Chicken Biryani

This is one of my favorite recipes that I learnt from my mother-in-law and it is not your typical Chicken Biryani recipe. I have received compliments from everyone I have prepared this dish for and I am sure this will fetch you a lot of praise too! 




Chicken, boneless – 1 pound
Basmati rice – 2 cups
Onion, finely chopped – 1 cup
Tomato, finely chopped – 1/2 cup
Mint leaves – 1 cup
Bay leaves – 2
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
Cloves – 3
Saunf/Fennel seeds- 1 tsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 2 tsp
Dhania powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Oil – 2 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp

To Grind:

Masala #1
Onion, roughly chopped – 2 cups
Coriander leaves, chopped – 1/2 cup
Oil – 2 tbsp

Masala #2
Coconut, cut into 1/2 inch pieces – 1 cup
Green chillies – 3
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Garlic – 5-6 cloves
Corainder leaves, chopped – 3 tbsp


Masala #1

  • Heat oil in a pan. Add the chopped onions and saute
  • Once the onions turn slightly translucent, add the coriander leaves. Saute for couple more minutes
  • Remove from heat and let it cool
  • Grind to a smooth paste. Add water as necessary (Don’t worry if you end up adding more water. You can adjust the quantity of water when adding the chicken)

Masala #2

  • Grind all ingredients into a smooth paste, adding water as necessary

Main preparation

  • Wash and soak basmati rice
  • Cut the chicken into medium sized chunks
  • In a pressure cooker, add masala #1 and the chicken and saute for 2-3 minutes
  • Add turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt
  • Add enough water to cover all the chicken. Pressure cook on medium heat up to 2 whistles
  • Cook for another 5 minutes on low heat and then remove from heat
  • Heat ghee in a deep pot/pan (I prefer non-stick). Drain the rice and add it to the pan
  • Saute on medium heat for 5 minutes and transfer to a bowl
  • In the same pot, heat the oil and add bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves and saunf
  • Add finely chopped onions and saute until they turn golden brown
  • Add masala #2, chopped tomato and mint leaves and saute for 5 minutes
  • Add the cooked chicken and a total of 4 cups of water including any remaining water/sauce from the cooked chicken
  • Add salt. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Do not mix while cooking or the rice could get mushy
  • When most of the water is absorbed, turn the heat to low and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Cooking time can vary slightly depending on the size of the pan used
  • Turn off heat and fork the rice
  • Serve with any raita of your choice

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