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Chicken Biryani is a highly-aromatic, mouthwatering staple dish that needs no introduction. Because of its endless nuanced flavors, it is perhaps the most comforting meal of Indian cuisine. Packed with fragrant rice and juicy, tender pieces of chicken, it’s a perfect one-pot dinner recipe that your whole family will love. Bring that biryani casserole to the table and let it’s oh-so-good aroma steal the spotlight!

By rahilPublished 2 years ago 9 min read


Biryani (also pronounced as biriyani), literally means ” a layered rice dish in Indian cuisine.”

It is essentially a dish that is p packed with layer upon layer of spiced protein and/or vegetables, along with fluffy rice, fragrant spices, and fried onions. Chicken Biryani

Biryani is known all around the world for its fragrant smell, delicious flavors, and intensely aromatic ingredients.

It is generally made with a choice of chicken, lamb, paneer, or vegetables, and therefore, you will find many variations of Biryani all around the Asian subcontinent.


Today I am sharing a Dum Pukht kind of Chicken Biryani that dates back to the era of Mughals. how to make chicken Biryani

A unique style of steam cooking characterizes this stove-top Chicken Biryani recipe.

In Dum Pukht Chicken Biryani, rice along with other ingredients is cooked in traditional handis or heavy-lidded cast iron pan, which is later sealed with kneaded flour to keep all the steam and flavor locked in. Chicken Biryani

This layered and sealed utensil is then simmered over low heat until the flavors mingle and rice absorbs in all the protein juices resulting in a rich and impressively flavorful meal.


The answer is NO! how to make chicken Biryani

Traditional Indian recipes can be very time-consuming to prepare, and it does require specific ingredients and attention to detail.

They are not necessarily difficult, but with a little patience and a touch of time, I am confident that nobody could mess up this recipe.

Making Biryani does involve a series of steps; therefore, I have created instructions using visuals to guide you throughout the entire recipe. Chicken Biryani

With all that pictorial help, it’s so easy that even a novice cook can master the art of making Biryani with our illustrated step-by-step guide.


» Chicken – I prefer to cook Biryani with a combo of chicken drumsticks and chicken thighs as they don’t dry out during the cooking process.

» Rice – Biryani is all about rice; therefore, use extra-long Basmati rice for this recipe.

» Ginger and Garlic paste – the basic flavoring squad. how to make chicken Biryani

» Fresh herbs – cilantro and mint leaves.

» Onions – lots of them. We need sliced onions as well as onions for Birista. Birista is fried onions that are a must-have for any Biryani. It adds a rich and royal touch to our Biryani. You can make Birista at home or use store-bought.

» Whole Spices – Bay leaves, whole black cardamom, star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns, and Shahi Jeera.

» Spices and seasonings – Basic spices that make up the masala are – degi mirch, coriander powder, turmeric, garam masala powder, mace, and salt. Chicken Biryani

» Milk + Saffron strands – lends a beautiful vibrant yellow color to our biryani.

» Yogurt + lime juice – together they tenderize the meat. It creates an acidic environment, and that makes the chicken juicy and tender.

» Ghee + oil – to cook the biryani.


Below I have shared a simplified version of Chicken Biryani.


1. Clean and wash the chicken pieces thoroughly under tap water. Drain the water completely.

2. Transfer chicken to a large mixing bowl and add lemon juice. Rub the juice all over the chicken.

3. Add ginger and garlic paste. Chicken Biryani

4. Then, add all the spices – degi mirch, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, salt, and fried onions.

5. You can add fresh cilantro leaves and mint leaves to the marinade too.

6. Add yogurt to the spice mix.

7. Mix and roll the chicken to coat in the marinade. Chicken Biryani

8. Cover and allow it to rest for an hour.


9. Combine onions and cornstarch in a large bowl. Chicken Biryani

10. Toss to coat cornstarch all over the onion rings.

11. Heat oil in a pan. Dust of the excess cornstarch and add a small batch of onion rings to the hot oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions. Never add the onions to cold oil; they will not become crispy.

12. Fry the onions for 9-10 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on a kitchen paper towel. Repeat the process with the rest of the onions.


13. Fried onions will stay good for a month in the refrigerator.

14. Let’s move on to the next step. Add milk to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the milk for 40 seconds. Remove from the microwave and add saffron strands to the milk. Stir until combined and set aside.

