Healthy Lunch Box Recipe Chicken Biryani Recipe

Chicken Biryani Recipe


One of the most wonderful royal dishes that the Persians presented to the Indian subcontinent was biryani. Since then, it has gained enormous popularity and is regarded as a special-occasion luxury delicacy. It does take some time and a little skill to prepare chicken biryani in the traditional dum style.

The base of a pot is typically layered with marinated chicken, followed by a layer of par-cooked rice, herbs, saffron-infused milk, and ghee.

An easy, delicious chicken biryani that can be prepared in a pot or a pressure cooker is described in the recipe offered in this post.
So what I have shared in this post is not a dum style biriyani yet it will surprise you with a good aroma and taste.

This recipe makes a chicken biryani that is not as greasy, spicy, fiery, or pungent as it appears to be in the photographs. If you don’t like the heat, you can cut back on the red chili powder.

Chicken Biryani Recipe step by step

Preparation – Marination
You’ll need half a kilogram of chicken for this dish (1.1 lbs.). All the chicken pieces should be cut into little pieces and placed in a big bowl. Then add –

  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1¼ tablespoons ginger garlic paste
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon garam masala (or biriyani masala)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon red chili powder (reduce for kids)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt (Indian curd)
  • 1¼ tablespoons ginger garlic paste
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon garam masala (or biriyani masala)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon red chili powder (reduce for kids)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
adding spice powders to marinate

2. Mix everything well and marinate the chicken. Cover and set this aside for 1 hour. You can also rest it overnight in the fridge.

resting marinade to make chicken biryani

3. Meanwhile add 2 cups basmati rice to a large pot and rinse it at least thrice. Drain and soak in fresh water for 30 mins. Drain to a colander after 30 mins. Optional – Soak a pinch of saffron strands in 2 tablespoons hot milk.

soaking basmati rice

Cooking chicken

4. Heat ghee or oil in a heavy bottom pot or pressure cooker. Make sure you use a large one for this. Using whole spices is optional but recommended. Use whatever you have. I use

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon piece
  • 1 star anise
  • ¾ teaspoon shahi jeera (caraway seeds)
  • 1 strand mace
frying spices in pot to make chicken biryani

5. Add thinly sliced onions. On a medium heat, fry them stirring often until uniformly light brown.

6. This is the correct color of the onions. Do not burn them as they leave a bitter taste. (check video)

golden fried onions

7. Add marinated chicken & saute until it becomes pale for 5 minutes.

adding marinade to make chicken biryani

8. Lower the flame completely. Cover and cook until the chicken is soft, tender and completely cooked.

cooking covered until meat is tender

9. Check if the chicken is cooked by pricking with a fork or knife. It has to be just cooked and not overdone. Evaporate any excess moisture left in the pot by cooking further without the lid.

check if the chicken is cooked

10. Taste test and add more salt if needed. I added ¼ more salt here. Add

  • ¼ cup plain yogurt (Indian curd)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (or biryani masala)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
  • 1 slit green chili pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves (pudina)
adding curd spices to make chicken biryani

Make chicken biryani

11. Mix everything well. Spread it evenly in a single layer.

layering the marinade in pot to make chicken biryani

12. Layer drained rice all over the chicken. To a separate bowl, pour 3 cups water and add ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt. If cooking in a pot, start with 3 cups water at this stage.

Stir and taste the water. It must be slightly salty. Pour 2 cups of this across the sides of the cooker or pot. Pour rest of the water over the rice gently. (check video)

layering rice and pouring water to make chicken biryani

13. Level the rice gently on top. Add 2 tablespoons more mint leaves.Do not mix up everything, the taste of the biryani cooked in the shown method is good. Optionally you can sprinkle 2 tablespoons fried onions & saffron soaked milk.

adding fried onions mint

14. Finally cover the pot or cooker.
If cooking in a pot, cook on a medium heat until the rice is done completely. If the rice is undercooked pour ¼ to ½ cup boiling water at this stage. How much to add depends on the quality of basmati rice. Cook covered until the biryani rice is perfectly done, grainy and fully cooked. Rest it covered for 15 mins.
If cooking in a cooker, cook for 1 whistle. Later remove the cooker from the hot burner to stop cooking further.

pressure cooking chicken biryani

15. When the pressure releases naturally, open the lid. Gently fluff up with a fork.

fluffing up cooked chicken biryani

Serve chicken biryani in layers – top layer with rice and bottom layer with chicken.

chicken biryani recipe


Towards the end if the rice is under cooked, you can sprinkle little hot water & cook covered further.

What you need for a good biryani?

The best ingredients should always be used to prepare a delicious biryani. The flavors of chicken biryani are influenced by the use of premium basmati rice, whole and ground spices, chicken, and ghee.

1.Basmati rice: The market offers a wide variety of basmati rice. Select top grade basmati rice that is marked as aged for the finest outcomes. In chicken biryani, this sort of rice fluffs up nicely without becoming mushy. It is more solid. Aged rice has a stronger aroma.

Even though this biryani is prepared in a pressure cooker or pot, using aged rice will ensure that the rice grains have the appropriate texture and don’t become mushy.

2.Biryani masala (spices): The flavor of chicken biryani is enhanced by using whole spices and spice powders of high grade. So pick a high-quality ready-made biryani masala or garam masala powder.

I’m also going to provide the ingredients for quick biriyani masala powder. If you don’t have a ready-made or store-bought masala on hand, you can make one in a matter of minutes.

3.Chicken: We normally cook chicken biryani using the leftover sliced whole chicken. However, if the chicken breast pieces are not sufficiently marinated in yogurt, they tend to dry out. Simply use chicken thighs and drumsticks if you desire soft, delicate, and succulent chunks of chicken in your biryani.

Always use bone-in chicken to enhance the taste of the meal.

4.Ghee : Ghee was traditionally used in the preparation of chicken biryani. Because this recipe does not follow the usual procedure, you may also cook it using oil. However, ghee provides a distinct fragrance to the meal.

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