Chicken Biryani Recipe | Chicken Biryani


Chicken biryani Recipe in 3 Ways! This is one of the most popular and favourite dish all over the world. It is one of the most loved rice and meat dish that originated from Indian sub-continent. Traditional chicken dum biryani which has a fragrance which is so inviting is made by layering rice and marinated chicken that is flavoured with whole spices, herbs like mint and coriander leaves, curd and ghee. Every household has their unique way of making this dish. Learn how to make the perfect aromatic chicken biryani with all my tips and tricks made three different ways including pressure cooker, stove top & dum-style. Make sure you make some refreshing raita, mirchi salan or tomato salan. 

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Chicken Biryani

Biryani takes in our Sunday lunch menu often. Each time I experiment different variations of it. Here I am documenting three different, successful, fail-proof method of making the classic traditional chicken biryani so you have the option to choose a recipe that suits your needs.

About Chicken Biryani

Biryani is one of the most loved dish all over the world. Biryani is made with marinated meat like chicken, mutton, fragrant basmati rice, whole spices, coriander leaves, mint leaves, fried onions, fried nuts and raisins and lots of ghee. It has an aroma that is so unique to the authentic biryani.

Chicken biryani is the popular variety of biryani which is made with tender pieces of chicken marinated with yogurt, spices, fresh garam masala, coriander, mint and lemon juice. Biryani can be made many different style.

The most authentic biryani is Chicken Dum Biryani and it cannot be matched by anything else. It is cooked in Dum Pukht which means the pot is sealed tight using wheat flour dough and lid. The whole pot is steam cooked over low flame. It is also known as kachi biryani.

Chicken dum biryani involves different steps which can be elaborate and time consuming which I make only during weekends. But during busy weekdays when I crave for chicken biryani, I make them different ways using pressure cooker or instant pot.

The main flavouring for this biryani comes from the masala which we make.  It is a homemade spice mix which smell so heavenly. Make sure you check my other biryani recipes starting from pressure cooker chicken biryani to hyderabadi mutton biryani. Best accompaniment for this biryani would be raita.

Watch Chicken Biryani Video

Chicken Biryani Ingredients

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Making a perfect chicken biryani is easy and has few basic ingredients. In this blog post, I have shared three different method for making chicken biryani. Whatever method you choose, the ingredients will be similar. I have added optional ingredients which will add more flavour to the biryani. Here are the list of ingredients which you need for making restaurant style chicken biryani.

Basmati Rice – the most essential and important ingredient in making biryani is rice. Try to find the finest quality basmati rice that you can afford. Better the quality of rice, better the aroma will be. Instead of basmati you can use seera samba rice. check notes for details.

Chicken – for making biryani, use chicken with bone-in and skins-removed. Try and use medium size chicken for this recipe which cooks faster and stays juicy.

Onion – onions are used in making masala and fried till crispy to add finishing touch to the biryani. These fried onions are called as birista which adds sweetness to the biryani.

Ginger & Garlic – this duo of ingredients gives the biryani aroma. Fresh ginger and garlic is ground and used.

Whole Spices – cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, bay leaf, cardamom is used. Whole spices are tempered in ghee and also these spices are dry roasted and ground to form fresh biryani masala which elevates your regular biryani to next level.

Fresh Herbs – lots of chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves adds the aroma.

Spice powders – a combination of chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder is used in biryani.

Curd – curd adds the tanginess which a biryani requires. it also makes the chicken super tender.

Ghee or Oil – you can use a combination of both for making biryani.

Optional Ingredients – optional ingredients like coconut milk, fried cashews, raisins, fresh ground masala (shared in stove top method) can be used.

Homemade Biryani Masala Powder

In this chicken biryani recipe I have used a combination of regular masala powders like chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder. But instead of using these spices you can add biryani masala powder instead. I have shared a detailed recipe for homemade biryani masala. You have to dry roast all these whole spices and grind them to a powder.

