Chicken Biryani
Chicken Biryani
5 from 17 votes
What isn’t to love about this chicken biryani recipe? The fragrant aromas, the vibrant colours, and the fluffy rice are all bound together by the zing of heat and spices. Even beginners will fall in love with this chicken biryani recipe.
Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani is a beloved dish that originates from the Indian subcontinent, known for its aromatic spices and flavorful rice. This dish, though it may seem complex, is actually quite manageable, especially with my detailed recipe.

Dating back centuries, biryani has evolved into various regional versions, each with its own unique blend of spices and cooking techniques. Its origins can be traced to Persia, where it was known as “birian,” and it made its way to the Indian subcontinent through trade routes.

Over time, it has become a staple in Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi cuisines, celebrated for its rich flavors and hearty nature.

While some may find the idea of making biryani intimidating, fear not! With the right ingredients and step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to whip up a delicious chicken biryani right in your own kitchen.

Expert Tip: Don’t rush the cooking process. Allow the biryani to cook slowly over low heat to ensure that the flavors meld together beautifully and the rice cooks evenly without becoming mushy.


Olive Oil: Provides a rich, fruity flavor and helps to coat the chicken and rice evenly.

Bay Leaf: Adds a subtle, aromatic note to the dish, enhancing its overall flavor profile.

Whole Spices: These whole spices form the foundation of the biryani’s complex flavor, infusing the dish with warmth and depth.

Chicken: Chicken adds protein and substance to the biryani, absorbing the flavors of the spices as it cooks.

Onions and Tomatoes: These vegetables provide sweetness and acidity, balancing the spices and adding texture to the dish.

Garlic Paste and Ginger Paste: Intensify the savory flavors and add a punch of aromatic warmth to the biryani.

Spices: This combination of spices creates the signature taste of biryani, with layers of heat, earthiness, and warmth.

Potatoes: Optional but traditional, potatoes add an extra element of heartiness and texture to the dish.

Yoghurt: Helps to tenderize the chicken and adds a creamy richness to the sauce.

Cumin Powder: Enhances the earthy flavors of the dish and adds a subtle hint of bitterness.

Green Chillies: Provide a fresh, spicy kick to the biryani, balancing the richness of the other ingredients.

Fried Onions: Offer a crispy texture and sweet caramelized flavor, elevating the dish’s overall taste.

Coriander: Fresh coriander leaves add a pop of vibrant color and a bright, herbaceous flavor to the finished dish.

Basmati Rice: Known for its long, slender grains and delicate aroma, basmati rice forms the perfect base for biryani, absorbing the flavors of the spices while remaining light and fluffy.

Expert Tip: Use good quality basmati rice for the best results. Look for long-grain rice with a pleasant aroma, as it will yield perfectly fluffy grains in your biryani.

Serving Suggestions

  • Raita: Serve a side of cool and creamy cucumber raita alongside your biryani to balance out the heat from the spices. Raita, made with yogurt, cucumber, and spices, adds a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of the biryani.
  • Salad: A simple green salad with fresh vegetables and a tangy dressing can complement the biryani beautifully. The crispness of the salad provides a refreshing contrast to the hearty, aromatic biryani.
  • Papadums: Crispy, thin papadums make for a delightful accompaniment to chicken biryani. Serve them on the side for a satisfying crunch that adds texture to your meal.
  • Pickles: A variety of pickles, such as mango pickle or lime pickle, can add a burst of tangy flavor to your biryani. These condiments provide a zesty contrast to the rich, spiced flavors of the dish.
  • Naan or Roti: While biryani is traditionally served with rice, you can also enjoy it with freshly baked naan or roti. These Indian breads are perfect for scooping up the flavorful sauce and soaking up every last bit of goodness.
  • Garnishes: Sprinkle some freshly chopped cilantro and fried onions on top of your biryani for a pop of color and added depth of flavor. These garnishes not only enhance the presentation of the dish but also add a final flourish of taste.

