Chicken Biryani

Prep Time: 30 mins | Cook time: 30 mins | Total time: 1 hour [plus Marination time: 8-10 hours]

Course: Mains | Servings: 4

Difficulty level: Moderate


Brown Onions

  • 3 Onions Large
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil

Chicken Marinade:

  • 700 grams Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks bone-in and skinless
  • ¾ cup  hung curd
  • ¼ cup Tomato Puree
  • ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger and garlic (50:50 ratio)
  • 1 tablespoon Red Chilli Powder 
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
  • 2 tablespoon Brown Onions
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon Salt


  • 2 tablespoon Hot Milk
  • 10-15 Saffron strands

Parboiled Rice (70% cooked):

  • 2 cups Basmati Rice
  • 6 cups Water
  • 2 tablespoon Salt
  • 1 Bayleaf
  • 5-6 Cloves
  • 2-3 Cardamom Pods

Other Biryani Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Coriander leaves and tender stems, chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Ghee 



  • Brown onions: Peel and slice onions. Heat oil in a pan and add the onions. On a medium flame, shallow fry the onions for 15 minutes till they are a deep golden brown, without burning them. These can be made ahead and stored in an air tight container overnight. Use ~50% of the onions for the marinade, 50% for the biryani garnishing
  • Chicken marination: In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients under chicken marinade. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight for best results.
  • Parboiled rice: Bring water to a roaring boil and add salt, whole spices and basmati rice. Cook for exactly 5 minutes and drain completely, leaving the whole spices in the rice. This will cook the rice to about 70% doneness which can be checked by pressing a grain of rice between two fingers - the rice should still be raw in the middle. Pick out the whole spices from the rice and discard.
  • Saffron: When you are ready to make the biryani, crush saffron strands and soak them in hot milk for about 10 mins. Stir to extract the flavour, aroma and colour of the saffron into the milk. Set aside.
  • Cooking the Biryani: Heat a heavy bottomed pot, and add the chicken to it. Cook for 4 minutes and then turn the chicken pieces once. Cover and cook for another 3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Scatter half the onions all over the chicken, and then sprinkle all the coriander leaves. Next layer the rice, and in the end drizzle saffron milk and ghee all over the rice. Cover and cook on a low flame for 20 minutes - this will help steam the rice, cook it to doneness and cook the chicken.
  • Once the biryani is cooked, let it rest for 5-10 minutes, and finish by scattering the remaining onions on top.
  • Serve hot digging the spoon deep to get all the layers, accompanied by onion raita
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