Ingredients for Biryani Masala Powder

  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Bay Leaf
  • 5 Green Cardamom
  • 1 Black Cardamom
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2 Mace
  • 4 Kalpasi
  • 3 tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 4 Dry Red Chilli
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 tsp Whole Black Pepper
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Why This Recipe Works?

Easy to Make – chicken biryani ingredients are readily available including onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, fresh herbs, whole spices, rice, chicken. These ingredients are our pantry and fridge staple. All the three methods shared in this recipe takes less than 1 hour to make.

Adaptable – chicken biryani is a emotion, whenever you are craving for a steaming plate of chicken biryani you should be able to make it easily. This recipe has three version of making the best flavourful biryani with easy instructions so anyone can cook.

Flavourful Biryani with Best Results – The fresh ground masala and whole spices make this biryani so flavourful so there is no more mushy rice.

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What makes Chicken Biryani Special?

In the end everyone wants their biryani to have these three components.

Flavour, Aroma & Well balanced – which can be achieved by the whole spices and freshly ground biryani masala.

Fluffy Rice – Pick the first quality basmati rice. Washing & soaking basmati rice is essential for fluffier biryani. Add the proper amount of water ratio. Don’t over cook the rice.

Juicy, Moist & Tender Meat – Always use tender cuts of chicken, Bone-in chicken is preferred. Marinating with yogurt, spices tenderises the meat which is the key for perfect biryani.

How to Make Chicken Biryani (Pressure Cooker Method)

Marinating Chicken

1)Take 500 grams of cleaned chicken in a bowl. I am using skinless and bone-in chicken. Make sure you cut the chicken into medium pieces which cooks fast and stays moist. To the cleaned chicken, add in curd, salt, chilli powder, garam masala powder and ginger garlic paste. Mix well and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

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Soaking Basmati Rice

2) While the chicken is marinating. Wash 2 cups of basmati rice multiple times till water runs clear. Cover with fresh cold water and let it soak for 30 minutes.

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Making Fresh Biryani Masala

3)Take fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, mace, star anise in a blender and powder till coarse. This is your fresh masala for biryani.

Pro tip: I didn’t toast my whole spices before grinding. But you can dry roast the whole spices for few minutes in a pan and grind for more pungent flavour.

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Making Biryani Base

4)Heat coconut oil and ghee in a kadai. Add in sliced onions and slit green chillies. Saute them till light golden in colour.

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5)Add in freshly ground ginger and garlic paste. Saute the ginger and garlic till raw smell leaves. It will take around 2 minutes.

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6)Add in chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and fresh garam masala powder.

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7)Saute the spice powders with onion for few seconds.

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Cooking chicken

8)once masala is cooked, add in the marinated chicken.

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9)Saute the marinated chicken in the masala for at least 6 to 8 minutes. The chicken will be half cooked at this point.

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10) Take this chicken masala in a pressure cooker.

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Roasting Rice

11)In the same pan in which you made the chicken masala. Add a tbsp of ghee.

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12)Add in the 2 cups of soaked strained rice. Roast the rice for few minutes till it turns toasty and light golden in colour.

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13)Add in the roasted rice over the chicken masala which is kept in the pressure cooker.

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Cooking Chicken Biryani

14)Add in chopped coriander and mint leaves.

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15)Pour in 1 cup of coconut milk. This is optional. You can use water instead of coconut milk.

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16)Pour in 2 cups of water.

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17)Add salt to taste.

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18)Bring this to a full boil. Once it starts boiling give it one good stir. cover the lid of the pressure cooker.

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19)Pressure cook for 1 whistle, reduce the flame to lowest possible and cook for 5 minutes. Switch off the flame and let the pressure release by itself.

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20)Open the cooker and mix gently using a spatula or fork.

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21) Serve.

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How to Make Chicken Biryani (Dum Style)

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This version of biryani is my go-to quick version of chicken dum biryani. it is made by layering chicken and rice with herbs and fried onions. I have already shared a elaborate chicken dum biryani recipe but this version is Instant version which can be made in less than 45 minutes.

