4 cardamoms
  • Cinnamon    2″ sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 nutmeg
  • 1 mace
  • 8-10 kebab chini
  • 8-10 white pepper corn
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • Salt to taste
  • Water

To Marinate

  • Chicken    1 1/2 kg
  • Ginger garlic Paste    1 tsp + 1 tsp (for making gravy)
  • Brown onion 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup for layering
  • Yogurt/Curd     50 gm
  • Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilli powder    2 tbsp
  • Cumin powder 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder    2 tsp
  • Garam Masala Powder   1/2 tsp
  • 1 tsp biryani masala
  • Few coriander leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime/lemon
  • Salt    1/2 tsp
  • Ghee 2 tbsp

To Temper

  • Oil  3 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 4 Cardamom pods
  • 4 Cloves
  • Cinnamon    2″ stick
  • 2 bay leaves


Other Ingredients:

  • 2 boiled potatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp onion paste

I  already have a post for  Hyderabadi Dum biryani which is prepared in kachchi method. Get the recipe here.

This is the post to teach you how to make biryani in pakki method. In this method the rice and chicken are cooked separately upto 70% and then the rice, chicken and other ingredients are layered , sealed and cooked on a dum process for a shorter span.
In Kachchi method the biryani becomes more flavorful and meat remains more juicy and tender, but in pakki method meat is not very juicy but comparatively preparation is easier than kachchi biryani.

Chicken marination:

Marinade the chicken overnight with all the marination ingredients(see “to marinate” section).If you don’t have time, marinade for at least 4 hours.

Rice preparation:

For biryani, I always love to use thin and long grain rice. There are different brands of basmati rice in the market but they are not all good. Basmati rice is best known by its aroma.If you don’t choose best quality basmati rice your biryani will not be flavorful and tasty. So choose right brand of basmati rice. This is the first condition you have to look after to get best biryani.

  • Wash the rice well and soak for 30 mins. It will help the rice to expand well.
  • Bring lot of water to boil for cooking rice. For 4 cups of rice you need 8-10 cups of water.
  • Now take a piece of soft cotton cloth. Put cardamoms, 1″ cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, bay leaf, nutmeg, mace, few kebab chini, white pepper corns and 10 black pepper corns in and make a bundle of this.
  • Now drop this in the water and it is going to infuse the water and add flavor to the rice .
  • Also add oil, shahi jeera and good amount of salt. Now how do you know the salt you have added is perfect. The water should be very salty when you taste. If your rice is not seasoned preperly, your biryany will taste bland. So add little much salt than you add normally. So that when the rice cooked in this water, it will absorb the saltness from this seasoned water .Don’t be afraid because rest of the salt will go off while draining the water from rice.
  • Let it come to a boil.
  • When it comes to a boil add rice and cook for 3-4 minutes on high heat. As the rice is already soaked, it will not take much time than that.
  •  Stir occasionally.
  • You should cook the rice until you get one good boil. After 2-3 minutes check the rice. We need 3/4th done rice and rest 1/4th rice will be cooked along with the chicken. If it is not yet done cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove from the cook top and drain the rice carefully. Save some drained water because it will use again during assembling the biryani.

Chicken preparation:

  • Heat oil in a kadai. Fry the boiled egg and potato with turmeric powder and salt. Keep them aside.
  • In the same oil put whole spices.. Cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaves. Saute and allow them to release aroma. Also add 2 tbsp ghee. Allow it to melt.
  • Now add the chicken pieces one by one. Leave the marination masala aside. I will use this later when I will prepare the gravy for biryani.
  • Sear the chicken for 10 minutes.
  • When they are done take out the chicken pieces only but leave the oil with spices in.
  • Now in this oil add onion paste and sauté for 2-3 minutes.Once the moisture of the onion paste evaporates, add ginger garlic paste and saute until raw smell of ginger and garlic go away.
  • Also add the leftover marination masala. Cook them well on medium flame for  5 – 10 minutes max  but keep stirring else the gravy will burn. In the mean time add some alu bukhra. It’s a dried plum, available in the asian grocery store.It gives sweet n sour taste to the biryani. And also add green chilies. When the masala become thick and dry, ghee will float on the top swich off the stove. It’s done.


  • Arrange rice, chicken and gravy.
  • Take a deep, heavy bottom pan and apply little ghee or clarified butter on all sides.
  • First  layer the chicken. Then some of the gravy. Add 1 cup of drained water which was saved previously from cooked rice.
  • On the chicken layer Add fried potatoes, then half of the rice, spread evenly, then rest of the gravy, rice again. On the top put eggs, fried onions, shahi biryani masala powder, saffron soaked milk, kewra water, milk and melted ghee. This is done.
  • Now cover with piece of foil paper or you could use simple roti dough but I found aluminium foil is more convenient. Secure all the sides so that the steam cannot escape from the vessel.
  • Put on the stove. Cook on high flame for 10 mintes, then on medium flame for 5 minutes and 20 minutes on low flame. Your biryani will be ready.
  • After 20 minutes of cooking put a tawa under the biryani pan because you don’t want your biryani to get burn. This is the safest and no fail method to make burn free good quality biryani.
  • After 35 minutes of cooking switch off the flame but don’t open the lid immediately. Let it set for another 10-15 minutes and then open the lid.
  • Remove the foil paper carefully because the steam that is coming out can be hurt you.
  • Now as you can see your biryani is ready. Every grain is nice fluffy and separated. Put the spatula on one side and lift the chicken carefully. It got a nice golden color but not burnt.
  • Savor this delicious chicken biryani with boondi raita.





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4 Responses to Chicken Biryani

  1. Amita September 5, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    Hi Sharmila,

    Thank you for sharing your recipes, its really nice. I tried tandoori chicken and chicken biryani and everybody liked it very much in our family. Can you please more microwave cooked dished?

  2. Prakash April 25, 2016 at 2:34 am #

    Hello Sharmila,
    Tried the hyderabadi chicken biryani (pakki) yesterday. It came out very nice. Perfect receipe. Just need to follow exactly.
    One modification that I did was, I boiled the eggs in the leftover water drained from the rice. It added extra flavor to the eggs.
    Thanks for a great receipe.


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