Chicken Biriyani

  • Time
    45 mins
  • Servings
  • Nutrition
    600 Per Serving

Layers of aromatic rice and succulent meat make biriyani one of the most sought-after dishes in Indian cuisine. From region to region, this Mughal classic varies in flavor and style. In Bombay this delicacy includes dried plums and potatoes. Lucknawi biriyani features yellow rice and subtle aromatics, while Hyderabad boasts a spicier version of the dish.


Our recipe seamlessly brings together all of the bold flavors that biriyani embodies, using a method that cuts the usual cooking time in half. Enjoy this slow-cooked meal, even on a time-crunched weeknight!

Kitchen Tools

  • Medium Sized Pot
  • 1 Large Pot with Fitted Lid
  • Small Ramekin for Saffron
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Ghee/Butter/Oil
  • Salt



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Mix the yogurt, biriyani masala, ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon of salt, and green chili together in a bowl. Mix in the chicken and set aside for 15 minutes to marinate. Bring 4 cups of water, the shahi jeera, the spice pouch, and 2 teaspoons of salt to a rapid boil in a medium sized pot.

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Wash and drain the rice and slowly add to the boiling water and spices. Bring the water and rice back to a full boil and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the rice is half cooked. When you press the grains between your fingers, they should break apart but not be mushy. Meanwhile, mix the saffron with 1 tablespoon of warm water or butter in a separate cup and set aside to soak.

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Drain the rice and discard the spice pouch. Spread the rice out on a plate to cool. While the rice cools, place a large sized pot over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of ghee or oil, then the chicken and all its marinade. Cover with a tightly fitted lid and cook for 10 minutes.

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Lower the heat on the pot with the chicken to a low flame. Spread the par-cooked rice over the chicken in a single layer. Sprinkle the saffron and its soaking liquid. Wash and chop the cilantro. Spread cilantro and fried onions over rice.

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Drizzle 1 tablespoon of ghee, melted butter, or oil on the top. Cover the pot with a couple layers of aluminum foil and secure the lid on to create as much of an airtight seal as possible. Cook on low heat for 25 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it sit as is for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, make the boondi raita according to instructions.

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Carefully open the lid and aluminum foil. Using a spatula or a wooden spoon, check that the rice and the chicken are cooked and that all the layers are moist but not wet. Transfer the biriyani to a platter to mix all the layers or just serve right from the pot. Enjoy with cool boondi raita on the side.

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