Chicken Biriyani

Biriyani, is a South Asian mixed rice dish with its origins among the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. It is popular throughout the subcontinent and among the diaspora from the region.

Author Nalan


  • 900 gm Chicken

For Marination

  • 1/2 tsp Pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Chilly powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • Salt

For Masala

  • 4 - 5 medium Onion (sliced)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp each Ginger & Garlic paste
  • 5 Green chilly
  • 2 Tomato
  • Coriander leaves - a handful
  • 2-3 tbsp Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Cashew nuts
  • Oil/Ghee
  • Salt

For Rice

  • 3 cups Basmati rice
  • 5 cups Water
  • 4 Cardamom
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2 small pieces Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • Coriander leaves – a handful
  • 2 - 3 tbsp Ghee
  • Salt

For garnishing:

  • Cashews & raisins - 1 handful each
  • 1 big Onion (sliced finely)
  • Coriander leaves
  • Ghee/Oil


Masala Preparation

  1. Clean the chicken pieces and make small gashes. Marinate the cleaned chicken pieces with the marination ingredients. Keep aside for half an hour and shallow fry the chicken pieces in oil/ghee till it turns golden brown & half cooked.Keep the chicken pieces aside.

  2. Grind tomato & coriander leaves to a smooth paste. Soak the cashew nuts in hot water (2 tbsp) for 5-10 mins and grind it to a smooth paste. Add the finely sliced onion to the same oil/ghee (in which chicken is fried) and saute till it becomes brown. Add ginger garlic paste and crushed green chilly. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato coriander paste and cook till the oil separates. Add garam masala and cook for a minute. Add yogurt, salt and mix well. Add the fried chicken pieces and combine well. Make sure that the chicken pieces are coated well with the masala. Add ½ cup water and cover and cook the chicken. When the chicken is almost done, add the cashew paste. Cook till the chicken is done.

Rice Preparation

  1. Wash and soak the rice in water for 25 minutes. Drain the water completely. Boil 5 cups water with half the quantity of whole masala & keep it aside. Heat ghee in a vessel/pan, splutter the remaining whole masala and add the rice. Fry the rice until it starts cracking. Add the boiled water, lemon juice, coriander leaves & salt. Cook till the rice is done and water is completely dried. Spread the rice in a tray & keep aside.

Layering the Biriyani

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree 10 minutes before baking the biriyani. Apply some ghee to a baking dish. Put one layer of masala in the dish. On top of that spread some rice and make another layer. Again spread another layer of masala on top of the rice. Repeat the process until the masala and rice is finished. The top layer should be of rice. You can drizzle ghee & sprinkle coriander leaves in between the layers. Cover the dish with a wet cloth. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.


  1. Heat ghee/oil in a pan and fry the cashews & raisins. Remove them from the pan & in the remaining ghee/oil fry the onions till it becomes golden brown. Drain the excess ghee in a paper towel & keep it aside.

  2. Garnish the baked biriyani with fried cashew, raisins, onions & coriander leaves. Serve hot with pickle, raita & pappad.


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