Flavoursome Easy Chicken Biryani

Biryani was a royal dish for the Nawabs and Nizams during the old days. Now days it’s everybody’s favourite food and easily found almost everywhere from roadside restaurants to fancy five stars. I simply call it a flavour packed complete meal. I just can’t resist a chicken biryani. It’s something I’ve loved eating as a child too. Biryani is something that peps me up on Sundays or holidays when I’m not cooking.

There are different types of biryani and every biryani has a complete different list of spices depending on the region whether north or south. The north has a different style called the puckki (cooked) biryani, the Lucknowi style, where cooked meat and cooked rice are combined and layered to finish. The South has again a different style called the kachchi (raw) biryani, the Hyderabadi style, where raw marinated meat is layered with raw rice. These two are the masters of the biryani family while all the other types of biryani are influenced by it. If anyone would ask me about my favourite of the two, I’ll jump for the Hyderabad style of biryani.

The spices, aroma and flavours of biryani of our north and south are truly amazing but a home cooked biryani makes a difference whether it’s north or south. My version of biryani is a combination of the two styles. I have tried cooking it the puckki (cooked) style with the flavours of the kachchi (raw) style. In short, it is the puckki biryani with the kachchi biryani flavours. I have not used any store bought biryani masala but have tried using all the spices together to bring about a natural aromatic, fragrant and flavoursome biryani. I will say I wanted my biryani to be very easy and delicious from the scratch.  I have divided the recipe into parts for quick reference.

Part One   



For the chicken

  • Medium Whole chicken – cut into 8 pieces.(700-750 gms approx).
  • Fresh Curd/yoghurt – 2 cups. (200-225 gms)
  • Crispy fried onions – 1 and half cup.
  • Ginger garlic paste – 2 Tablespoons.
  • Green chillies – 6-9 nos.
  • Mint leaves chopped – half cup
  • Coriander leaves – half cup.
  • Juice of a lemon.
  • Oil – 2 Tablespoons.
  • Bay Leaves- 2 nos.
  • Star anise- 2 nos.
  • Cloves – 6-8 nos.
  • Cassia – 2 nos. ( one inch stick)
  • Black Cardamom- 2 nos.
  • Green cardamom – 4- 6 nos.
  • Mace- 2 nos.
  • Black Pepper – 1 Tablespoon.

Method for marinating chicken:-

  1. Clean and pat dry the chicken pieces. Prick the chicken all over, mix with lemon juice and keep aside.
  2. Add the ginger garlic paste to the chicken. Rub the paste till all the pieces are coated well. Keep aside covered in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  3. Take green chillies, cut into pieces and crush them well with a mortar and pestle.
  4. Take out the chicken and add in all the rest of the ingredients except for fried onions and bay leaves, mixing well. Keep aside refrigerated for 3- 4 hours.
  5. Take out and add the crispy fried onions and bay leaves to the chicken. Mix again and keep aside for an hour.

(Reserve a little of the fried onions, coriander leaves and mint leaves for layering the rice and for garnish. Chilli powder one teaspoon can also be added if you want it more spicy.)

Part Two


  • Water – One cup.
  • Star anise- 2 nos.
  • Cloves – 6-8 nos.
  • Cassia – 2 nos. ( one inch stick)
  • Black Cardamom- 2 nos.
  • Green cardamom – 4- 6 nos.
  • Keora water – 1 Tablespoon. (Artificial flavouring agent).


Boil the water along with the spices till the colour of the water changes to light brown and gives out a wonderful aroma. Cool and drain to remove the spices from  the water and add the Keora water  to the spiced water.

You can add rose water or essence instead of Keora water.

Part Three

For the rice:-

  • Long Basmati rice – 4 cups.
  • Cloves- 4 nos.
  • Cinnamon- 2 an inch sticks.
  • Star Anise- 2 nos.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Freshly squeezed juice of a lemon.
  • Nuts and raisins to garnish
  • Boiled egg to garnish
  • Clarified butter or ghee – 2 Tablespoons.
  • Water to cook the rice – 6 cups


Cook rice with all the spices and salt. When rice is almost done add the lemon juice and keep aside.

(Saffron infused in little milk can be added while layering the rice to give it richness and a light yellow colour. Cook rice by the closed pan method or a electric rice cooker can make your work more easier)

Take a big flat heavy bottom pan. Pour 2 tablespoon of clarified butter and add the chicken to it. Add the spiced water to the chicken. (Combine ‘One’ and ‘Two’).Cover with a lid and cook on a very slow flame. Check after 15- 20 minutes. Once the chicken is done add the chopped coriander and mint. Layer the rice on top of the cooked chicken and sprinkle the fried onions, nuts and raisins. Cover again and leave it on a very low flame for another 10 min. You can seal the lid or keep a heavy weight on top of the lid. Take off the flame after 10 minutes and garnish with boiled eggs. Serve hot with curd or raita and pappad or pappadom. This recipe serves four.

The above picture of Chicken Biryani has Saffron infused in milk, layered to finish to give a light yellow colour.


7 thoughts on “Flavoursome Easy Chicken Biryani

  1. My hubby and I love biryani and I always make Mutton Biryani … now I’m going to try your Chicken version … maybe tomorrow for our Sunday dinner 😉 …Thanks for sharing!


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