For Marinating Chicken

  • Boneless Chicken – 500 grams (preferably chicken thigh)
  • Curd / Thick Yogurt – ½ cup
  • Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 tblspn
  • Fennel Seeds- 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon – 1 small stick
  • Cardamom – 4
  • Cloves – 2
  • Coriander Leaves – ½ cup chopped finely
  • Mint Leaves – ½ cup chopped finely
  • Salt to taste
  • Cashews – 3 tbsp
  • Kishmish / Sultanas – 3 tbsp
  • Green Chillies – 6 slit
  • Garam Masala Powder – 1 tbsp

1)First you have to wash and soak 2 cups of basmati rice for 15 to 30 minutes. Take boneless chicken in a bowl. Add in all the above listed marination ingredients into the chicken and mix well. Leave to marinate till you cook the rice.

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2)Bring lots of water to boil. Add in whole spices like fennel seeds, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Add salt to the water. Once water starts to boil, add in the soaked strained rice into the water and cook for 6 minutes. By this time the rice will be cooked ¾ th.

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3)Strain the rice in a colander and set aside.

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4)In a cooking pot. Heat ghee and coconut oil. Add in sliced onions and fry till golden brown. once onions are golden, remove this using a slotted spoon and set aside.

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Cooking Biryani in Dum

5)Now let’s layer the chicken dum biryani. In the same pot in which you fried onions to the remaining oil and ghee. Add the marinated chicken and mix well so the chicken is coated well with the oil.

Add half of the cooked rice, top with fried onions, chopped tomatoes, coriander leaves and mint leaves.

Now add the remaining half of the cooked rice. sprinkle more fried onions and coriander leaves on top.

Cover the whole pot with double layers of aluminium foil. Seal the pot with a tight fitting lid. Place it on lowest heat possible and cook for 35 to 40 minutes.

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6)Once the 40 minutes is up, open the lid and foil and gently mix the biryani. Serve hot with raita.

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Chicken Biryani (Stove Top Method)

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This version is a flavour packed biryani recipe. In this recipe mint and coriander leaves are ground with green chillies, whole spices and coconut. This paste is added to onion tomato mixture to form the base. It adds so much flavour to the chicken biryani.

Ingredients for Grinding

  • Coconut – ½ cup grated
  • Mint & Coriander leaves – 1 cup
  • Cloves – 3
  • Cardamom / Yelakai – 4
  • Bay Leaf – 1
  • Cinnamon – 1 stick
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Black Stone Flower – 2
  • Fennel Seeds – 1 tblspn
  • Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 tblspn
  • Green Chillies – 6

1)Grind the above listed ingredients to a smooth or coarse paste. This is your masala.

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2)Heat 2 tbsp ghee and 2 tbsp coconut oil in a pot. Add in 2 large sliced onions and cook till golden brown.

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3)Add in 2 sliced tomatoes and mix well.

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4)Add in the ground coconut herb paste which we made earlier. Cook this for 4 to 5 minutes till raw smell leaves.

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5)Add in 500 grams cleaned chicken and mix well.

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6)Add in 1 tsp of chilli powder, 2 tsp coriander powder and 1 tsp garam masala powder.

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7)Mix well with the chicken and cook this for 5 more minutes.

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8)Add in 2 cups of washed, soaked and strained basmati rice.

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9) Pour in 3 cups of water.

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10) Add salt and mix well. Bring this to a full boil. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the flame and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes.

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11)After 15 minutes, Turn off the flame. Open the lid and gently mix using a fork. Cover the pot with lid again and let it rest for 10 minutes.

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12)Serve.

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Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

Many people prefer to use instant pot to cook chicken biryani or any rice dish these days. It is so easy to use and following this method to make any rice dish like pulao, biryani is fail proof.

