Chicken Biryani

Embark on a culinary journey to the heart of India with this exquisite Chicken Biryani recipe.

Bursting with fragrant spices, tender chicken, and aromatic basmati rice, this dish is a celebration of flavors and aromas that will transport you to the bustling streets of Hyderabad.

Whether served at a festive gathering or enjoyed as a comforting family meal, Chicken Biryani is sure to captivate your senses and leave a lasting impression.

Let’s dive into the recipe and learn how to create this irresistible dish that’s perfect for any occasion.

 Chicken Biryani recipe
Photo by subodhsathe from Getty Images via canva


For Marinating Chicken:

  • 500g chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste

For Rice:

  • 2 cups basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4-5 whole cloves
  • 2-3 green cardamom pods
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • Salt to taste

For Biryani Masala:

  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, slit lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or ghee
  • Salt to taste


  1. Marinate the Chicken:
    • In a large bowl, combine the chicken pieces with yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, ground turmeric, Kashmiri red chili powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, and salt. Mix well to coat the chicken evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to meld.
  2. Prepare the Rice:
    • In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the soaked and drained basmati rice, bay leaf, whole cloves, green cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, and salt. Cook the rice until it is 70-80% cooked. Drain the rice and set aside.
  3. Prepare the Biryani Masala:
    • Heat vegetable oil or ghee in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.
    • Add the thinly sliced onions and sauté until they turn golden brown and caramelized.
    • Add the ginger-garlic paste to the pot and sauté for a minute until fragrant.
    • Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook until they soften and release their juices.
    • Add the slit green chilies, chopped cilantro leaves, chopped mint leaves, ground turmeric, Kashmiri red chili powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, garam masala, and salt. Mix well to combine and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Layer the Biryani:
    • Spread half of the cooked rice evenly over the masala in the pot.
    • Arrange the marinated chicken pieces on top of the rice in a single layer.
    • Top the chicken with the remaining cooked rice, spreading it evenly.
  5. Dum Cooking (Steam Cooking):
    • Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid or seal it with aluminum foil to trap the steam.
    • Reduce the heat to low and let the biryani cook for 20-25 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the chicken to cook through.
    • Remove the pot from the heat and let it rest, covered, for another 10 minutes to allow the biryani to absorb any remaining moisture.
  6. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Gently fluff the biryani with a fork to mix the layers.
    • Garnish the Chicken Biryani with additional chopped cilantro and mint leaves.
    • Serve hot with raita (yogurt sauce), sliced onions, and lemon wedges on the side.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

  • Rich and Aromatic: The combination of fragrant spices, tender chicken, and fluffy basmati rice creates a biryani that’s rich in flavor and aroma.
  • Perfect for Celebrations: Whether served at festive gatherings or enjoyed as a special family meal, Chicken Biryani is sure to impress with its vibrant colors and enticing fragrance.
  • Make-Ahead Option: You can marinate the chicken and prepare the biryani masala ahead of time, making it convenient for entertaining or busy weeknights.
  • Versatile: You can customize the spice level and adjust the ingredients according to your taste preferences, making it suitable for everyone, from spice enthusiasts to those with milder tastes.

Chicken Biryani is a classic Indian dish that’s beloved for its rich flavors, aromatic spices, and comforting appeal.

With its tender chicken and fragrant rice, it’s sure to become a favorite in your recipe collection.

So why not treat yourself to this irresistible biryani tonight and experience the culinary magic of India?