Chicken Biryani Recipe

One of my favorite dishes is a good chicken biryani. There are several biryani recipes out there as every region in India as well as many neighboring countries have the their own variants.

My own recipe is based off the typical Chennai style biryani and it's developed in a way that it can be easily replicated in Western countries and kitchens without losing the original taste of a good biryani.



  1. Wash the Basmati Rice properly and soak it in cold water
  2. Prep the ingredients. Julienne the onions. Remove the stalks from the coriander and mint and finely chop them. If you use fresh garlic and ginger, peel them and use a food processor to create a paste. Dice the tomatoes and finally cut the chicken into bite size pieces.
  3. In a large pot (remember that you will have 1kg of rice and 1kg of chicken), add the onions and the oil and put the stove on to medium heat. While the oil heats up, add the cardamom, cinnamon and the cloves
  4. Fry the onions on medium heat until the become golden brown.
  5. Turn down the heat to low and add:
    • Roughly chopped coriander leaves
    • Roughly chopped mint leaves
    • Green chilies (whole, we only need the flavor, not the spice)
    • Curry Powder
    • Use a spice grinder to make a paste of the Ginger and the Garlic and add it as well
    • Salt (to taste, I normally start with 2 tea spoons)
    • Curd
    • Tomatoes, fine diced
  6. Mix everything well together and cook for like 30 to 60 seconds
  7. Add 1200 ml water. Put on a lid and bring it to a boil turning the heat up. Turn down the heat of the curry once it starts boiling and let it simmer for 5 more minutes
  8. Add the chicken and bring it to boil again as the chicken will cool down your curry rapidly. Let it boil for two minutes while mixing the curry, then put the lid on and let it simmer for 2 more minutes on low heat.
  9. Layer the soaked rice (without the soaking water of course) on the curry and spread it evenly. Do not mix it, just spread the rice on top of the curry.
  10. Once you have spread the rice evenly, the water should be at the same level as the rice layer. If not, add a bit of fresh water to level it up.
  11. Cover the pot with a lid and bring it to a boil. Once it boiled, turn down the heat to the lowest and let the rice cook. Make sure that the pot does not lose steam. That's where a heavy pot comes in handy. If I don't have one, I usually use a large plate as a lid and add some heavy weights on top of it. Under the plate I put a tea towel to keep it even more safe. Do not open the pot while the rice is cooking
  12. Once the rice is cooked properly (takes 5-15 minutes depending on stove), carefully mix the top layer rice with the curry below
  13. Plate the biryani by taking the rice from the bottom so that the rice on the top keeps mixing with the curry. Enjoy!