  • Marinate chicken as mentioned in any of the recipe. Wash and soak basmati rice for 30 minutes.
  • Set instant pot mode to saute. Pour oil into the instant pot. Add in whole spices and let them sizzle. Add in onions and saute till golden. Add in chicken and saute for 5 to 10 mins. Add in strained rice, spice powders, salt and water and mix well.
  • Now set the mode to pressure cook mode, set timer to 6 minutes. Let it cook. Once the timer is up, it will automatically change to keep warm | low. Leave the pressure to release manually for 11 minutes. Now lift the quick release vent so the excess steam can release.
  • Open the instant pot and mix the rice gently. Serve. 

Expert Tips

Which Rice to Choose?

Finest quality basmati rice is preferred for making biryani. High quality rice gives you better flavour and aroma for biryani. I prefer to use India Gate Classic, Daawat biryani rice for my biryani. Whichever rice you choose, make sure it is aromatic.

Always wash basmati rice multiple times until water runs clear. Soak basmati rice in water for at least 30 minutes. Washing and soaking rice removes excess starch from the rice, softens rice which in turn makes biryani fluffier.

Instead of basmati, you can opt for seera samba rice which is more traditional rice for making biryani in South India. One of the most popular thalappakatti biryani is made with seera sambar rice.

About Chicken

I prefer tender cuts of chicken for making biryani. Opt for chicken with bone-in and skins removed for moist chicken. Whenever I buy chicken for biryani, I ask the butcher to cut it into medium size (not so big – not so small) which make sure the chicken absorbs the flavour better.

Water Ratio for Rice

Many people struggle to get their biryani rice fluffy. Sometimes overcooking may result in rice getting mushy. It can be avoided by the correct water to rice proportion and proper cooking technique. Here are the water ratio for the rice.

Basmati Rice – Use 1.5 cups of water to 1 cup of basmati rice (soaked for 30 minutes). 1.25 cup of water to 1 cup of basmati rice (soaked for 1 hour)

Seera Samba Rice – For 1 cup of seera samba rice (soaked 30 minutes) use 2 cups of water.

More Biryani Recipes to Try

📖 Recipe Card

Chicken Biryani | Chicken Biryani Recipe

Chicken biryani Recipe in 3 Ways! This is one of the most popular and favourite dish all over the world. It is one of the most loved rice and meat dish that originated from Indian sub-continent. Traditional chicken dum biryani which has a fragrance which is so inviting is made by layering rice and marinated chicken that is flavoured with whole spices, herbs like mint and coriander leaves, curd and ghee. Every household has their unique way of making this dish. Learn how to make the perfect aromatic chicken biryani with all my tips and tricks made three different ways including pressure cooker, stove top & dum-style. Make sure you make some refreshing raita, mirchi salan or tomato salan. 

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Rate

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Servings: 15 servings

Calories: 640kcal

Ingredients

Chicken Biryani (Pressure Cooker Method)

Chicken Biryani (Dum Style)

Chicken Biryani (Stove Top)

Instructions

Chicken Biryani (Pressure Cooker Method)

Chicken Biryani (Dum-Style)

Chicken Biryani (Stove Top Method)

Notes

  • Always choose finest quality ingredients for making biryani.
  • Soaking basmati rice is important for getting fluffy biryani.
  • Use bone-in chicken for better flavour. 
  • Make sure you cut chicken into medium pieces which absorbs the masala better. 

Instant Pot Chicken Biryani


Many people prefer to use instant pot to cook chicken biryani or any rice dish these days. It is so easy to use and following this method to make any rice dish like pulao, biryani is fail proof.

  • Marinate chicken as mentioned in any of the recipe. Wash and soak basmati rice for 30 minutes.
  • Set instant pot mode to saute. Pour oil into the instant pot. Add in whole spices and let them sizzle. Add in onions and saute till golden. Add in chicken and saute for 5 to 10 mins. Add in strained rice, spice powders, salt and water and mix well.
  • Now set the mode to pressure cook mode, set timer to 6 minutes. Let it cook. Once the timer is up, it will automatically change to keep warm | low. Leave the pressure to release manually for 11 minutes. Now lift the quick release vent so the excess steam can release.
  • Open the instant pot and mix the rice gently. Serve. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1servings | Calories: 640kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 686mg | Potassium: 635mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 826IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 3mg

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