Chicken Biryani Recipe

Last week I shared about how my family celebrates Eid Al Fitr which marks the end of Ramadan. One of the most common comments I received was how yummy the food looked. I grew up watching my grandmother, mother and, aunts scurrying around the kitchen making the most delicious of meals. Nothing beats a plate of spicy chicken biryani, it’s comforting and celebratory all in one. Over the past few years I learned how to cook some traditional Indian meals and thought I’d share how to make a staple. CHICKEN BIRYANI!!! 



  • 1.5 cups Long grained basmati rice 
  • 1 lb Chicken, you can use a while chicken, just the legs or just chicken breasts. I use breasts


  • 1 large onion 
  • 3-4 chopped tomatoes 
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 2-3 tbpn. ghee
  • 1 pinch of saffron 
  • 3 tbpn hot whole milk
  • lemon wedges 

Chicken Marinade

  • 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste 
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 green chilis (seeded or unseeded) 
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (full fat) + 1 tbsp yogurt curd 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 tsp red chili powder 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks 
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 5 cloves
  • 6 green cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • salt to taste  

Dry Spices for Rice

  • 6-7 cups water (filtered) 
  • 1 tsp oil 
  • 2 strands of mace 
  • 2 small black cardamom
  • 4 green cardamom 
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • 5 cloves 
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorn
  • 1/2tsp caraway seeds
  • salt to taste  


Chicken Marinate

  • Take all the dry spices and grind them into a fine powder. Pour into a large mixing bowl add remaining chicken marinade ingredients and mix into a paste.

  • Add thawed chicken and mix well. Let the chicken marinate for at least two hours, I like letting it marinate overnight to get the most flavor.  
  • Chop onion and tomatoes 
  • In a large frying pan heat oil and add the onions and fry them until they’re browned. Add in the tomatoes and cook until soft and paste forms. 
  • Pour in the entire chicken marinate, including the excess paste and juices. EVERYTHING ALL OF IT!
  • Mix all the ingredients and cover the pan cook until the chicken is done. 


  • Wash all the rice until the water runs clear. 
  • Soak the rice for 30 min. 
  • In a large pot heat filtered water. Add all the spices and let the water boil for about 5min. You should get a very fragrant aroma. 
  • Add the soaked rice and cook until 3/4 done. DO NOT COOK THE RICE COMPLETELY OR OVERCOOK. YOU WILL RUIN THE DISH!
  • Drain the water completely. 

Assembling the Biryani 

  • Soak the saffron in hot milk 
  • In a large oven safe dish put half the rice out evenly. 
  • Next pour half the cooked chicken marinade. 
  • Then half of the chopped coriander and mint leaves. 
  • Repeat the process with the second half of the materials. 
  • Add the ghee on top of the rice and marinade. 
  • Top with the saffron milk mixture. Some people like to add some red and yellow food coloring too but, I don’t think the added dyes are healthy or do anything to the dish. 
  • Cover and seal dish with aluminum and put in the oven for 1hr at 300 degrees. The steam will completely cook the rice 
  • Once the dish is done lightly fluff and mix, not breaking the rice grains and serve with lemon wedges and extra fried onions 

And that’s how you make the most delicious rice and chicken dish in the whole world. If you try the recipe out please let me know! I LOVE getting your pictures of my recipes. 

Any traditional family recipes you make? Comment and share!