15. While the chicken is marinating, rinse the rice under tap water until the water runs clear. Chicken Biryani

16. Soak rice for 15 minutes.

17. In a wide dutch oven, add water and bring it to a boil. Season it with salt, black cardamom, cloves, and bay leaves. The ratio of rice to water should be 1:3, meaning 1 cup of rice and 3 cups of water.

18. Drain and rinse the rice again. Add the drained rice to the boiling water.

19. Gently mix the rice and parboil it for 4-6 minutes in hot water. The rice should be 70% cooked, meaning when pressed in between the fingers in breaks with slight pressure. If it breaks instantly when pressed, then you have overcooked the rice. Do not proceed with this rice as you will end up with sticky biryani.

20. Once the rice is parboiled, turn the heat off. Remove the rice in the strainer.


21. Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed dutch oven. Add whole black cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, star anise, mace, and shahi jeera.

22. Cook the whole spices for a few seconds.

23. Add sliced onions to the spices. Cook until the onions are lightly golden in color.

24. Add marinated chicken to the pan.

25. Mix to combine and cook chicken on medium-low heat for 7-8 minutes. The yogurt in the marinade will release its water. Don’t worry; we will use these juices to layer our biryani.

26. Add kasoori methi to the chicken and take it off the flame. Chicken Biryani

27. Now, layer the parboiled rice on top of the chicken. Chicken Biryani

28. Spread it evenly all over the chicken. The chicken should be covered with a generous layer of rice.


29. Pour saffron milk all over the rice. Saffron adds a nice yellow touch to the final dish.

30. Add mint leaves. Chicken Biryani

31. Generously add fried onions or birista all over the biryani.

32. Finally, layer it with cilantro leaves.

33. For that rich buttery taste, add ghee on top of all that layering.

34. Place a heavy lid over the pan. Seal the lid and pan with kneaded dough.

35. Turn the heat on and cook the biryani for 2-3 minutes on high heat. After that, lower the heat to the lowest setting and let the biryani simmer for 10-12 minutes.

Once the cooking time is over, turn the flame off. Allow the rice to rest in its own steam for 4-5 minutes. Carefully remove the dough seal from all around the pan.

36. It’s time to lift the lid. Gently fluff the rice with a spatula. Hidden underneath the rice, you will discover tender, juicy pieces of chicken bursting with fantastic flavor from all the spices and herbs.


» Look for the rice that has been properly aged, fragrant, and contains long grains. The aged basmati rice produces a fluffy and aromatic biryani.

» Soak the rice before cooking as this makes the grain stronger. Chicken Biryani

» Do not overcook the rice, or the biryani will turn out mushy and sticky.

» This chicken biryani gets tons of flavor from its marinade; therefore, marinating the chicken for an hour gives it plenty of time to soak up the flavors, but if you have extra time on hand, leave it overnight.

» Birista or fried onions are a must for this recipe. To make birista at home is pretty straightforward, but if you are using store-bought, always check the date on it. Stale birista will have a smell to them and will ruin the biryani.

» For a crunchy birista, I prefer to coat the onions with cornstarch. If no cornstarch on hand, no worries, use besan instead. Remember to shake off the excess flour, or it will mess up the oil. Chicken Biryani

» Golden brown onions lend a subtle sweetness to the biryani; therefore, Birista or fried onions should be fried until deep golden brown.

Do not overcook the onions as they will impart a bitter taste. Always fry the onions in batches.

» No Shahi Jeera on hand; substitute it with cumin seeds. Chicken Biryani

» I would recommend using a wide, heavy-bottomed pan for biryani as this will prevent the rice from sticking or burning at the bottom. I have used a dutch oven for my recipe. Chicken Biryani

» Adding ghee on top adds a punch of flavor to the entire recipe.


Absolutely! It’s a perfect make-ahead dish and reheats oh-so beautifully in the microwave.

To reheat, add the biryani to a microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle some water on top of the biryani. Cover with a plate and microwave on HIGH for 3-4 minutes or until heated through.


Chicken biryani, on its own, is a complete meal and doesn’t need any accompaniments. But in my house, we serve biryani with boondi raita, green chutney, and vinegar onions.

Chicken Biryani is a delicious dinner that is so yummy and packed with flavor!!

Give it a try, and I am sure it will soon be added to your list of family favorites.

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe. Feel free to contact me with any questions or inquiries, and I would be happy to answer them.


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