Chicken Biryani


Well-Known Member
I have been making Hyderabad Style Mutton Biryani for quite some time. All - family friends and acquaintances enjoy it. But there are a few souls who for some reason or other do not have mutton, and have requested me, time and again, that I try my hand at the Chicken version of the Kachchi Biryani. Hence this recipe.


The secret is to get both the chicken and the rice flavoured individually.
The leaves - coriander, mint etc are to impart an aroma and a moisture to the biryani. Normally commercial Biryani is on the drier side, while this preparation remains moist.
The ghee and curd for moisture.
The rice is cooked partially to infuse the spices into each grain. The final cooking of rice is in the pot, so enough moisture should be there. If there is too much moisture, rice will become "muddy".


- Chicken : 1 kg, cut into big pieces.
- Onion : 1/2kg.
- White Oil : 1/4 kg.
- Rice : 0.5 kg, Superior Basmati.
- Coriander leaves, chopped to be layered with rice : 50g

Marinade for Chicken
- Curd : 300g
- Ginger & Garlic Paste : about 2 table spoons
- Green chilies, deseeded and chopped : 7
- Mint Leaves 1/2 bunch, chopped fine
- Nutmeg : half
- Mace 1/8
- Cinnamon 3-4 1/4" x 1/2 pieces
- Cloves : 8-9 pieces
- Black pepper : 20 pods
- Kashmir Red Chilly powder : 1 TBS
- Salt : 1-2 TBS

To check if the marinade is right, taste it and evaluate it as a stand alone curry. It should have just a slight bit of more salt than normal and the masala just comfortable. I added extra heat in form of black pepper and Kashmir Chilly, as this is an attempt at appeasing those who like it hot!

Spices for Rice

- Big Cardamom : 4
- Black Pepper : 20 whole pieces
- Mace : 1 pod
- Cloves : 4 pods
- Cinnamon : 3 1/2" pieces
- Salt : 2 TBS


The cooking vessel is very important. It should be pretty thick, especially the bottom. I used a 12" aluminum thick walled pan. Good enough for 1-2kg.

• Clean chicken, and drain water fully. I use a colander.
• Coarse grind the solid spices
• Deseed the green chilies, and chop the chilies and mint as fine as possible with a sharp knife.
• Mix the spices in curd along with the Ginger & Garlic paste, in a container marginally larger than the whole mix.
• Ready a plastic bag, large enough to hold the chicken with a lot of space to spare.
• Dip four or five chicken pieces at a time in marinade and then transfer the pieces to the bag.
• Once all the chicken pieces are coated and transferred to the bag, pour the balance marinade over the chicken.
• Expel all the air and close the bag by twisting the neck tight. Now there is minimal space wasted and all the marinade is in contact with the chicken.
• Refrigerate till needed. I prepared the marinade on Friday afternoon and took it out of the refrigerator at 10 on Saturday morning.
• In a wide bottom vessel arrange the marinated chicken. The chicken should lie one layer deep.
• In a small sized Kadahi, Fry onions in three batches
• Mix one batch with the marinated chicken, and use the other for layering
• In a medium vessel to be used for cooking rice, boil all the spices for ten minutes
• Take the spices from the water. I use a tea strainer to fish for the solid spices.
• Now put rice in.
• Once the rice grows a bit, take off fire and drain the water. Normally this will occur just as the rice begins to boil.
• Put one third of the rice on the chicken, level the rice. Spread one third of the fried onions and some coriander leaves.
• Build up two more layers of rice similar to the first layer.
• On the last layer pour all the left over oil.
• Seal the lid with atta.
• Put the vessel over a Tawa on medium heat, and cook for one hour

• To judge the amount of salt, taste the marinade when you transfer the chicken to the vessel. Some salt would have been absorbed in the chicken, so it will be slightly less salty no. The salt should be marginally more than comfortable.
• When cooking the spices for rice, boil them for about 10 minutes, till the water colour changes to a light brown.
• Initially do not press the lid hard to seal it fully.
• Use high heat to start cooking.
• Once steam starts leaking from the lid sides, reduce the temperature till the steam comes out in extremely small puff. Now press the lid to seal the vessel firmly.

Cooking Log - to get the total cooking time - 2012-04-14

1210 : Start Onion Fry - Batch 1.
Start Water for Rice.
1220 : Start Onion Fry - Batch 2.
1230 : Put Rice in the Soup.
1235 : End Onion Fry - Batch 3.
Rice cooked, strain.
1240 : Layer Biryani.
1245 : Start Biryani.
1255 : Steam starts escaping, lower the heat.
1335 : Switch gas off.
1345 : Open and eat.


