Home Chef's Corner Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani


Marination for Chicken Biryani:

This Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani gets a lot of its flavour from the marinade. We are using yogurt as a tenderiser, and fried onions, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt to flavour the chicken. It’s important to marinate the chicken for at least two hours or overnight for the maximum flavour. I prefer using only chicken thighs and legs for chicken biryani because these are the juiciest and do not become dry while the biryani cooks.


Brown Onions – 2 Onions Large, ½ cup vegetable oil

Chicken Marinade –

700 grams Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks bone-in and skinless, 3/4 cup Yogurt or hung curd, 1/4 cup Tomato Puree, 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil, 1tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste minced ginger and garlic, 1 tablespoon Red Chilli Powder sub with 1 teaspoon Paprika + 1 teaspoon Cayenne, 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder, 1 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder, 2 tablespoon Brown Onions, 1 1/4 teaspoon Salt


  • 2 tablespoon Hot Milk

Parboiled Rice (70% cooked):

  • 2 cups basmati rice, 6 cups Water, 2 tablespoon Salt, 1 Bay leaf, 5-6 Cloves, 2-3 Cardamom Pods.

Other Biryani Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Mint Leaves fresh, 1 cup Coriander Leaves Cilantro, 2 tablespoons Ghee.

To Serve:

  • Crispy Brown Onions, Boiled Egg, Onion and Tomato Raita.


To make the brown onions, pat the onions dry and if time permits, leave them out on a kitchen towel for 15-20 minutes to dry them out slightly. Heat oil in a pan and add the onions. On a medium flame, shallow fry the onions for 15 minutes till they are a deep golden brown, without burning them. Drain them out on a paper towel, and set aside. These can be made ahead and stored in an air tight container overnight. Burnt onions will add a bitter flavour to the biryani. You can also use store bought fried onions/ shallots which are easily available in leading supermarkets, Indian and Asian stores.

Mix together all the ingredients under chicken marinade and marinate for at least two hours or overnight for best results.

When you are ready to make the biryani, soak saffron strands in hot milk and rub them slightly with the back of a spoon. Set this aside.

Bring water to a roaring boil and add salt, whole spices and basmati rice. Cook for exactly 5 minutes and drain completely, leaving the whole spices in the rice. This will cook the rice to about 70% doneness which can be checked by pressing a grain of rice between two fingers – the rice should still be raw in the middle.

 Layering and Cooking Chicken Biryani: 

Heat a heavy bottomed pot like a clay oven, and add the chicken to it. Cook for 4 minutes and then turn the chicken pieces once. Cover and cook for another 3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Scatter half the onions all over the chicken, and then all the coriander and mint leaves. Next layer the rice all over the mint and coriander, and in the end drizzle saffron milk and ghee all over the rice. Cover and cook on a low flame for 20 minutes – this will help steam the rice, cook it to doneness and cook the chicken.

Once the biryani is cooked, let it rest for 5 minutes, and finish by scattering the remaining onions on top.

1.While a lot of restaurants use an entire chicken cut into medium sized pieces to make biryani, this is done to cut costs. Pieces like chicken breasts dry out during the long cooking process, and that’s why I recommend using only chicken thighs and drumsticks while cooking biryani at home. You can ask your butcher to cut each chicken leg into two parts to divide it into thighs and drumsticks. Leaving the bone in keeps the chicken juicy.

2. Brown Onions can be slightly time consuming and tricky to make, and you can substitute them here with store bought fried onions. Just make sure that the onions are not batter fried. If you are in India, you can buy them online, and if you live outside India, you can buy them. They are also available at leading supermarkets, Asian and Indian stores.

3.While buying basmati rice, make sure you buy rice that’s labelled basmati and not just long grain rice. Basmati Rice is fragrant and has slightly thinner grains than long grain rice. Real basmati rice is what gives biryani its distinct flavour and taste.

4.In the last step of layering and cooking the biryani, all the ingredients are par cooked. Cooking the biryani on a low flame for 20 minutes, steams and cooks everything to doneness. If you don’t have a heavy bottomed pot, and are using a regular pot, you can place it on a tava (or flat griddle) and then place it on the stove on a medium flame to avoid burning the chicken. The tava or griddle creates a degree of separation between the flame and the pot and provides the perfect heat source.

Nutrition Value:  Per 280 Gram (One Portion) Serving Main Course

Calories: 866 kcal|| Carbohydrates: 70g || Protein: 26g || Fat: 54g || Saturated Fat: 35g  Cholesterol: 88mg || Sodium: 3514mg ||Potassium: 570mg ||Fiber: 4g|| Sugar: 5g|| Vitamin A: 1309 IU ||Vitamin C: 11mg|| Calcium: 140mg|| Iron: 3mg

Rajender Singh Rana

“It’s all about Ayurveda and Indian food”

The Indian chef—graduated from the, Institute of Hotel Management, Uttarkhand India and trained under heavyweights such as Chefs Arnab Mukherjee and Inspired by Padam Shri Awardee – Chef Imtiyaz Qureshi). According to me, the food ranges from very simple vegetarian fare to exotic dishes layered with texture and flavour. Great care is taken in the planning and preparation of meals no matter how simple or complex. Indian food has large diversity of fusion and regional variations within Indian Cuisine. Indian cuisine is long and globally networked. I personally believe that Indian cuisine roots are well connected with our ancient AYURVEDA.


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