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19th January 2020

Chicken Biryani

chicken biryani

The Chicken Biryani is a go alone concoction served with little or nothing else. You’ll find thousands of variations and recipes on the net, in cookbooks and TV shows. There will be a cook – in your family – a near or distant relative, who has enthralled you with their respective version of this dish.

This is ‘Yet Another Biryani Recipe’. This is a minor-road alternative, a short cut, but one that still leads you to your destination. Don’t be overwhelmed by the steps involved. I’m here to guide you with this simple recipe. Just follow the steps and you’re home. You’ll also receive loads of compliments later.

Serves: 4 to 6 persons

Prep. Time: 60 Mins. + 1 to 12 Hours (marination)

Cooking Time: 10 Min. (active) + 45 Min. (passive)

1st Part:

  • Whole Chicken Legs (cut into 2, at the joint) – 750 gms.
  • Lime Juice – 2 tbsp.
  • Salt – 1 ½ tsp.

Step 1:     Apply salt and lemon juice to the chicken and leave aside for 15 minutes.

  • Curd – 1 cup
  • Ginger-garlic Paste – 2 tsp.
  • Cumin Powder – 1 tsp.
  • Ready Biryani Masala – 3 tsp.
  • Chilli Powder – 1 tsp.
  • Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp.
  • Birista (fried onions – see here) – 1 ¼ cup
  • Green Cardamom – 4
  • Cinnamon – 2-inch stick
  • Cloves – 6
  • Pepper Corns – 10 to 12
  • Bay Leaves – 2
Making of Chicken Biryani

Step 2:     Whisk together the curd and the remaining ingredients except the birista and add to the chicken. Finally add 1 cup birista and mix well. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.

Making of Chicken Biryani
Making of Chicken Biryani
Making of Chicken Biryani

2nd Part:

  • Rice for Biryani (click here) – 400 gms. of raw rice for 750 gms. of chicken
  • Green Corriander (chopped fine) – 3 ½ tbsp.
  • Mint Leaves (chopped fine) – 3 ½ tbsp.
  • Green Chillies (Slit) – 3
  • or Chic. Stock Cube (dissolved in ¼ cup hot water) – 1
  • A few strands of Saffron (soaked in 3 tbsp. hot milk)
  • A few drops of orange food colour (dissolved in 3 tbsp. water)
  • Boiled Eggs (quartered lengthwise) – 2
  • Pure Ghee – 3 tbsp.
  • Hot Water – ¼ cup

Step 3:     Take the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and leave out for 30 minutes for it to come to room temperature.

Step 4:     Choose a vessel for your biryani. One that can contain all the chicken and the rice. Transfer the marinated chicken into the vessel and cook on medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir it between so that it does not stick to the bottom.

Step 5:     Next add 2 tbsp. each of the corriander and mint leaves. Add the green chillies and cover and cook on low heat till the meat is half cooked (20 minutes) Add the dissolved stock cube and cook covered for 5 more minutes. Take off the heat.

Making of Chicken Biryani
Making of Chicken Biryani

Step 6:     Remove ¼ cup of the gravy and reserve for later. Level the meat in the pot and add one tbsp. each of corriander and mint leaves. Spread the cooked rice on top of the chicken.

Step 7:     Dot the rice with ghee and pour the hot water uniformly over it. Sprinkle the saffron milk with the strands and then the orange food colour. Sprinkle the remaining corriander, mint and the birista. Use foil to seal the top of the vessel and place the lid on top.

Making of Chicken Biryani
Making of Chicken Biryani

Step 8:     Place a flat griddle (tawa) on your stove. Place the vessel containing the assembled biryani on the griddle. We do not want the heat to reach the vessel directly and the griddle will help spread the heat uniformly. Cook on high heat for 5 minutes. Cook for another 25 minutes on low heat till the steam starts escaping.

Step 9:     Take off the heat and allow to stand. After 10 minutes fluff the rice with a fork. When serving, remember to dig into the pot so that you get equal portions of rice and the gravy at the bottom.

Garnish with the boiled eggs. Serve hot with raita.


  • You can use the gravy that we had set aside as an accompaniment.
Making of Chicken Biryani

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