Indian Chicken Biryani

Indian Chicken Biryani Food Recipe

PREP TIME: 30 mins. COOK TIME: 1h10mins. Serves : 6-8


For the marinade:

  • 1 pound (450-500g) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut in half
  • 1 cup (250ml) plain yogurt
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2-2/12 inch (6cm) ginger, finely grated
  • 3 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

For the fried onions:

  • 1¼ cup (300ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 green cardamom pods, bashed with a rolling pin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the rice:

  • 3 cups (600g) basmati rice, soaked in cold water for about 1 hour
  • 1 teaspoon salt per litre/quart of cooking water

For the assembly:

  • ½ cup (100g) ghee, melted
  • Pinch of saffron soaked in 4 tablespoons warm milk for 10 minutes (optional)
  • ¼ cup (40g) cashew nuts, toasted



  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients, add the chicken pieces, coat, and set aside to marinate for about 1 hour.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet until hot and add onions. Fry for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Set aside.
  3. Remove the oil from a pan leaving about 3 tablespoons of it. Add the whole cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, bay leaves, cumin seeds and fry for 1 minute. Add the chicken together with the marinade, bring to a simmer, and stir in the tomatoes and salt. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. The sauce should be really dry by this stage.
  4. Drain the soaked rice. In a large pot, bring salted water to boil. Add the rice and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the rice is just tender, but still firm. Drain well.
  5. Now to the assembly. Take a deep, heavy based pot. Pour 3 tablespoons of water and add half the ghee into it. Now add ⅓ of the rice. If you have the saffron milk, sprinkle over about ⅓ of it. Spread the half of the chicken mixture and ⅓ of the fried onions. Now repeat the layer with another ⅓ of the rice, ⅓ of the saffron milk, the rest of the chicken, and another ⅓ of the fried onions. Top with the remaining rice and remaining saffron milk. Don't use the remaining fried onions for now, set them aside. Drizzle the remaining ghee around the edges.
  6. Cover with a well-fitting lid. Cook over a very low heat for 30 minutes. Serve in a large plate, topped with the rest of the fried onions and toasted cashews. Enjoy!


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