Chicken as it came from the shop


Chicken cut to size


Leaves & Paste (From top Clock wise : Mint, Ginger, Garlic,Chillies)


Dry Spices


Spices Ground


Chicken marinated in a bag


Sliced Onions


Marinated Chicken in the pot


Spices for the Rice




Boiled rice in colander (one portion layered, two remaining)


Onions frying - Lot 1


Onion Frying - Lot 3


Preparation for Layer 1 - leaves and fried added. Now they will be mixed with the chicken and the surface smoothed.


Layer 1


Layer 2


Layer 3


Seal for the lid


Pot on the Gas. Note the Tawa below the vessel for lowering and distributing the heat

As usual in a hurry to sample the goods, I forgot to take the photographs post cooking.:shock:


Super Moderator
Staff member
Wonderful recipe! :)

But, no finished product? :shock:
As usual in a hurry to sample the goods, I forgot to take the photographs post cooking.:shock:
Well, you'll just have to make another batch and take some photos to post here! :p



No pics of the Biryani!!!

Lets hope you make some more and post the pics here again :)


Well-Known Member
Update : 2012-04-22
This time I am making the Biryani for eight guest and five of of us. As most of the people like it spicy, I doubled the quantity of spices I normally use for Biryani.

- Chicken : 2kg Drumsticks and 1kg Wings. Cut the drumsticks and wings into two.
- Onion : 1.5kg.
- White Oil : 0.5kg.
- Rice : 1.75 kg, Superior Basmati.
- Coriander & Mint leaves, chopped to be layered with rice : 50g

Marinade for Chicken
- Curd : 500g
- Ginger & Garlic Paste : about 2 TBS each
- Green chilies, deseeded and chopped : 20
- Mint Leaves 1 bunch, chopped fine
- Nutmeg : 1 1/2
- Mace : 1
- Cinnamon 3-4 1/2" x 1/2 pieces
- Cloves : 20 pieces
- Black pepper : 1 TBS (about 50 pods)
- Large Cardamom : 2
- Kashmir Red Chilly powder : 2 TBS
- Salt : 2 TBS

Spices for Rice
- Big Cardamom : 10
- Black Pepper : 40 pods
- Mace : 2 pods
- Cloves : 12 pieces
- Cinnamon : 2 x 3" pieces
- Salt : 4 TBS

Cooking Log : to get the total cooking time - 2012-04-23

1220 : Start Onion Fry - Batch 1.
Start Water for Rice.
1245 : Start Onion Fry - Batch 2.
1250 : Start Rice.
1255 : Start Onion Fry - Batch 3.
1300 : End Onion - Batch 3.
1310 : End Layering.
1325 : Start Biryani
1425 : End Biryani



Drum Sticks




Drumsticks cut in half


The whole pile of Meat


Salt & Kashmiri Mirch


Spices for Marinade


All ground up


Leaves & Chillies


Chopped Leaves & Chillies


Garlic and Ginger Paste


Dry Marinade


Final Marinade


Chicken with Marinade in a bag






Spices for Rice


Rice water initially


Rice Water after the Spices have been dissolved


One Garlic chopped and added to the Chicken


First batch of Onions


Chicken with onions, mint and Garlic


First Layer of Rice, Onions and Coriander


Second Layer of Rice, Onions and Coriander


Third Layer of Rice, Onions and Coriander


Seal on the lid


Pot on the Gas


The Tawa under the Pot


Biryani as it is after cooking


Biryani Rice and Chicken Mixed


Biryani as served
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
Only ten of us were there. One generous portion left. ...
I asked to get an estimate of how much per head...
Ten of you polished off three kgs chicken and 1½ kgs rice worth of biryani? :eek:
And how many eggs worth of egg curry?

Big eaters, I dare say! :grin:


Well-Known Member
I asked to get an estimate of how much per head...
Ten of you polished off three kgs chicken and 1½ kgs rice worth of biryani? :eek:
And how many eggs worth of egg curry?

Big eaters, I dare say! :grin:
In any group invited, there are invariably a couple of big eaters. To give you some consumption figures

. 3 kg Mutton Biryani + 2 Leg Roasts : 10 persons
. 3 kg Chicken Biryani + Egg Curry-18 : 11 persons
. 2 kg Mutton Biryani + Kebabs (1/2 kg) : 6 persons
. 1 kg Chicken Biryani : 4 persons (Trial run : Sunday Lunch)

for gatherings of about 10-12 couples here is what is cooked
. 4 kg Mutton
. 3 kg of Leg Roast or Kebabs
. 2-3 kg of Fish
. Vegetables + Dal + Raita ~ 1 serving bowl each
. Pudding or Kheer : 3kg milk

Formula for planning meals
1/3kg Meat/Fish per head
2 Eggs per head
2 bowls of sweet dish per head

As you never know what will be consumed more and what less, these quantities ensure that none of the items are finished and at the same time some thing is left for the next day.