Expert Tip: For extra flavor, marinate the chicken in yogurt and spices for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This helps tenderize the meat and infuse it with the delicious flavors of the marinade.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use other types of meat instead of chicken?

Absolutely! While this recipe calls for chicken, you can easily substitute it with lamb, beef, or even seafood to create your own version of biryani. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the type of meat you choose.

Can I make this recipe vegetarian?

Yes, you can! Simply omit the chicken and replace it with your favorite vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, peas, and cauliflower. You can also add paneer or tofu for a protein boost. Follow the same cooking instructions, adjusting the cooking time as needed for the vegetables to cook through.

Can I prepare chicken biryani in advance?

Yes, you can partially prepare chicken biryani in advance by following the recipe up to the point of layering the rice on top of the chicken masala. Once you’ve assembled the layers, you can cover the pot and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, simply heat the biryani on the stovetop until the rice is fully cooked.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover chicken biryani in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. When reheating, sprinkle a little water over the biryani to prevent it from drying out, and gently warm it in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

Can I freeze chicken biryani?

Yes, you can freeze chicken biryani for longer storage. Allow the biryani to cool completely, then transfer it to freezer-safe containers or zip-top bags. Freeze for up to 1-2 months. To reheat, thaw the biryani overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through.

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Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani

by Nabeela Kauser
What isn’t to love about this chicken biryani recipe? The fragrant aromas, the vibrant colours, the fluffy rice all bound together by the zing of heat and spices. Even beginners will fall in love with this chicken biryani recipe.
5 from 17 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Pakistani
Servings 8
Calories 597 kcal


  • 100 ml Olive Oil
  • 2 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp Peppercorn
  • 5 Inch Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Cloves Laung
  • 3 Black Cardamom
  • 10 Green Cardamoms
  • 1 kg Chicken
  • 2 Onions
  • 3 Tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 2 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Turmeric Powder Haldi
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 Potatoes
  • 100 g Yoghurt
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder Jeera
  • 4 Green Chillies
  • Onions Fried
  • 1 handful Coriander
  • 500 g Rice Basmati


  • Rinse the rice in cold water then leave to soak and set aside
  • In a large saucepan bring a pot of water to a boil then drain the rice and add to the pan before giving it a stir to spread the rice in the pan
  • Allow the rice to gently simmer for 12-15 minutes until 80% cooked – at this point the rice grains should have expanded but they will still be relatively hard
  • As the rice is cooking in a large pan heat up the oil on medium heat until hot
  • Add the bay leaves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, black cardamom, and green cardamoms then sauté the whole spices for 1 minutes until fragrant
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the chicken, the finely diced onions and the chopped tomatoes then cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent in colour
  • Add the ginger paste, garlic paste, garam masala, chilli powder, black pepper, turmeric powder, and salt then cook the spices for 5-7 minutes
  • As the spices are cooking peel the potatoes and cut into bite-size chunks then add into pan and cook for 10-15 minutes
  • Add the yoghurt and stir immediately to prevent it from curdling then cook for 10-15 minutes
  • Add the cumin seeds, green chillies, fried onions, and coriander then mix
  • Drain the parboiled rice and layer on top of the chicken masala followed by some fried onions and finely chopped fresh coriander
  • Cover with a lid then reduce the heat to low and allow to cook for 10-12 minutes
  • Remove the lid and gently mix the chicken masala and rice together – ensure that you mix slowly to not mush the rice
  • Serve immediately on its own or alongside some raita!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 597kcalCarbohydrates: 80gProtein: 20gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 437mgPotassium: 888mgFibre: 7gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 677IUVitamin C: 34mgVitamin D: 0.1µgCalcium: 94mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Biryani, Chicken, Cooking, Dinner, Food, Recipe, Rice, Spicy
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!



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Latest comments (6)

5 stars
Biryani is one of the most popular dishes in India. Chicken biryani is one of them. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us. It is a great post who wanna learn how to make chicken biryani recipe.

Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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